Arizona Rep. Trent Franks has said that gay marriage threatens the nation's survival.

During an appearance on the Family Research Council's (FRC) radio program Washington Watch Weekly, Franks told the group's president, Tony Perkins, that marriage should remain a “special right” for heterosexual couples.

Franks discussed a recent House hearing he chaired on religious freedom, at which witnesses testified that the nation's increasing support for marriage equality was eroding freedoms for Christians.

“The federal Department of Justice (DoJ) has ratcheted up its attack on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by mischaracterizing it as an act of bigotry,” testified Rev. William C. Lori on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “If the label of 'bigot' sticks to our Church and many other churches – especially in court, under the Constitution – because of their teaching on marriage, the result will be church-state conflicts for many years to come.”

On the program, Franks said marriage should be limited to heterosexual couples because “that is the launching pad of the next generation.”

“And when people would come along and blur that distinction and say, 'Well, that should apply in every way' it not only is a complete undermining of the principles of family and marriage and the hope of future generations, but it completely begins to see our society break down to the extend that that foundational unit of the family that is the hope of survival of this country is diminished to the extent that it literally is a threat to the nation's survival in the long run.” (The audio is embedded in the right panel of this page.)