Did Tony Perkins Just Destroy Chris Christie’s Presidential Campaign?

chris-christie-jobsOn Fox News Sunday, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, compared same-sex marriage to interfamily relationships. Again. Perkins spends a lot of time on cable news programs, spewing his misinformation and hate, but this time he may have done some damage. Not to the LGBT community; to Chris Christie. During his comparison, Perkins referenced an article in New York Magazine, about a woman who wants to marry her biological father. Setting aside the incredible “ish” factor, the state in which Dad and Daughter want to call home has no laws prohibiting marriage between adults who are immediately related. That state is New Jersey.


New Jersey is governed by none other than Super Catholic Chris Christie, who is opposed to same-sex marriage. In 2013, his administration filed a brief, defending the 2006 Civil Union Act, which gives same-sex couples “all the benefits of marriage yet bars them from actually getting married.” Unfortunately for New Jersey conservatives, same-sex marriage became legal in October of that same year. Adult interfamily sexual relationships, however, have always been legal. Of all the brother/sister, father/daughter, etc. couples in all of the U.S. (God, I hope there aren’t a lot), Tony Perkins chose the one headed to New Jersey.

Political analysts have mused that Chris Christie’s lack of fight against his state’s legalization of same-sex marriage might hurt him if he decides to run for president. I think the fact that family members over the age of 18 can get married in New Jersey might hurt more. Given how often the right-wing compares interfamily sexual relationships to gay marriage, they obviously think that they’re really, really bad.

The piece in New York Magazine begins by explaining something called “Genetic Sexual Attraction:”

In the late ’80s, the founder of a support group for adopted children who had recently reconnected with their biological relatives coined the term “Genetic Sexual Attraction” (GSA) to describe the intense romantic and sexual feelings that she observed occurring in many of these reunions. According to an article in The Guardian, experts estimate that these taboo feelings occur in about 50 percent of cases where estranged relatives are reunited as adults (GSA’s discoverer had herself become attracted to the son she’d adopted out when she met him 26 years later, but her feelings were not reciprocated).

According to the article, consensual physical relationships between fathers and daughters is “the least reported and perhaps the most taboo sort of GSA relationship.” Which is why the 18-year-old girl interviewed by New York Magazine and her father/fiancé are moving to New Jersey. They also want to have children. I can’t…just here, from the article:

Q-So would you have kids together, or would you adopt?
A-We’ll have kids together.

Q-Do you ever call him Dad?
A-When I need my dad I say, “Hey, Dad, I need you.” And then he’s not going to be my fiancé or my boyfriend, but my father. 

Chris Christie, who opposes marriage equality and abortion, seemingly has no problem at all with an 18-year-old girl marrying her father and having children with him. As The Nation pointed out last year, Christie is a pretty conservative guy, highlighted by his defunding of Planned Parenthood, his vetoing of funds for clinics that provide pap smears, mammograms, and other health screening for women, and his opposition to marriage equality.


But it gets worse for Governor Christie, as shown in this Mother Jones map of the legality of human-on-animal relations. And guess what? Totally legal in New Jersey. Also Texas and Florida. Last year, Alabama finally outlawed this, but not Jersey. Abortions are bad, doing you-know-what with a horse is fine. Other states where it’s perfectly legal to get your freak on with livestock are Hawaii, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Vermont,  New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia. There’s a joke in there somewhere about DC.

To recap: you can have relations with the state animal of New Jersey (the horse), and marry your own parent, but the state’s governor has a problem with gay people tying the knot.

This article is not about an 18-year-old girl who thinks marrying her own father is okay. This piece is highlighting actual, tangible, in-your-face hypocrisy. A conservative politician who has gone on the record against marriage equality governs a state where adult interfamily sexual relationships are legal, as are Rick Santorum’s weird fascination with acts involving man’s best friend. The two horrible things conservatives use to insult, demean, and attack gay marriage. Will Rick Santorum mention New Jersey the next time he prattles on about man-on-pet relations? Will Tony Perkins, the next time he appears on MSNBC or Fox, choose a different false equivalence?  Will anyone give a rat’s butt that Chris Christie opposes gay marriage, but accepts defiling horses and adult interfamily sexual relationships in his state?

Probably not. Because they won’t hear about it on Fox.



