Family Equality Council Invites Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins To Dinner

Earlier this week, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins seemed oddly out of the loop about what LGBT organization Target is supporting with its new Pride t-shirts. The answer, of course, is the Family Equality Council, an organization committed to making sure all families are supported under the law. In an interview on CNN yesterday, Perkins seemed to indicate why he was unfamiliar with the equality organization’s work: he’s never been to the home of a married same-sex couple.

This is a situation the Equality Council seeks to rectify. Today, Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler has sent an official letter (PDF) to Perkins inviting him to join her and her family for dinner:

I would like to extend an open invitation for you and your family to visit my home and have dinner with my spouse and children with the full hope that you will witness the love that exists in our families. While I recognize it may not change your mind, I hope that it might soften your heart. As Christians, I think we can both agree that ours is not to judge and that we must live by the golden rule. I open my table to you and invite you to get to know me and my family.

Even if nothing comes of the experience, at least you can say you spent time with our families and knew us and still deny us our equality. But I know you will find that our families have much in common and share the same hopes and dreams for our children.

The invitation parallels Dan Savage’s recent acceptance of the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown’s debate challenge, in which Savage invited Brown to a private dinner in his home followed by a recorded debate.


Same-sex families have become a ubiquitous part of American culture, despite conservatives’ continued attempts to erase them from our laws, schools, and communities. These families are refusing to be invisible anymore, and how anti-gay leaders like Perkins and Brown respond will be quite telling. Will they continue to reject these families, proving that they are motivated entirely by animus? Or will they open themselves to learning about the lives they have committed themselves to demonizing?