Schmuck of the Week

The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins serves with dishonor

Last week, Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council in Colorado Springs, said that if the United States ends the "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military, it could bring back the draft. His reasoning: strapping young recruits won't want to serve next to men and women who are openly gay or deal with their "lifestyle."

Apparently, having to acknowledge gay people is worse than getting your brains blown out in Afghanistan or Iraq -- because that threat hasn't kept volunteers from signing up. Apparently, homophobia trumps patriotism in Perkins's good book.

A few days after Perkins made his remarks, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups across the country, added the Family Research Council to its list -- primarily because of the conservative Christian group's frequent anti-gay rhetoric.

Amazingly, FRC is so bad in the law center's eyes, that the more well-known Focus on the Family, also in Colorado Springs, is a veritable left-wing hippie parade. As the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote in its list of eighteen new hate groups:

Even as some well-known anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family moderate their views, a hard core of smaller groups, most of them religiously motivated, have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities. These groups' influence reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the "facts" they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations.

The Family Research Council has demanded a retraction and an apology -- something that's as likely to happen as Perkins inviting Ellen DeGeneres over for Christmas dinner.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes