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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Is Tony Perkins Threatening to Sue Me?

Posted by on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Happier times.
  • Happier times.
The robustly heterosexual head of the Family Research Council went on Mike Huckabee's radio show today to respond to my recent comments. Huckabee said I was rude and vile and unhappy—please, Rev. Girlfriend, I listen to Gypsy when I'm at the gym (unhappy gay men listen to Passion at the gym)—and then it was Tony Perkins' turn:

As my teenagers would say, he has some issues. He is a man with some real deep-seated issues ... and Dan Savage is nowhere near, he's a hundred and eighty degrees from the positions that we have taken. It's wrong and I will tell you this, we are pursuing everything possible to deal with him because he is out of control.... This is the bottom line, Mike: is that if you don't embrace and celebrate homosexuality and everything associated with it, then you are intolerant. And the truth of the matter is, let's just be very, very truthful, and that's what we deal in is the truth, that even is society embraced homosexuality, there would never be that sense of self-fulfillment because it's outside the way God created man and woman. And that's the bottom line. They cannot erase that, even if they get every law on the books changed, it will never change that.

Yes, Tony, I have issues.

I have issues with people who would deny me and other LGBT people our full civil equality for no legitimate reason. I have particular issues with high-profile haters who encourage parents to reject their LGBT kids, doubling their already quadrupled risk for suicide. I have issues with people who say that LGBT people are "pawns of the devil." I have issues with people who compare LGBT people to terrorists. I have issues with people who falsely link homosexuality and pedophilia. I have issues with people who suggest that a law calling for the execution of gay people merely "upholds moral conduct."

But having issues with you, Tony, isn't quite the same thing as "having issues." Please make a note of it.

And during your chat today with Huckabee you didn't address the issue I raised. You and Mike called me names—because you were angry that I called you names?—but you didn't address my issue. So here it is again:

LGBT kids are four times greater risk of suicide. Tony Perkins advises the parents of LGBT kids to reject their children. LGBT kids who are rejected by their parents are at eight times greater risk of suicide. Perkins is aware of these studies and yet he actively encourages the parents of LGBT kids to do what Perkins knows will push those kids closer to suicide.

Sue me, Tony. I'd love to see you talk about my "issues" on a witness stand.

I realize that this isn't how you think the world is supposed to work, Tony. You believe—and you're old enough to remember a time when—people like you were free to say vile and disgusting things about people like me without anyone objecting. Certainly people like me weren't allowed to call people like you out. You still believe you should be free to lie about me and other LGBT people with absolutely impunity—we're all pedophiles and terrorists and Satanists—and that we should have to shut up and take it because... well, I'm not sure why you think we're not allowed to respond when you lie about us.

Maybe that's something we could get to the bottom of during the depositions.


Comments (50) RSS

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milemarker 1
Tony. You've just been bitch-slapped through the nine circles of hell. Your reaction?
Posted by milemarker on October 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
tdalec 2
This may brand me as evil, or something. I volunteer to toss/read to toddlers at my church's daycare. Right now in the toddler room we have two kids with two daddies and boy/girl twins with two mommies. People who shout at each other about theory and hypotheticals and crazy-ass theology just bore the hell out of me. Real life is better.
Posted by tdalec on October 3, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
ingopixel 3
Keep it up! Keep it up! If every other post on Slog was this same rant I wouldn't complain.
Posted by ingopixel on October 3, 2012 at 4:12 PM · Report this
I want to be in the front row in the courtroom, to witness that trial. Watching bigots get their asses handed to them is one of my favorite things.
Posted by SeattleKim on October 3, 2012 at 4:12 PM · Report this
Why are these people so irritated about gay marriage? According to their own stories, Jesus had two dads, and he turned out to be the savior of humanity.
Posted by Shaman on October 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
I hereby offer to represent Dan pro bono in the unlikely event the despicable Tony Perkins is stupid enough to actually sue Dan.
Posted by Mike121 on October 3, 2012 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Keep fighting the good fight, Dan.
Posted by MLM on October 3, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Punching the nose of a bully does not make you a bully.
Keep punching, Dan.
Posted by Sa-Spence on October 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
KaraC 10
I'd love to see Perkins take this to court. It would be even better if families who have suffered due to the FRCs hate-speech, countersued and drained the FRC coffers.
Posted by KaraC on October 3, 2012 at 4:25 PM · Report this
michael strangeways 12
What would they sue you for?

