NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tony Perkins, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, was appointed president of the Family Research Council, Aug. 13. Perkins gained a pro-family reputation in Louisiana through his opposition to gambling and abortion and authorship of the nation’s first covenant marriage law.
Perkins, a member of Greenwell Springs Baptist Church appeared on the Louisiana Family Forum in 1998 for his concern about the influence of the homosexual movement.
"Rarely is there a piece of legislation passed or a court ruling handed down that doesn't affect the family," Perkins said in a statement. "I am honored to have been asked to lead the country's premier public policy organization dedicated to strengthening the family and defending the sanctity of life."
Dennis Terry, head pastor of Greenwell Springs noted, "They could not have chosen a better man. Tony Perkins is perhaps one of the godliest men I've ever known."
Perkins occasionally preaches in Terry's absence.
"He walks the walk," Terry said. "He talks the talk. He's just an unbelievable guy. ... God's given him a tremendous gift."
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religions Liberty Commission, praised the decision.
"I look forward to working with Tony on causes of common concern in our nation's capital," Land said. "He brings a powerful combination of deep commitment to moral reformation in our nation as well as tremendous political experience and skill."
Perkins' leadership in the covenant marriage issue symbolizes his "deep commitment to the family and to the moral reformation of our nation," Land said. "He remains a tremendous inspiration in this ongoing and critically important initiative to strengthen marriages around the U.S."
Focus on the Family's James Dobson, who serves on the Family Research Council board of directors, said Perkins' leadership comes at a critical time in the nation's history.
"The very bedrock of our society and nation, the institution of marriage, is under attack," Dobson said in a statement. "I can't think of anyone more prepared to lead FRC and to promote and defend the sanctity of marriage and the family at this time than Tony Perkins."
Perkins, whose term begins September 1, will be replacing Ken Connor, who resigned as president in July. Perkins is a former Marine and a former police officer. He has been married to his wife, Lawana, for 17 years. They have four children.