Political Animal


October 28, 2011 1:20 PM Congressman: gay marriage ‘a threat to the nation’s survival’

By Steve Benen

Rep. Trent Franks (R) of Arizona is quite a source of right-wing wisdom. Last week, the congressman joked, “In Arizona, sometimes to gain office you have to have shot someone,” a line Gabrille Giffords’ family probably wouldn’t appreciate.

This week, Franks chatted with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins to argue that if same-sex couples are allowed to get married, “it literally is a threat to the nation’s survival.”

“We understand that when we’re granting the rights of marriage, that that’s a special right Tony, that’s something we have suggested is clearly the best possible way to see children raised through the best possible environment to launch the next generation, we believe that with all of our hearts as a society, I think most people understand that. So we’ve set aside this special area of the law that says we’re going to respect traditional marriage of a man and a woman because that is the launching pad of the next generation. Let’s face it; we have made a special exception in the law that gives special consideration and recognition to that.

“And when people would come along and blur that distinction and say ‘well that should apply in every way’ it not only is a complete undermining of the principles of family and marriage and the hope of future generations but it completely begins to see our society break down to the extent that that foundational unit of the family that is the hope of survival of this country is diminished to the extent that it literally is a threat to the nation’s survival in the long run.”

Admittedly , it’s tough to keep track of all the instances in which Franks has been an embarrassment to himself. Remember the time he said African Americans were better off under slavery? How about the time he described President Obama as an “enemy of humanity”? Remember when he asked the House Sergeant at Arms to start looking for Muslim “spies” on congressional committees? Or when he claimed to speak for fallen American troops, saying the servicemen and women who were killed in war agree with him on economic policy?

And who can forget Franks’ talk about impeaching the president over defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court?

Remember earlier this year, when “Meet the Press” invited Franks on to discuss civility in our public discourse? I do.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • c u n d gulag on October 28, 2011 1:35 PM:

    I suggest we rename the Republican side of the House:

    The Klown Kollidge

    I can't think of even ONE of them that's not some sort of clown.

    Anyone help me with that one?

  • Gandalf on October 28, 2011 1:45 PM:

    Of all the problems and concerns we have to face in this country this asshat is deathly afraid that the queers are going to somehow turn the country into who knows what. What is he afraid of besides everything? Because gays can get married isn't going to make me the least bit curious about being gay. Maybe that's what it is for him.

  • Gummo on October 28, 2011 1:46 PM:

    So according to this guy:

    - single parents shouldn't be allowed to raise children.
    - widows or widowers shouldn't be allowed to raise children.
    - a divorced parent who has no contact with their spouse shouldn't be allowed to raise children.


    - heterosexual couples who don't intend to have children shouldn't be allowed to get married.

    Interesting world-view.

  • stormskies on October 28, 2011 1:47 PM:

    He is but a symptom of a cause. And that cause is the nature of the population of American's who elected him in the first place.

  • just bill on October 28, 2011 1:56 PM:

    these tired arguments don't get any better with age. how can these morons actually believe the shit that comes out of their mouth. i'm sure that trent's view would come as a surprise to all of the married same sex couples raising children - the next generation!


  • martin on October 28, 2011 1:58 PM:

    I'm pretty sure neither Franks nor his voter base consider any of this an embarrassment, so let's not pretend we are shaming him into submission.

    However, I do like that he says marriage is a "special right". Aren't the right wingers the ones always protesting against "special rights" for gays? Special rights for straights is not a problem?

  • SteveT on October 28, 2011 2:00 PM:

    Rep. Franks must not step out of the conservative echo chamber very often. Some states have had same-sex marriage for a few years now. And we have telephones that don't need to be plugged into a wall!

    It isn't the "homosexual agenda" that is destroying the country. It's the Republican economic agenda.

    Rep. Franks is overdue to be discovered committing lewd acts in a men's room.

  • Peter C on October 28, 2011 2:13 PM:

    So, who do we have running against this blight? The core favorability of his cohort (Congressmen) is only 9%. It shouldn't be too hard to craft a campaign around the idea that he's an embarrassment to the district, the state and the country.

    I sure hope we have some strategists who realize that when Congress' popularity is only 9%, there are no 'safe' seats, especially for these nut jobs who are so obviously part of the problem.

  • Eeyore on October 28, 2011 2:13 PM:

    I enjoy asking those who claim that gay marriage destroys families to tell me how, in very specific terms, my getting married to my husband after 35 years together would harm THEIR marriage. They usually hem and haw and say "You guys are great and we have no problem with you, but...." and then stare blankly. They don't have an answer because there is none: my marriage does not affect or threaten anyone else's marriage.

    I usually follow up with a snarky comeback saying "If we want to save traditional opposite marriage we need a Federal Anti Trophy Wife Act to prevent middle-aged men from dumping their wives for younger women (viz. Newt Gingrich, Rudi Giuliani, and John McCain).

  • sick-n-effn-tired. on October 28, 2011 2:42 PM:

    Trent? Trent? sounds gay to me .

  • LL on October 28, 2011 2:46 PM:

    Franks is a good example of how extremist republican voters will elect virtually anyone as long as they promise to piss off "liberals." His voters simply don't care that he's a useless jackass. He pisses off liberals, and makes his base of voters feels good about it. And that's pretty much all you have to do to get elected in GOP counties, especially in Arizona, where there must be something in the desert air that causes madness.

  • rrk1 on October 28, 2011 2:58 PM:

    LL - That something in the desert air doesn't cause madness. It causes stupidity.

    There is no reasoning with the likes of Franks, and those who try get pissed off, which is the desired result. These people need to be ignored since we can't yet get them their own planet.

  • bdop4 on October 28, 2011 3:21 PM:

    I'm sorry, but anyone who obsesses this much about gay marriage is a repressed gay person. It's the only rational explanation for their rampant fear of people who would otherwise have absolutely no impact on their lives.

    Homosexuality has been around since the Dawn of Man. If what Franks says has any validity, we would have never made it out of the Bronze Age.

  • Trollop on October 28, 2011 5:08 PM:


  • Schtick on October 28, 2011 5:18 PM:

    It's a threat to the nation to let slaves get an education, women get an education, to let former slaves vote, to let women vote, and you expect this mentality to think anything differenct about gays? That's why they want to go back to the 50's. It's when suppression was legal for them.

    c u n d gulag on October 28, 2011 1:35 PM:

    You have a lot of nerve insulting clowns like that.

    crapcha....ationspr tracks....tracks?

  • Jenny on October 28, 2011 8:06 PM:

  • Jim Keating on October 28, 2011 8:15 PM:

    I think we should worry about the propagation of hair lips; that is obviously a disease after all who wants them;
    just kidding he is my congressman so feel sorry for me.

  • Bob Dinitto on October 28, 2011 10:53 PM:

    What makes anyone think this nation deserves survival?

  • pj in jesusland on October 29, 2011 4:32 AM:

    "it completely begins to see our society break down to the extent that that foundational unit of the family that is the hope of survival of this country is diminished to the extent that it literally is a threat to the nationís survival in the long run."

    -- Oh, really? What's the evidence of this?

  • CDW on October 30, 2011 2:09 PM:

    Obama doesn't have much room to talk about the republicans. Not with the democrats on the super secret committee selling out seniors and the poor more or less along the lines of Obama's plan during the debt cave-in. All politicians are a bunch of grifters living off taxpayers' money.

  • CDW on October 30, 2011 2:11 PM:

    Above posted on wrong thread - obviously.