Right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson thinks Democrats are committing political suicide with their decision to stand up for the civil rights of the LGBT community.
Speaking on his television program on Tuesday, Robertson said the Democratic Party has a "death wish" in backing marriage equality as part of its official platform, which will be unveiled at this summer's Democratic National Convention.
"For the Democrats to go out on that limb, it just seems like to me that they are further alienating themselves from the mainstream of America," Robertson said. "If that’s what they want to do, fine, but it will mean the death knell of their party, it seems like to me, and of course that’s what they’re doing but maybe they have a death wish."
Recent polling contradicts Robertson's assertion. A survey released on Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that 48 percent of the overall public supports same-sex marriage, while only 44 percent oppose it. Among Democrats, 65 percent support the right of gay couples to marry.
The broader polling trend is also in favor of political defenders of LGBT rights. Over the past four years, Pew surveys show that support for same-sex marriage has increased by nine percentage points, while opposition has decreased by seven percentage points.
Robertson, a vociferous opponent of same-sex marriage and gay rights in general, has made numerous provocative statements against the LGBT community in the past. Robertson has compared homsexuality to "demonic possession," claimed legalizing gay marriage would result in a "downward slide" toward beastialty and child molestation, and even suggested, bizarrely, that gay marriage would lead to "angel rape."
Two days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Robertson hosted Rev. Jerry Falwell on his program and together they infamously blamed the tragedy on "the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians, who are actively trying to make an alternative lifestyle."