GOP Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins Cites Research from Dr. George ‘Rentboy’ Rekers’ Phony Group to Justify Anti-Gay Smears

It’s apparent now that the corporate media has chosen to ignore the fact that that the Family Research Center, a group that is openly affiliated with the mainstream Republican Party, has been named to the official list of U.S. hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for some ace reporter to ask Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), winner of the FRC’s Value Voters Summit presidential straw poll, if he stands by his endorsement by a high-profile hate group.

Unlike representatives from, say, the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nation and other race-based hate groups on the list, FRC openly consults with and lobbies Republican members of Congress. It also sponsors the GOP-oriented “Values Voter Summit” in Washington, which features a must-do presidential candidate cattle call that is open only to Republicans.

Christine O’Donnell made her first public appearance at the Summit after winning the Delaware primary this year, and Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., won the presidential straw poll. But don’t hold your breath waiting for some ace reporter to ask him if he stands by his endorsement by a high-profile hate group.

In a just world, corporate media would shun the FRC, just as it shuns race-based hate groups. After all, it’s been decades since the media felt an obligation to give the Klan or Aryan Nation a national platform for their views. That’s because the media — and our society as a whole — reached a consensus long ago that there really are not two legitimate sides in the debate over civil rights for racial minorities.

Unfortunately, we’re apparently a decade or two away from reaching the same consensus about the gay rights debate.

Case in point: Last night, MSNBC gave a national platform to FRC Pres. Tony Perkins on “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” ostensibly so Perkins could defend his organization and explain why its designation as a hate-group is wrong.

Instead, Perkins chose to double-down on some of the same lies and smears that led to the FRC being named to the hate group list:

PERKINS: If you go back to the Archives of Sexual Behavior, a peer-reviewed journal that stated that in self-identified — 86 percent of men who — homosexual men who engaged in — men who engaged in molestation of children — 86 percent of them are identified as homosexual or bisexual. That study has not been refuted. That is in part what’s based upon — that statement is based upon. If you look at the American College of Pediatricians. They say the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a risk to children.

Here, according to, is what the Archives of Sexual Behavior really said:

Erickson et al. (1988). Behavior patterns of child molesters. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 17, 77-86.

This study was based on a retrospective review of the medical records of male sex offenders admitted to the Minnesota Security Hospital between 1975 and 1984. Apparently, 70 percent of the men abused girls, 26 percent abused boys, and 4 percent abused children of both sexes. (The paper is unclear in that it doesn’t explain how perpetrators with multiple victims were counted.) The paper asserts in passing that “Eighty-six percent of offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual” (p. 83). However, no details are provided about how this information was ascertained, making it difficult to interpret. Nor did the authors report the number of homosexual versus bisexual offenders, a distinction that the Groth and Birnbaum study … indicates is relevant.

Read The Department of Pyschology UC/Davis dissect Perkins and the FRC’s data. about Homosexuality and Child Molestation and show it for the lies and garbage it is.

But Perkins’ lowest moment was citing research from the American College of Pediatricians, a front group for anti-gay activists that should not be confused with the legitimate American Academy of Pediatrics.

The phony group goes by the NAMBLA-ish moniker “ACPeds,” which is fitting because because it is best known for its association with Dr. George Rekers, the disgraced anti-gay researcher, who was also a founder of the Family Research Council.

Rekers disgraced himself last spring when he was caught returning from Europe with a paid traveling companion whom he’d hired through

ACPeds says it bases its views, not on science, but on “Judeo-Christian, traditional values” — a stance that is diametrically opposed by legitimate groups like the American Academy of Pediatricians, the National Association of Social Workers and similar groups that base their positions on scientific research.

On “Hardball” last night, Chris Matthews did get Perkins to refudiate FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg’s call to make it illegal to be gay in the United States — Sprigg’s statement, which was made on “Hardball” in February, led, in part, to the FRC receiving the hate group designation.

After Perkins flip-flopped FRC’s position on imprisoning gays, Matthews suggested that he go back to FRC headquarters and “spank” Sprigg.

“We don’t do that,” Perkins said — an assertion that puts FRC at odds with ACPeds, which advocates “selective use of corporal punishment” for children.

The saddest moment in the segment came at the end, however, when Matthews signed off on a conciliatory note to Perkins, the hate group leader.

“Tony, you’re always welcome here,” Chris Matthews said, “you’re always welcome.”

Transcript from MSNBC, with edits and corrections:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the Family Research Council as one of its hate groups. The FRC, needless to say, does not appreciate it. Both are with me now. Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council. Mark Potok is intelligence project director for the Southern Poverty Law Center. Mr. Potok, make your case.

MARK POTOK: Well, let me say for starters that when we name groups hate groups, that has nothing to do with any allegation of criminality or some kind of measure of expected violence. It’s purely about ideology. Do groups demonize entire groups of people with falsehoods and other kinds of demonizing propaganda — conspiracy theories and so on. The Family Research Council, among many other things, has associated falsely gay men with pedophilia. They have suggested that homosexual men molest children at rates that far out-distance those of heterosexuals. That’s simply a falsehood and a known falsehood. On your show, Chris, a representative of the council, Peter Sprigg came on and said something that frankly would have been sufficient for us to list them as a hate group all by itself — that homosexual behavior…

MATTHEWS: Let me show you that now. And you’re right to say that. A senior fellow for policy at the Family Research Council was on “Harball” on Feb. 2 this year. His name is Peter Sprigg. He’s senior fellow … senior follow over the FRC. Let’s listen to what he said.


