Tony Perkins: Being fair to gay soldiers is unfair to straight soldiers!

The president of the Family Research Council takes on the U.S. military's most "discriminatory" policy

Published September 17, 2013 5:08PM (EDT)

Tony Perkins        (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Tony Perkins (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and all-around terrible guy with bad ideas about the world, believes that a new policy granting gay soldiers seven days of extra leave time to get married discriminates against straight people:

Thanks to the Pentagon, taxpayers are giving gay service members quite a wedding gift. According to the Defense Department, homosexual troops are getting some extra incentives to get hitched -- including 10 days of bonus leave. The AP says gay and lesbian military members will get as many as two weeks of extra vacation time to travel to states that allow same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department says it "remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who service in the U.S. military... are treated fairly." If that were true, heterosexual couples would be getting the same benefits. See, this special, taxpayer-funded leave isn't just expensive -- it's discriminatory. According to the Pentagon, heterosexual couples aren't eligible. How's that for equality?

Here is the part Perkins doesn't seem that interested in addressing: the extra leave time exists strictly because gay service members can't get married in every state --because of, you know, actual discrimination -- and many will require extra travel time to make arrangements and reach a state where they are legally permitted to wed.

But if Perkins is genuinely concerned with straight soldiers getting short shrift under the new policy, he should probably start lobbying other states to legalize gay marriage. That way, the extra leave time will no longer be necessary for gay service members and things can go back to being even-steven! (Well, almost even-steven, since decades of discriminatory policies have undermined the equal standing of gay soldiers by denying their families basic benefits like housing, insurance and survivor benefits. Or, you know, the fact that states like Louisiana are still refusing to extend benefits to the families of gay service members in the national guard. Two issues among many, which, weirdly, Perkins -- who totally hates discrimination -- has never seemed to notice or care much about!)

You can listen to Perkins being Perkins here:

h/t Right Wing Watch


By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Anti-gay Bias Gay Rights Gays In The Military Lgbtq Rights Terrible People Tony Perkins Video