During Elena Kagan's confirmation hearing, one fact falling under the radars unfortunately are the witnesses invited to testify against her.
To be more specific, one witness in particular has a lot of people, including myself, asking "what the hell?"
Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Center, has been called as a minority witness against Kagan, but to put it bluntly, whoever asked him to participate in the hearings would have been better off asking Bozo the Clown.
At least Bozo would have been more truthful.
Perkins and his group pride themselves with standing up for American values and "the family." However, as past incidents show, Perkins and FRC have a deceptive way of standing up for values.
Kristin Williams of faithinpubliclife.org sent out an excellent point by point breakdown of Perkins's problems with accuracy and truth, including:
Tony Perkins falsely claimed that overturning Don't Ask Don't Tell would lead to a military that "just does parades and stuff." While interviewing Sen. John McCain, Perkins said that "...the top militaries in the world do not allow homosexuality to be openly engaged in, in the military - I mean, if you want a military that just does parades and stuff like that then I guess that's okay." In reality, three of the United States' closest allies-Israel, Canada, and the United Kingdom- "have successfully removed all restrictions on gays and lesbians in their armed forces since the early 1990s."
Tony Perkins falsely claimed that homosexuality leads to child sexual abuse. In a statement responding to the Mark Foley scandal, Perkins said: "It shouldn't be totally surprising, when we hold up tolerance and diversity as the guideposts for public life, this is what you end up getting...the real issue...is the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse." As numerous experts have demonstrated, there is no connection between sexual orientation and likeliness of sexually abusing children.
Tony Perkins' organization made false claims about the health care votes of two Members of Congress to justify targeting them in the upcoming election. FRC Action PAC lists 20 Democratic incumbents they're campaigning against as part of a "20 in 10" campaign this election cycle. FRC claims to oppose these representatives because of their votes for health care reform. But two of the members on the list, Reps. Nye and Minnick, actually voted against health care reform and FRC refuses to correct the mistake, suggesting not only a lack of integrity, but also a strong possibility that FRC's objectives are more focused on partisan gain for the Republican party than a response to health reform.
Williams includes other points, including Perkins's 2001 speech in front of a white supremacist group.
Personally I would like to take it further. Seems to me that anyone employed with FRC, Perkins included, has no business testifying in of Congress as credible witnesses.
FRC's senior analyst, Peter Sprigg, has expressed a desire to export lgbts out of the United States and outlawing "homsexual acts."
Then there are these following items:
- November 23, 2009 - Family Research Council caught falsely accusing Congresswoman of religious bigotry - While not lgbt-oriented per se, this post demonstrates just how the Family Research Council will truncate a quote to push a false image of religious persecution.
- November 18, 2009 - Video: FRC invited Chai to speak; now slicing both her footage and her back - Goodasyou.org shows how FRC used spliced footage to make the case against EEOC nominee Chai Feldblum.
- October 27, 2009 - Family Research Council's coldhearted attack on lgbt senior citizens -In an ugly attack on lgbt seniors, the Family Research Council uses the work of the discredited researcher Paul Cameron (Editor's note - the Media Matters Action post inaccurately says that Cameron started the Family Research Council. While this is not true, the organization has a history of using his work, irregardless of his dubious history.)
- October 26, 2009 - It's just good for FRC that crimes against truth aren't tracked - From Goodasyou.org comes another FRC distortion. This time, it's about hate crimes statistics.
- October 21, 2009 - Family Research Council brags about ability to fool 80,000 people - FRC pushes the lie that hate crimes legislation will "silence" Christians.
- October 1, 2009 - Family Research Council head misrepresents credible information to hurt ENDA - In testimony against ENDA, FRC head Tony Perkins uses anecdotes and distorts a study on lgbt health.
And as Perkins's already published online testimony clearly shows, he is going the "Kagan supports the radical homosexual agenda so she should never serve on the Supreme Court" route.
Let me be clear here. My problem lies with not only with the consistent way Perkins and FRC have manipulated legitimate studies, created false studies, and basically out-and-out stigmatized and defamed the lgbt community but also with the fact that someone in Congress- someone who makes decisions having to do with the lives of everyone in this country, including the lives of lgbts - felt that somehow Perkins was credible enough to give an opinion and have that opinion taken seriously.
And this is not the first time it has happened. Family Research Council employees have been Congressional witnesses as recent as last month.
It underscores just how disrespected the lgbt community are in some people's eyes.
If Perkins had maligned African-Americans or the Jewish community with the same vigor as he maligns lgbts, no one would dare bring up his name as a Congressional witness.
But as long as he can throw out the phrase "family values" a couple of times and lgbts don't get angry enough to make any noise over this obvious show of disrespect, my guess is that Perkins will be invited for more hearings.
Hat tip to Pam's House Blend.