Perkins to Olson: ‘If Love is the Only Factor, Where Do You Draw the Boundary?’

By Penny Starr | October 14, 2014 | 3:58pm EDT

Sherwood Howard, left, embraces Nevada State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson as they get married outside of the Marriage License Bureau, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, in Las Vegas. The two had just obtained a same-sex marriage license and were the first same-sex couple married in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

(CNSNews.com) – In a debate on Fox News Sunday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins questioned Ted Olson, an attorney who fought against California’s same-sex marriage ban, about what could define marriage if love is the only consideration.

“If love is the factor, what boundaries are there?” Perkins asked Olson, a registered Republican who was on the legal team that successfully fought to have the gay marriage ban in California struck down.

“What court after court after court has said, that allowing people of the same sex to marry the person that they love, to be part of the community and to be treated equally, does no damage to heterosexual marriage,” Olson said.

Perkins continued to question Olson about whether love as the basis of marriage rather than it being defined as a very specific union between one man and one woman would eliminate all societal boundaries.

“Let me ask you, what are the boundaries, though?” Perkins said. “If it’s just love, what are the boundaries?

“Where can we go with marriage?” he asked.

Host Chris Wallace then weighed in by suggesting Perkins was insinuating that gay marriage could open the floodgates to polygamy or even bestiality.

“No, I didn’t say that,” Perkins said. “If we remove the natural established boundaries for marriage, the union of a man and woman, we have removed those boundaries, those guardrails,” Perkins said.

Earlier in the discussion, Perkins asked what Olson believes is the purpose of marriage.

“The purpose of marriage is what the Supreme Court has said 14 times,” Olson said. “It’s a fundamental right that involves privacy, association, liberty, and being with the person you love and forming a part of the community and being treated equally with the rest of society.”

Perkins disagreed.

“Marriage is not to affirm adults,” Perkins said. “It’s for the protection of children.”

A federal district court judge in Utah has, in fact, ruled in favor of Kody Brown, who is “married” to four women, one legally and the three others that he considers to be “spiritual marriages.”

In December, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups struck down part of the state’s polygamy laws, giving at least a temporary victory to the TLC “Sister Wives” reality show.

"This is what happens when marriage becomes about the emotional and sexual wants of adults, divorced from the needs of children for a mother and a father committed to each other for life," Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention said in an articlepublished by CNN about the case on Dec. 16, 2013.

"Polygamy was outlawed in this country because it was demonstrated, again and again, to hurt women and children.

“Sadly, when marriage is elastic enough to mean anything, in due time it comes to mean nothing,” Moore said.

The Utah attorney general is appealing the ruling.

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