Calling them monstrous assholes?
Posted by michael strangeways on October 3, 2012 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Okay, so Tony Perkins believes Dan Savage is wrong, immoral, 180 degrees opposite from his values and positions, and profoundly unhappy. Let's suppose all of that is true. Is it even still, any of Tony Perkins business? Isn't this country built on the pursuit of happiness, or even unhappiness, if that's the kind of happy you're hoping for? He's going to sue Dan for basically criticizing a publicly held opinion? Jeez, why doesn't Dan sue YOU for saying that he's an unhappy, freedom hating fag-meenie? Oh yeah, because he really could care less about you, your beliefs, no matter how fucked up he found them, until you started trying to take away his rights. Tony, the day that you stop trying to change the laws is the day Dan never gives you another thought.
Posted by MinnySota on October 3, 2012 at 4:49 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 14
DEMAND a public televised trial Dan and NO SETTLEMENT!!!

Make this little prick sweat!!!
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on October 3, 2012 at 4:51 PM · Report this
Bonefish 15
12: Homophobes, like most spoiled wimps, think that the entire world revolves around them. Therefore, "he called me names after I called for his extermination and it made me feel bad" is a lawsuit-worthy offense in their minds.
Posted by Bonefish on October 3, 2012 at 4:52 PM · Report this
TVDinner 16
So, wait. Perkins objects to being called "intolerant?" But that's exactly what he is. He does not tolerate gayness. Why is he bothered by that?
Posted by TVDinner http:// on October 3, 2012 at 4:52 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 17
Oh..and Dan counter-sue for damages..they've got deep pockets.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on October 3, 2012 at 4:52 PM · Report this
Dan, I love you a little more every day.

That pic of you with Huckabee, though? Shudder.
Posted by Velvetbabe on October 3, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
emma's bee 19
*And* don't forget atheist! Surely that earns you another (de)merit badge on your proudly sported Satanist vest. I'm sure he'd try to sue you for that, too, if he could.
Posted by emma's bee on October 3, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
Reminds me of the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet," which took on the Church of Scientology:

"Sue me! I dare you!"
Posted by Functional Atheist on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
In my state, in order to sue for libel or slander, you have to be able to demonstrate damages. So what damages can Tony Perkins claim to have incurred? Has he lost his job? No. Is he less employable? No--some right-wing nut job outfit will always be willingto take him on. Can he demonstrate loss on income? He's probably using Dan's name in a fund-raising letter sent out by email and snail mail, even as we speak.
Posted by Clayton on October 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 23

It's my understanding that proof of damages is even more difficult when the slanderee is a public figure, and Perkins definitely qualifies.

Even still, anything that Dan said about him is obviously Dan's own personal belief. Personal beliefs about the behaviors and motives of public figures are protected speech and don't qualify as slander. That's why you very rarely see successful slander/libel suits by public figures. The only one I can think of is Falwell's, and we all know how that turned out.
Posted by keshmeshi on October 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM · Report this
Rhett Oracle 24
This is what results when your mommy names you for a famous gay actor of the time (1963), and you spend all of your time trying to live down "Glee" taunts of being called Norman Bates, the guy who kept his dead mother in a rocking chair.
Posted by Rhett Oracle on October 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM · Report this
Keep on talking Dan. You are on the front line for all our civil liberties and we appreciate it!

