Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC), insists his anti-gay activism is motivated by love for the gay community, going so far as to compare it to saving people trapped in a burning building.

In an interview with Faith & Liberty posted this week, Perkins warned that gay rights threaten the American economy.

“This is a threat to religious liberty,” Perkins told host Dave Garrison. “And if we lose the vibrant freedom of religion that this nation was built upon, fundamental to our success as a people, we will see a rapid downward spiral of our nation, including our economy.”

When Garrison asked Perkins how he answers people who say he “hates gays,” Perkins equated his opposition to gay rights to awakening people trapped in a burning house.

“You go beating on the windows of the bedroom and you awaken them, now you've disturbed their sleep. You've wakened them up. You've disturbed them. You've made them uncomfortable because you've awakened them in the middle of the night and you've told them their house is on fire. Do you hate them because you're doing that? I would say that you're actually expressing love, profound love, by awakening them to something that is very destructive and liable to take their lives,” Perkins answered.