In his daily radio commentary for June 4th, anti-LGBT activist Tony Perkins, head of one of the most anti-LGBT organizations working today, says the following about the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption:
At Wendy's restaurants, values aren't just on the menu. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Wendy's founder Dave Thomas knew how to satisfy people's appetites. But as an adopted child, he also knew people were hungriest to belong. The famous hamburger magnate was passionate about finding children a home -- and now, his daughter, Wendy is making sure that dream lives on. In a new set of ads, the fast-food chain is putting the focus back on families. Starting with an adoption hub on its website and canisters at every checkout, Wendy's is doing something worthwhile: promoting an agenda all sides can agree with -- adoption. "There's a big difference between being a child and having a childhood," said the company who created Wendy's new ads. "Wendy's dream is to help every child waiting in foster care find the loving family they deserve." While other companies are chasing a political agenda, Wendy's is focusing on the most important ingredient of all: loving families.
And while in a perfect world, this would be an "all sides can agree with" concept, the truth is that Tony operates with an agenda that we simply cannot support. And more pertinent for the purposes of this post: Tony holds an agenda that the Dave Thomas Foundation directly repudiates.
As you likely know, Tony Perkins rejects the idea of homosexuality itself, so he of course also adamantly rejects adoption by same-sex couples. In a recent fundraising email, Tony Perkins claimed that same-sex parents ''provide distorted values to innocent adopted kids." On several occasions, Tony has taken to the mainstream media and cited unk science in order to make same-sex parents seem subpar (other instances here and here). Tony even went after fictional same-sex parents, crudely attacking a Disney Channel show for simply featuring a lesbian couple and their child.
Plus, FRC, as policy, cites adoption as one of the major reasons to not let same-sex couples marry:
SOURCE: What's Wrong With Letting Same-sex Couples 'Marry'? [FRC]
Tony and the organization he heads both work to tell the world that certain kinds of families are wrong, certain kinds are in danger, and certain kinds of humans are unfit for adoption (and most other areas of life). As a married, gay, adoptive parent myself, it is not an overstatement to say that Tony Perkins is waging a rhetorical assault on my family. And let's be quite clear about this: it's an assault that he, a D.C. political operative who often speaks to prominent rooms of elected officials, would certainly like to inscribe into public policy, given the chance.
On the flip side, the Dave Thomas Foundation has made concerted efforts to cut through nasty spin like Tony's. In its Adoption Guide, the foundation prominently features this correction:
Adoption Guide [Dave Thomas Foundation]
Of course, the very reason the foundation needs to correct such misperceptions is because people like Tony are out there fostering such myths. Because of Tony and his like-minded movement's corrosive work against LGBT people and LGBT parents, organizations that truly are focused on finding the most loving and qualified homes have to waste time cleaning up the mud that organizations like FRC toss at LGBT people and our families.
But the Dave Thomas Foundation's commitments do not end at just clearing up this one misconception. The organization proudly promotes resources that are specifically geared toward LGBT adoptions:
Resources [Dave Thomas Foundation]
The foundation has also directed grant money toward organizations focused on LGBTQ foster care and adoption, as well as pledged a commitment to an adoption structure that "eliminates all forms of discrimination, including marital status and sexual orientation." For more, just check out the foundation's Facebook page sometime, where moderators are always promoting pro-gay stories and encouraging more same-sex couples and LGBT singles to consider adoption.
And in fact, the late Dave Thomas himself, while largely thought to be conservative, made statements supporting gay adoption. Back in 1993, he told People magazine:
"People ask me, 'What about gay adoptions? Interracial? Single parent?' I say, 'Hey, fine, as long as it works for the child and the family is responsible.' My big stand is this: Every child deserves a home and love. Period." [People]
All of this flies in the face of Tony's work. Tony Perkins, if left to his own druthers, would create a world where fewer children are able to find homes and love. Tony would shut out countless qualified parents simply because of who they are and/or how they love. And even for those of us who have triumphed over Tony's agenda and have been able to find ourselves, find love, find our marriage equality, and find our forever families, Tony is still putting out mounds of toxic information that claims our children are facing an uphill life simply because of their familiy structures. Can you even imagine how that must feel to a kid of same-sex parents to stumble on such nastiness? If not, don't worry—I've imagined it for you. The thought of my daughter growing up and reading this trash keeps me awake at night.
The simple fact is that Tony Perkins has adopted an agenda that does exclude him from many arenas in which reasonable people could otherwise come together and agree, even through our other divides. That's because Tony's work is not just disagreement—it's hostility. His work is not just differing opinion—it's an attempt to exclude some types of humans. His agenda does not deserve agreement.