(Your Iraq thing was still still stupid and xenophobic, but you've grown!)
Posted by cracked on October 3, 2012 at 5:44 PM · Report this
stirwise 26
@16: In his universe he thinks he is being tolerant. Intolerant would be murdering all the homos. See, he tolerates that they live and breathe.
Posted by stirwise on October 3, 2012 at 5:55 PM · Report this
The satanists I have met are pretty nice people.
Posted by TheLastComment on October 3, 2012 at 6:02 PM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 28
Dan, you need to ask your friend Alice Dreger (who IMO is amazingly thorough and yet easy to understand in her lectures) to sit down with Tony Perkins and stuff some science into his head. Because "God" didn't just create "man and woman". There are so many variations of biological gender in humanity. After that bit, perhaps someone else could move onto animal species where homosexuality occurs naturally. Though I'd bet Mr. Perkins would just stuff his fingers in his ears and sing, "La-la-la. I can't hear what you're saying." IOW, behaving like a spoiled child.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on October 3, 2012 at 7:07 PM · Report this
Pick1 29
Mr. Perkins, here's something from a book (it's not the bible, so I assume you've never read it.) It's called a dictionary. There are three words that have somewhat similar meanings (not really but okay) and you seem to think they're interchangeable. They are not. Let's clear this up.

Embrace: to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly: to embrace an idea.

Celebrate:to praise widely or to present to widespread and favorable public notice,

Accept: to agree or consent to; accede to

You see, they almost seem interchangeable but using them at the wrong time could make you sound like a hyperbolic douchebag. Gays don't want you to embrace them, or celebrate them, that's not what this is about.

What we want (need? deserve?) is for you to accept the fact that we are human beings with rights and freedoms just like you!

Hope this helps.
Posted by Pick1 on October 3, 2012 at 8:37 PM · Report this
Lawsuit? Puh-lease. Tony Perkins NEEDS you, Dan. He can only rattle his saber for so long before he needs a tangible opponent to point to - to show that he's not just tilting at windmills. And Huckabee is a sycophant for whoever comes on his show and makes it seem "lively" and stirs up his viewers. They both need you to try to remain relevant.
Posted by lawgeek on October 3, 2012 at 8:40 PM · Report this

@22 Can we please stop using "peeps" instead of people. It's only one more character. We are not marshmellow chicks. We are human beings
Posted by randomitis on October 3, 2012 at 10:34 PM · Report this
This fantastic blog post explains the problem perfectly I think.…

They feel like their world is forcibly being pulled apart, like any number of Saturday night activities we terrorist pedophile Satanists might gladly partake in. It doesn't matter to them if they're "right" or "wrong", in their outdated paradigm they are right, and they're angry they don't get to keep living the same confortable, bigoted life they've been living.
Posted by ace9415 on October 4, 2012 at 1:59 AM · Report this

But "we are pursuing everything possible to deal with him because he is out of control" sounds a bit scary. It's heartening that the worst you guys imagine is a lawsuite.

@25 what Iraq/xenophobic thing?
Posted by fahima on October 4, 2012 at 5:30 AM · Report this
As parents of a gay child we love more than life itself, my husband and I will camp at the courthouse steps in order to get a front row seat to watch this horrible man try to defend his vile ways. And as a PFLAG facilitator who tends to the collateral damage of this man's pure hatred, I will stare this evil man into hell where he belongs. Go ahead Tony Perkins, make our day, sue Dan Savage. I'd love to see you defend yourself under oath. Maybe you could even take some lessons from those who testified under oath for your side in the Prop 8 trial or ... oh wait -maybe not.
Posted by Seething Mom on October 4, 2012 at 8:14 AM · Report this
I'd like him to produce the Bible quote that Adam and Eve weren't bisexual. And something that indicates that all of the first generation of their offspring were straight.