MATTHEWS: Do you think that we should outlaw gay behavior?

SPRIGG: Well, I think, certainly —

MATTHEWS: I’m just asking you —

SPRIGG: — It’s possible.

MATTHEWS: Should we outlaw gay behavior.

SPRIGG: I think that the Supreme Court overturned the sodomy laws in this country was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.

MATTHEWS: So we should outlaw gay behavior?


MATTHEWS: Okay. thank you very much, Peter Sprigg, we know your position. It’s a clear one.


MATTHEWS: Is that your position, Mr. Perkins? That we should outlaw gay behavior, is that your group’s position, outlaw it?

TONY PERKINS: We have not been, are we nor will we be working to recriminalize homosexual behavior. His point in that interview was that in 2003, we were opposed to the overturning of Lawrence — of the sodomy laws in the Lawrence v. Texas case. And for reason. We think to be silent when it comes to homosexual behavior that’s both harmful to society and more importantly to the individuals who engage in it, to be silent, that is in fact hateful.

MATTHEWS: But he said, we should outlaw it, is that your position, just to get that straight, should we outlaw it? So he doesn’t speak for your group?

PERKINS: Look, Chris, I just said we have not been — we are not and we are not going to be working to recriminalize homosexual behavior. That’s not the issue today. What’s at issue here is in an attempt to take our public policies and enshrine homosexual behavior as some protected class. Redefining marriage, and of course voters in 31 states have rejected that idea. So that’s what we’re working on. We have never put forth a policy that would recriminalize homosexual behavior.

MATTHEWS: Let me go back to you, Mark.

POTOK: Well, let me speak —

MATTHEWS: I want Mark to respond to this issue because now we’re having president of the Family Research Council saying that the position that was taken here by Peter Sprigg, which said we should outlaw gay behavior is not his position, not the position of his organization. Does that exempt him from your classification as a hate group, that action today, just now?

POTOK: No, no, I think it’s — I think it’s ridiculous, and I say that for this reason. Peter Sprigg went on your air just as I am doing as a representative of his organization. The Family Research Council made no sound about this. There was nothing remotely approaching a repudiation or even a clarifying statement about the statements that were made.

I mean look, the Family Research Council has done things — a few years ago they put out a pamphlet called “Homosexual Behavior and Pedophilia” in which they said a part of the so-called homosexual agenda was to destroy, to get rid of all age of consent laws, having to do with sexual behavior, and then the Family Research Council went on to say that, in fact, homosexual activists, in their words, were working to make pedophiles the kind of apostles, the prophets of a new sexual order. Those are simply falsehoods. Those are simple lies.

MATTHEWS: Okay is that true —

PERKINS: Let me go back to —

MATTHEWS: Do you stand for that or not?

PERKINS: Let me go back to the first issue that Mark brings up about the connection between homosexual men and pedophilia. If you go back to the Archives of Sexual Behavior, a peer-reviewed journal that stated that in self-identified — 86 percent of men who — homosexual men who engaged in — men who engaged in molestation of children — 86 percent of them are identified as homosexual or bisexual. That study has not been refuted. That is in part what’s based upon — that statement is based upon. If you look at the American College of Pediatricians. They say the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a risk to children. So, I — uh, Mark is wrong. He needs to go back and do his own research because this — this evidence is out there. And what we’re saying is this is not beyond debate, and this is what is troubling here, Chris, is the left is losing ground in this public policy debate and so they start this juvenile process of name-calling and trying to shutdown debate over public policy. That’s what our system is set on…

MATTHEWS: Okay stop for a second. You just made an argument of fact. You say that the public is turning against this, whatever, the latest poll numbers we’ve got from CNN and all kinds of reputable polls is that the country is turning more and more towards accepting of open service of gay people in the U.S. military. So it isn’t as simple as the you put. I know that the country moved right in the last election but when it comes to open service this country is overwhelmingly moving toward acceptance of open service, are they not?

PERKINS: Well, if you look at the men and women who actually serve, which is only about 12 percent of the population that’s been serving in the military, it’s almost inverse. In a poll that’ll be coming out tomorrow, 63 percent of those who serve or who are currently serving or have served are opposed overturning this policy because they’re the ones who have to live by it. But if you look at what’s happened in this last election the American public has rejected this — this radical push for social policy when the administration said it was going to be focused on jobs.

MATTHEWS: I think they rejected — I think they rejected a 9.5 percent unemployment rate. But that’s my view. Tony, you’re always welcome here — you’re always welcome. Now go back and spank Peter Sprigg for saying the wrong thing on this show, because he said the opposite of what you said…

PERKINS: We don’t do that either.

MATTHEWS: You don’t spank, well maybe should, at least verbally. Thank you so much, Mark Potok, coming on the program on a very hot issue.

One comment

  • Thomas Kent
    November 30, 2010 - 5:54 pm | Permalink

    It would be interesting to learn WHERE Perkins got that 63 percent opposed to gays in the military from, when actually 70 percent say ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” would NOT harm the military:

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