Erin Nanasi

Erin Nanasi is the creator of The Bachmann Diaries: Satirical Excerpts from Michele Bachmann's Fictional Diary. She hates writing about herself in the third person. Erin enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family. And wombats. Come visit Erin on on Facebook. She also can be found on Twitter at @WriterENanasi.

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  • Jim Bean

    GSA’s and LGBT’s are EQLS.

    • XansMom

      Look at you getting all excited about the prospect of doing your own kids. Creepy.

    • DCKeene

      Idi0t.

    • GenerallyConfused

      The fact that you think that speaks volumes about you as a person.

    • Cemetery Girl

      Marrying a close family member isn’t my cup of tea, but if it is legal then it’s legal. The taboo comes from weakening the family line. Our current understanding of genetics supports that reproducing with close family members will increase passing on genetic conditions. Homosexuality was a taboo in some cultures because a homosexual relationship wouldn’t produce children. Children were needed. In an agricultural society (which our country once was) having children was creating a labor force and ensuring in old age there would be a caregiver. Our society has shifted. We don’t have children to help in farming and domestic work, so the more children the better isn’t the case. We rely on healthcare services now, not the expectation that a relative will care for us in our old age. Our needs have changed, but that doesn’t mean we have to in force outdated needs.

    • CaribeTraveller

      No, they are not.

      • Jim Bean

        You’re credentials to make that call are what, exactly?

      • Cemetery Girl

        Other than you view both as distasteful, how are they equal?

      • Jim Bean

        R 2

  • Macdoodle

    Marrying ones own father is no less deviant than 2 men or 2 women getting married.

    • DCKeene

      Cept, father-daughter kids’ll have three arms, six noses and complete RWNJ mor0ns for parents.

    • Bill Grant

      It’s ok….I think two conservatives getting married is just as deviant as marrying ones own father, especially since you know that in both cases those kids are gonna have psycho-sociological problems.

    • GenerallyConfused

      So you’ve thought about this in length, then? Those that point fingers about deviant behaviour are rarely innocent of it themselves.

      • Beartx

        Isn’t your post the same as pointing fingers?

      • GenerallyConfused

        Umm… I wasn’t pointing fingers; I was simply asking a question and making an observation. Interpret that as you wish.

  • Twoolf

    Someone needs to give that father and daughter an intro course in genetics, especially reinforced recessives. “Will you have that baby with one head, or two?”

    • Jason

      Genetic defects only stand a .05% greater chance of being passed in such cases.

      • Di Kelley

        The issue being it raises the chances of that child passing them on to theirs. We saw it in the great British dynasties where a great number of them had hemophilia and mental disorders that were connected to recessive genes.

  • PeaceThruNoParties

    There are antiquated laws all over America and the absence of a law prohibiting something does mean a governor is for it. By that logic, the governor of a state would be against things that are outlawed. For example, in New York you’re not allowed to walk around on Sunday with an ice cream cone in your pocket. It doesn’t mean the governor is against ice cream.

  • Eg Kbbs

    When folks deny marriage in the family, other than religious reasons the prime reason given from natural law is that the odds of illness from recessive genes increases dramatically. It also means that the family formed of relatives has limited exposure to a variety of coping styles.

    I fully realize that because estates in some cultures (including the USA) were equally divided among the heirs and a few such splits resulted in plots of land too small to farm, it was somewhat usual for cousins to marry in order to join the land back together. So not entirely without precedent.

    But for a teenager to marry her father is certainly going to get the Perkins crowd riled up. After all, what if Warren Jeffs had just moved to Jersey ?

    OTOH – I don’t think Perkins killed Christies chances. Christie killed Christie’s chances long ago.

    • Eg Kbbs

      BTW – I definitely see the hypocrisy screaming. Deny LGBT marriages but no problem with marriage within the family. (And wondering how to assure that the young lady isn’t marrying after years of mind control from the father.)

  • Nancy

    I think that ship already sailed. 🙂

  • atromos

    I would expect this lack of research from FOX, not you. NJ General Statute Sec. 37:1-1 prohibits marriage between direct descendants and ancestors, I.e., a father and his daughter. It also prohibits marriage to animals. Do your research!

    • Susan Wood

      Thank you! I was scratching my head with bewilderment, wondering how New Jersey had managed not to have a law on the books against marriage between close relatives.

  • Nanny

    Marrying your own father is sick and not genetic. It’s mental. Not ok.