As the nation prepares for the Supreme Court to possibly decide whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, it was clear on Sunday that even anti-gay crusader Tony Perkins was having difficulty being taken seriously by the mainstream media.
During a discussion about marriage equality on Face the Nation, CBS host Bob Schieffer began by noting that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) had determined that Perkins' organization, the Family Research Council, was a "hate group."
"The Southern Poverty Law Center has branded the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group," Schieffer explained as if it were a warning to his viewers. "We have been inundated by people who say we should not even let you appear because they, in their view -- quote -- you don't speak for Christians."
Perkins argued that the Supreme Court had no place deciding whether LGBT people deserved equal protection under the Constitution because "it does a disservice to both sides if the court weighs in on public policy like this."
"The courts are decided [SIC] to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws, not to create public policy," he opined. "When they do that, they create division and they erect barriers to reaching consensus on public policy like this. So no, we stand with millennia of experience that the union of a man and a woman -- the sacred union of marriage -- is the cornerstone of society."
"You said the other day -- and I believe you said this -- that if the court rules in favor of gay marriage, it would be open season on people of faith," Schieffer observed. "I mean, how can you say that?"
The CBS host went on to point out that polls showed that a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage.
"Doesn't that mean people want this to be legal?" he asked.
Perkins, however, argued that the "nation was evenly divided" on the issue because recent polls had been asking the question in a way that favored gay rights.
Pro-equality activist Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, however, immediately dismissed the Family Research Council president.
"I would say that Tony Perkins is really an outlier," Wolfson told Schieffer. "And what's to be celebrated here is that the vast majority of Americans have opened their hearts and changed their mind and moved forward to embrace the freedom to marry. And the courts are following where that public opinion has gone."