Tony Perkins: Supreme Court Won’t Settle Same-Sex Marriage Issue

Melanie Arter | April 27, 2015 | 1:47pm EDT
Font Size


Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council ( Starr)

( - Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the U.S. Supreme Court won’t settle the issue of same-sex marriage, and that the court’s job is not to “create public policy.”


“The court is not going to settle this issue. In fact, I think it does a disservice to both sides if the court weighs in on public policy like this,” Perkins said, adding that the courts are designed “to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws, not create public policy.”

“When they do that, they create division, and they erect barriers to reaching consensus on public policy like this,” he added.

The high court is poised to hear arguments Tuesday in several gay marriage cases coming from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. The first issue centers on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry or whether states can continue to define marriage as one man and one woman. The other focuses on whether states that don’t allow same-sex marriage must recognize gay marriages from states that do.

“You said the other day - and I believe these are your words - if the court rules in favor of gay marriage, it will be open season on people of faith. How can you say that?” host Bob Schieffer asked.

“I can say it very clearly. This is what’s at stake here, Bob. This is not about the marriage laws, this is about fundamentally altering the culture,” Perkins said. He noted that on Friday, an Oregon bakery was fined $135,000 - not for refusing to serve gay people, “but for simply saying, ‘We cannot participate in a same-sex wedding, because it violates our Christian faith.’”

Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, were ordered by a judge with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries to pay a lesbian couple $135,000 for emotional suffering after refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding, Fox News reported. The fine that was recommended was not final and could be raised or lowered.

“Within hours though about $100,000 was raised for this couple, until gay activists demanded that Go Fund Me take down their site,” Perkins said.

Traditional marriage “is the cornerstone of society,” Perkins said. “That’s where kids learn to become citizens.”

Schieffer said CBS has “been inundated by people who say we should not even let you appear because they, in their view, ‘You don’t speak for Christians.’” As Schieffer pointed out, the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Family Research Council “an anti-gay hate group” for their stance against gay marriage.

Schieffer characterized gay marriage as something most people want legalized and showed a graphic illustrating that 37 states, including the District of Columbia, have legalized gay marriage. The graphic cited Freedom to Marry, a pro-gay marriage group, as its source.

“But you know, Mr. Perkins, in the two years since the court took up this issue, we now have surveys that show that six in 10 Americans now favor gay marriage. That says to me this may be working - 37 states and the District have now legalized same-sex marriage. It is illegal in just seven states. Doesn’t that mean that people want this to be legal?” Schieffer asked.

“No, first off even the Washington Post said the numbers are based on how you ask the question. The nation really is evenly divided, and the narrative 37 states, that works for those that want to say the consensus is on the side of redefinition, but you have to realize only voters in three of those states actually voted to allow the redefinition of marriage,” Perkins said.

“In the vast majority of the others, it’s been imposed on them by the courts, and for those who say there’s a global consensus, that’s not true either. Only 17 of the 193 member states of the United Nations have redefined marriage, and only one - Brazil is the only nation that’s allowed it to be done by the courts. The court will only supercharge this issue as they did Roe v. Wade back in 1973,” he added.

Voters in Maryland, Maine, and Washington state approved gay marriage in 2012, according to a Nov. 7, 2012 Reuters report.

mrc merch