CNN's Piers Morgan Attacks Tony Perkins for Supporting Traditional Marriage
Following the overwhelming passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina on Tuesday night, Piers Morgan brought on the president of the Family Research Council to attack him over his stance on same-sex marriage. In typical Morgan fashion, Piers chose not to conduct a fair interview but instead attack Perkins.
The interview started out with Morgan asking Tony why he is, "so implacably opposed to two loving people getting married?" Throughout the interview, Perkins provided consistent and fact-based arguments for his opposition to gay marriage, something Morgan would have none of. [Video fiollows page break. MP3 audio here.]
Morgan continued his line of insulting, loaded questions asking him things such as, "why do you personally care so much?" and even asking Perkins the overused and irrelevant, "What would you do if one of them came home and said, dad, I'm gay?"
Morgan, a former editor of the left-wing British tabloid The Daily Mirror, is so ideologically blinded that he cannot understand, let alone concede the proposition that people of good conscience can disagree on same-sex marriage as a public policy issue.
Below is the relevant transcript.
Piers Morgan Tonight
May 8, 2012
9:10 p.m. EDT
PIERS MORGAN: Now we're going to turn to our big story, the gay marriage battle. And breaking news on that. North Carolina has voted tonight on a referendum to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council. He's opposed to gay marriage and he joins me now. Mr. Perkins, tell me why are you so implacably opposed to two loving people getting married?
TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Well, Piers, it's not just me, but North Carolina, as it looks like 60 percent of the voters there are poised to adopt the state amendment. That will make 30 states that have adopted amendments that preserve the definition of marriage as being between a union of one man and one woman.
MORGAN: Why do you personally care so much? I mean the example I throw at you is, if you look at heterosexual marriage, look at Kim Kardashian's marriage, which lasted, what was it, 72 hours? Isn't it ridiculous? Day like I remember. When you look at a marriage of 72 days, look at a marriage that lasts that long, where clearly the respect for the sanctity of marriage is absurd.
MORGAN: And then you have a gay couple who've been together 20 years, who love each other, who actually really want to get married and who want to observe and respect the sanctity of marriage, isn't it better for society that we let people that are in the second category take precedence over those in the first category? You treat it as a celebrity bag extension?
PERKINS: You know, Piers, I think that's a really good question and I think a lot of people will ask that question of themselves, because quite frankly, marriage from -- among heterosexuals has not been good, when we see a divorce rate around 50 percent. Of course my beginnings in public policy as an elected official was to do just that, to strengthen marriage, I authored the nation's first covenant marriage law. I've been working on marriage law for over 15 years. And the reason it's important, Piers, quite frankly is because public policy shapes the culture. And when we're talking about -- what we're talking about here is not shaping policy or creating policy based upon an individual here or an individual there, but what the social science tells us is best for society as a whole. And it's very clear that children --
MORGAN: Let me -- let me ask you about the social -- let me ask you about the social science aspect. How much more damage can a gay couple do if they're married to the damage they can do to civilization if they're unmarried?
PERKINS: Yes, again, Piers, you're asking great questions because I think those are the questions that are going through people's minds. I think what we have to do, though, is look at the --
MORGAN: Yes, but I'm asking you because you're so opposed to it.
PERKINS: But I'm -- and I'm going answer.
MORGAN: Answer the question. Rather than telling me how great all my questions are, answer some of them.
PERKINS: Well, no -- I am if you'll give me just a second. We've got 40 years of public -- of social science research based upon public policy change. No fault divorce was a public policy adoption, and what that created was a spike in divorce which is leveled off in the early '90s and then created cohabitation. That was the result of a public policy adoption of no fault divorce. We can't think that we can tinker with the redefinition of marriage and say, it's no longer between a man and a woman which 5,000 years of human history has shown us.
MORGAN: Right, but just -- but just to --
PERKINS: I'm going to effect even further. It's going to -- it's going to result in more children growing up without moms and dad.
MORGAN: You personally -- I hear you. Yes, but not really answer. Just to press you on the question, what more damage could a gay couple do to civilization --
PERKINS: It's not the gay --
MORGAN: -- and society if they're married.
PERKINS: It's the policy, Piers. It's the policy.
MORGAN: To if they're just living together.
PERKINS: Further redefining marriage, the reason we have cohabitation at skyrocketing rates is because we have redefined marriage in a way through no fault divorce making it almost meaningless to many, but to take the further step of redefining it completely and saying marriage is whatever you want to make it to be. If you're two people and you love each other, that's all that counts. The reason society has recognized marriage with certain benefits is because marriage between a man and a woman that creates children or raises his children, in most cases that benefits society. That's why society --
MORGAN: You have -- Mr. Perkins, you have -- (CROSSTALK)
PERKINS: -- automatic benefits of marriage.
MORGAN: You have five kids, right?
PERKINS: Yes, I do.
MORGAN: What would you do if one of them came home and said, dad, I'm gay?
PERKINS: Well, we would have a conversation about it. I doubt that would happen with my children as we are teaching them the right ways that they are to interact as human beings, we're not allowing them to be indoctrinated by the education system.
MORGAN: So you -- so you would imagine it would be -- right. So just to clarify, you would imagine it would be a personal choice they would suddenly make, they would wake up one day and decide they were going to be gay.
PERKINS: No, I didn't say that. I think it's -- I wouldn't say --
MORGAN: You implied it because you said it was -- you said that they have been brought up in a way that meant -- it was unlikely they would be gay.
PERKINS: That's right. The environment. The environment in which I'm raised --
MORGAN: My argument to you -- my argument to you as somebody who supports gay marriage, is being gay is not a choice? Being gay is not something you suddenly wake up and decide to be. So one of your children could be gay. It's not only a question of the way you brought them up. It's just --
PERKINS: Yes, it is, it is environment, it is environment, Piers. I would agree with you that I don't believe most people choose to be homosexual, lesbian, gay or whatever you want to call it. I don't believe that's a choice they wake up one morning and make. I don't think that it's genetic, I don't think the evidence is not there to support that. I do think that it's a product or a happening of environment and events, things that they're exposed to. So I don't think it's a choice. I don't think somebody who wakes up and says I want to be this way. In most cases I think it's the result of the environment.
MORGAN: OK, well, Tony Perkins, we will agree to disagree. Thank you very much.