- The Magazine
The leader of one of the most prominent anti-LGBTQ hate groups in the U.S. is not happy with President Joe Biden’s executive order prohibiting anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
Signed by Biden last week, the order affirms a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling which found that LGBTQ people are protected from employment discrimination under the Civil Rights Act.
The president instructed the federal government to embrace that interpretation when implementing and enforcing laws prohibiting sex-based discrimination — a notable turnaround from the Trump administration, which argued that discriminating against LGBTQ people should be legal.
While LGBTQ organizations praised Biden’s executive order, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and close ally of Donald Trump, claimed that it was an “assault on biological reality” and that people of faith would be “forced to violate their consciences” by not discriminating against LGBTQ people.
“President Biden’s executive order effectively targets people of faith and faith-based organizations that provide social services that are even more vital in the midst of a pandemic,” Perkins said in a statement. “Now, those who hold to biological reality and the doctrines of the world’s major religions will be forced to violate their consciences, or even lose a government contract.
“Ultimately, if this executive order is able to be fully carried out, it will affect everyday Americans who hold biblical and conservative values. In his inauguration speech yesterday, President Biden called for unity, but he is now demanding uniformity.”
Perkins claimed that Biden had “turned 50-year-old civil rights legislation on its head” — despite his order being based on a Supreme Court decision from last year — and that the president was “unilaterally enacting a sweeping policy change that has routinely failed to win the approval of Congress, the body the Constitution tasks with actually passing laws.”
However, Perkins ignored that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act in 2019, a landmark piece of legislation that would enshrine discrimination protections for LGBTQ people into federal law. The bill subsequently stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Perkins then veered off into scaremongering territory, claiming that the Biden administration is “planning to go much further in its assault on biological reality,” and apparently intends to “order schools to abolish girls’ sports and force boys and girls to use the same showers and locker rooms, and maybe even bunk together on school trips.”
Needless to say, this is factually inaccurate. But Perkins did manage to end his rant by mildly burning the Republican Party, noting that Democrats typically support science (whereas the Trump administration actively ignored it).
“The party that claims to be the party of science is advancing policies on day one that deny reality,” he said.
The Family Research Council is notorious for its anti-LGBTQ messaging and actions. The Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes the organization as an extremist hate group due to its anti-LGBTQ ideology, including opposing marriage equality, LGBTQ-inclusive hate crime laws, anti-bullying programs, and the military’s repeal of its anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Perkins has close ties to former President Donald Trump and a long history of anti-LGBTQ statements and sentiments, including last year arguing that decriminalizing homosexuality was a “mistake.”
He has also called for the impeachment of former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy for authoring the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage, advocated for conversion therapy, and compared LGBTQ advocates to terrorists.
Perkins has also derided transgender-inclusive restroom policies adopted by businesses like Target, has compared the fate of Christians living in a society where LGBTQ rights are respected to the plight of Jews during the Holocaust, and insists that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem.”
In addition, he has used his position at FRC to promote laws restricting LGBTQ adoption, oppose the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and advocate for Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” law that doles out punishments for homosexuality.
Last year, Amazon banned the Family Research Council from its AmazonSmile charitable giving program, citing its SPLC hate group classification.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!