The world is a deeply ironic place, especially when you look at how people’s actions and words come back to haunt them. For instance, you might be familiar with the story of Tony Perkins, a homophobic bigot who claimed for years that natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes were all part of God’s plan to punish homosexuals for their sins. The irony of these statements made by Perkins is that he recently lost his home to a flood. Perhaps he was being punished by God for something far more sinister than homosexuality, like oppression and bigotry.
The story of Tony Perkins is reminiscent of a larger issue with hypocritical and judgmental members of the political spectrum. His story reminds one of another similar event that occurred in 2014. This event was centered around a different political figure, but the results were no less ironic.
Jonathan Saenz is a conservative Texan who has famously opposed the LGBT movement for more than ten years, but he was at the center of one of the most ironic events of the same time period. He was a large opponent of same-sex marriage since he thought it would lead to polygamy, incest, and other deplorable human actions. He was also highly in favor of ‘gay cure’ therapy, a controversial method of attempting to remove homosexuality from a person through therapeutic activities. There is no evidence these programs are effective, yet Saenz staunchly believes in them.
Something happened in 2011 that would leave Saenz with an even deeper hatred of the LGBT sect of society. At the time, he had been married to Corrine Saenz for about ten years, but in 2011 Corrine did something completely unexpected. She filed for divorce. While that may not seem like such a huge piece of news in a country where nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, it is big news for the reason why Corrine left Saenz. She left him to pursue a relationship she was having with another woman.
As the divorce proceeded, Saenx started to exhibit stronger signs of his hatred for LGBT people. He went from a fairly middle of the road social conservative to one of the most prominent opponents against LGBT equality in the state of Texas. He has since become even more notoriously anti-gay, and he has reached out to and joined several organizations that share his warped view of the world. Once such organization is called Texas Values, and they were once part another group that Saenz had his hand in.
One of the most vocal opponents of non-discrimination laws and same-sex marriage, Texas Values is an organization that thrives on bigotry and hate. When Corrine Saenz first filed for divorce in 2011, she cited the disparities between her own personality and Jonathan’s as the reason for the irreconcilable breakdown of the marriage. In other words, she was privy to a flood of anti-LGBT verbiage from her husband. Her husband, however, had no idea he was speaking directly to a member of that community.
Two years after Corrine first filed her own divorce papers, Jonathan did the same thing in a countersuit for divorce. He did so because he felt his wife had committed adultery during their time together. A judge during the proceedings even went so far as to ban Corrine’s partner from visiting with the children of Jonathan and Corrine. Thankfully, that decision was reversed after another judge determined Jonathan was overreaching with his claims. Documents from the divorce proceedings show that the judge decided that each parent had an equal right to train their children in moral or religious matters.