A protestor walks away as police in riot gear advance on the crowd after a 10 p.m. curfew went into effect in the wake of Monday's riots following the funeral for Freddie Gray, April 28, 2015, in Baltimore.
Photo by David Goldman/AP

A misguided attempt to connect Baltimore, same-sex marriage

Understanding the complexities of developments in Baltimore is difficult and time consuming. Recent developments – and some developments that aren’t so recent at all – touch on all kinds of societal factors related to the criminal justice system, race, education, law enforcement, and economics.
But to connect Baltimore and marriage equality is a real stretch.
[Tuesday] on “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins hosted Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, to discuss the anti-marriage-equality rally outside of the Supreme Court that both had attended that morning.
During the interview, Flores bizarrely suggested that gay marriage will somehow lead to a breakdown of the family model and an increased number of single-parent-led households, contributing to poverty and the conditions which led to the Baltimore riots:
Alas, this is not a joke. The report from Right Wing Watch published the audio clip of their discussion.
The FRC chief argued that the “redefinition of marriage” would “accelerate” societal problems, which the Texas congressman said is “exactly right.”

Flores added, “You look at what’s going on in Baltimore today, you know, you see issues that are raised there. And healthy marriages are the ones between a man and a woman because they can have a healthy family and they can raise children in the way that’s best for their future, not only socially but psychologically, economically, from a health perspective.
“There’s just nothing like traditional marriage that does that for a child. Each of us has a mother and a father, and there’s just no way to get around that.”
If policymakers want to have a serious conversation about the sweeping effects of mass incarceration, and the impact it has on families, that’s a terrific idea. But to connect same-sex marriage and unrest in Baltimore is very hard to take seriously.
If Bill Flores’ name sounds familiar to regular readers, the Texas Republican speculated last summer about House GOP efforts to impeach President Obama, and in 2013, Flores backed a measure to impeach then-Attorney General Eric Holder.
Two years ago, Flores sought federal disaster aid after a plant explosion in his West, Texas, district, despite Flores’ vote against federal disaster aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy.