From Anderson Cooper 360 April 13, 2008. While discussing Rick Warren's recent statements on Larry King Live, which contradicted what he had previously said about his support for Prop 8, the Rev. Mel White slams Tony Perkins for his bigoted stance on gay marriage. Perkins, like Warren, tries to keep the rhetoric from becoming too heated (unlike the Dobsons and Falwells of the world). But as Rev. White points out, that doesn't make their message any less hateful or harmful to the gay community.
White: It's really important for people to realize that Tony and Dobson and these others have been misleading the public for so many years about sexual orientation and gender identity. It's so important to see through their half truths and their hyperbole. It's really important to realize the damage they're doing by not saying that god created us gay. God loves us gay and we should have all the rights that the American people provide to all of us. So, Tony sounds good like, like Rick but they're really saying things that are horrible and destructive.
Cooper: Tony I'll give you a quick response since it was directed to you.
Perkins: Well, I would just say what we...we..it's not true. Uh..the Bible speaks for itself.
White: The Bible says nothing about homosexuality Tony, and it's really important to quit confusing people..(crosstalk).
Perkins: Hey Mel, nonetheless I love you. Appreciate you as a human being.
White: Don't say that. The things you say about gay people lead to destruction, the breakup of families...
Perkins: No, that's not true, Mel.
White: You continue this..we love you, but we hate you.
Perkins: No, I didn't say that.
White: We love you but we don't want you to have rights.
Perkins: I didn't say that.
White: Tony I've read your material. I've monitored you for ten years. You've got to get off this anti-gay stuff because they are leaving the churches because they've seen through your fundamentalist stuff.
Perkins: Actually, Mel, you're wrong on that point. The surveys, the polling data shows that Christians churches that are preaching the truth are the ones that are gaining members. It's the mainline liberal denominations that are losing membership.
White: That's not true at all either.
So we've got religious organizations tracking polling data like we'd expect from political parties now. Isn't that special? And Rev. White is right: You cannot pretend you love gay people and then do things that inflame hatred towards the gay community or suppress their civil rights.