No? Then shut up, Tony.
Posted by Lymis on October 4, 2012 at 8:23 AM · Report this
Yes, please! Please sue Dan and insist that the entire thing be televised. Now, that's some reality tv I would watch!
Posted by Houndentenor on October 4, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
@35 - at the very least, if you take the Bible completely literally, there were weird sex practices going on outside the Garden of Eden. The Bible only lists Adam and Eve as having two sons...where did everyone else come from??
Posted by daphne24 on October 4, 2012 at 8:57 AM · Report this
38 is my understanding that Adam & Eve not only brought forth the first murderer bu raised Cain to be the prototype for the phrase mother fucker.
Posted by TampaDink on October 4, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
I am a psychiatrist... and I will hereby swear you have no issues that I would consider necessary of treatment. Perkins and his cronies have obvious feelings of inferiority and use their homophobia/homothropia (hatred of gays) to make them feel stronger and superior.
Posted by DrMom1964 on October 4, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
santamonicatom 40
I wish I had a seething mom like #34.
Posted by santamonicatom on October 4, 2012 at 10:52 AM · Report this
very bad homo 41
Nutjob Christianists hate the idea of gay people being happy and functional.
Posted by very bad homo on October 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
scary tyler moore 44
you can't libel a public figure. this has been proven again and again and again in cases brought before the supreme court. perkins is not going to sue because his lawyer will tell him it's a lost cause. so don't get your hopes up, folks. there will be no lawsuit and no trial.
Posted by scary tyler moore on October 4, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
Just wondering in what part of the Bible it gives Tony Perkins the right to pass judgement on other? Maybe he could point out those passages?
Posted by reginanjus on October 4, 2012 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Fuck you Tony Perkins and Mike Fuckabee. You bet your unloveable life we're mad. Let me vote on your rights and watch how pissed off you'll get, you sick, Christian bastard.
Posted by Twist on October 4, 2012 at 6:21 PM · Report this
@44, that's not *quite* true. You can libel a public figure by printing something you know (or should know) to be both untrue and unkind. Celebrities have a higher bar for making a case, but they can. See Carol Burnett v National Enquirer.
Posted by clashfan on October 4, 2012 at 7:32 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 49
@48, cases like that are the exception, i believe. more lawsuits are dismissed than go to trial because of the burden of proof. perkins would never win, NEVAH.
Posted by scary tyler moore on October 4, 2012 at 9:08 PM · Report this
Oh, I agree about this case. The only thing Dan said that was untrue ("sits on a pile of dead gay kids") is clearly hyperbole. I was merely quibbling over your comment that a public figure can never be libeled.
Posted by clashfan on October 5, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
hexalm 51
@47 oh but the secular, liberal (satanist) people of the world are *totally* trying to take away the rights of Christians! By removing Pagan Christmas symbols and not allowing schools to have prayer! They can't even use public/government property to endorse their religious commandments anymore!

Also we pose a physical and spiritual threat because God will punish them for tolerating homosexuals. I mean, obviously that's why there are hurricanes...
Posted by hexalm on October 5, 2012 at 9:50 PM · Report this
Perkins and his ilk are emotional pedophiles, sexually abusing children at their whim. Some people are here to right wrongs, some people are here to wrong rights. You go Dan, never hold back. Jesus was a freedom fighter, the Jewish God is a monster.
Jesus has your back Dan. Do his bidding Dan and bring down godless doctor'in. Jesus wants all of his gay bros and sisters FREE in the love he advocates.
Posted by ArcLight1 on October 6, 2012 at 8:28 AM · Report this
Perkins and his ilk are emotional pedophiles, sexually abusing children at their whim. Some people are here to right wrongs, some people are here to wrong rights. You go Dan, never hold back. Jesus was a freedom fighter, the Jewish God is a monster.
Jesus has your back Dan. Do his bidding Dan and bring down godless doctor'in. Jesus wants all of his gay bros and sisters FREE in the love he advocates.
Posted by ArcLight111 on October 6, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
I am so glad Tony put Dan in his place. All Dan wants, it seems, is to help people and make them feel better. How sick! People like Dan should be locked away in some kind of camp with barbed wire, and given only a diet of potatoes, or gruel. Compassion must be contained, not celebrated. How can we let healers just walk among us freely? And his head is poisoned by education. He is just a monster. And it gets worse over time. It seems the only thing he cares about is love.

Posted by Lan on October 6, 2012 at 9:36 AM · Report this
So, only marriages that fall under "the way God intended" are valid? My husband and I are hetero, but have decided not to procreate. Does that make our marriage a sham? Good to know. I'll remember that the next time hubby shoves his dick in my ass, because heteros do that, too.
Posted by PoopieHead on October 8, 2012 at 4:05 AM · Report this
Tony Perkins has a smelly crusty asshole.
Posted by ewe on October 14, 2014 at 3:53 PM · Report this

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