Sen. Mitch McConnell appoints violently anti-LGBTQ activist Tony Perkins to United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

May 15, 2018

Family Resource Council President Tony Perkins espouses extreme anti-LGBTQ views

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today condemned the appointment of anti-LGBTQ hate group leader Tony Perkins to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Perkins was appointed on the recommendation of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to an announcement the Congressional Record.

Perkins, who serves as the president of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council, has an extensive anti-LGBTQ that GLAAD has compiled below. Notably, Perkins has called for Justice Kennedy to be impeached following his marriage equality ruling, promotes the dangerous and scientifically discredited practice of so-called conversion therapy, and has compared LGBTQ advocates to terrorists.


“Tony Perkins is the most recognizable anti-LGBTQ activist in America. He has espoused the most extreme views of LGBTQ people and other vulnerable communities including vocally supporting foreign laws that punish LGBTQ identity with death,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “The idea that Perkins would be making policy recommendations to an administration that is already anti-LGBTQ is dangerous and puts LGBTQ people directly in harm’s way.”

The role of the USCIRF's is to review the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and makes policy recommendations to the President, U.S. Secretary of State, and U.S. Congress. Tony Perkins is unqualified to hold this position, given his anti-LGBTQ record, detailed below.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Tony Perkins Extensive Anti-LGBTQ Record



  • Reportedly pushed to have scientifically discredited “conversion therapy” in the 2016 Republican Party platform.


  • Insists Target’s trans-inclusive bathroom policies have turned their facilities into “crime scenes” like a “live rendition of CSI.”


  • Says Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy should be impeached simply because of his marriage ruling.


  • Says about gay people: “They are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful"..."pawns" of the "enemy.” (See 1:30 mark.)


  • Claims DC's ban on scientifically discredited "ex-gay" therapy is "locking kids into a lifestyle with devastating health, emotional, and societal consequences" and "opening a frightening chapter in the liberal recruiting of LGBTs."


  • Claims LGBTQ activists are going to "start rolling out the boxcars" and carting away Christians (a reference to the Holocaust).


  • Claims gay parents ''provide distorted values to innocent adopted kids."




  • Despite what health experts have saidinsists that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem.”


  • The Family Research Council has distributed a pamphlet that claims gay men are more likely to molest children, and supports "reorientation therapy" for gay people.


  • The Family Research Council has distributed a pamphlet that begins by likening the logic behind same-sex marriage to the logic behind man-horse marriage.


  • Compares LGBTQ legal advocates to terrorists: “[B]ack in the 80s and early 90s, I worked with the State Department in anti-terrorism and we trained about 50 different countries in defending against terrorism, and it’s, at its base, what terrorism is, it's a strike against the general populace simply to spread fear and intimidation so that they can disrupt and destabilize the system of government. That's what the homosexuals are doing here to the legal system.” (0:31).


  • Says: “The truth is that we cannot redefine marriage without opening the door to all manner of moral and social evil.”


  • Called the It Gets Better project "disgusting," claiming it tells children "that it's okay to be immoral" and constitutes a "concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle"; also called the project a "deceptive lie."


  • Paid $82,500 to use the phone bank of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke for an election run-off.


  • Claims "blood of young marines" is on hands of legislators who voted to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell.


  • Claims "people know intuitively that [homosexuality] is morally wrong."


  • Says: "it's a fact" that homosexuality leads to "eternal damnation"


  • Says gays and lesbians are "held captive by the enemy."


  • Claims his kids couldn't be gay because he is "teaching them the right ways that they are to interact as human beings" (3:15-3:39).


  • Compared former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg's proposed ban on supersized soft drinks to the "need" to ban homosexuality.


  • Equates LGBTQ pride with drunkenness and adultery: "The month of June is Gay Pride Month. Now, I have not yet seen where they have declared Adultery Pride Month, I have not seen where they have declared the Drunkenness Pride Month." 


  • Argues that scientifically-discredited "ex-gay" therapy should be framed as "successful," and encouraging gays to "escape the homosexual lifestyle."


  • Claims: "Even if society embraced homosexuality, there would never be that sense of self-fulfillment because it's outside of how God created man and woman, and that's the bottom line. They can't erase that." 


  • Claims Uganda bill (with death penalty attached) simply "upholds moral conduct."


  • Equates gay people with drug addicts, adulterers: "...[W]e need to be praying for those who are bound up in these lifestyles whether it is homosexuality, whether it is drugs, whatever it might be, anything that is outside the design of God for mankind, it could be adulterous relationships, it doesn’t matter."


  • Says marriage equality will be "the nail in coffin of marriage" and will "take society down with it."


  • Says Republican Senator Rob Portman should not support his gay son's "choices that are both harmful to [him] and to society as a whole."


  • Claims service members' same-sex weddings "desecrate" military chapels.


  • Backed a double standard pertaining to the religious freedom of the pro-gay United Church of Christ, saying "I would use that term ‘Christian’ loosely."