10 Things You Might Not Have Known About the Family Research Council

by Charles Joughin

As the rabidly anti-LGBT Family Research Council begins its Values Voter Summit, HRC calls out 10 reasons to distrust the SPLC-labeled Hate Group

WASHINGTON – This Friday the Family Research Council (FRC) is set to kick off its “Values Voter Summit,” an annual conclave of politicians, candidates, thought leaders and activists who gather in our nation’s capital to discuss a myriad of issues and ideas germane to FRC’s extremist agenda.  The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has deemed the organization an anti-LGBT hate group and the Summit has been condemned frequently over the years for its inclusion of many radical participants.  This year, in anticipation of the 2014 Value Voter Summit, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has published a list of ten grievances exposing a select few of FRC’s most extreme anti-LGBT positions and actions. 

1.FRC’s Values Voters Summit, an influential watering hole for many anti-LGBT politicians with national ambitions, provides a platform for candidates to spew anti-LGBT vitriol, including Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee. At past Values Voters Summits, speakers have compared same-sex couples getting married to illegal drug use and people marrying children and dogs. 

2.With more than $50 million raised over the last four years reported to the IRS, FRC promotes the dangerous – and debunked – idea that people can and should try to change their sexual orientation, and that even if you can’t stop “involuntary attraction,” you can just not act on it. Easy, right? Except every major medical and mental health organization in the country has condemned practices aimed at trying to change a person’s sexual orientation.  Why does FRC continue to rely on discredited research and anecdotal evidence?

3.FRC says the best way to keep young people from committing suicide is to make sure they all know homosexuality is wrong, and to avoid creating welcoming environments for people who may be questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity.  FRC’s Peter Sprigg: “the most effective way of reducing teen suicide attempts is not to create a positive social environment for the affirmation of homosexuality. Instead, it would be to discourage teens from self-identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.”

4.FRC hates Girl Scout Cookies and the Girl Scouts who sell them, just because the Girl Scouts of the USA are open to all girls, including transgender scouts. FRC has sought to publicly shame transgender scouts for being themselves and the organization that supports them.  And FRC previously supported the Boy Scouts for excluding gay scouts, but now they hate them too.  When the Boy Scouts of American (BSA) was still considering changing its policy to allow openly gay scouts, FRC paid a lot of money to run an ad in the nation’s largest newspaper to oppose it.  It later said lifting the ban would “dramatically alter the culture and moral landscape of America.”

5.FRC thinks that transgender people “threaten the public safety of women and children” when given access to necessary legal rights and protections. According to FRC’s Peter Sprigg, trans women are either peeping toms, rapists or pedophiles.  Yet Sprigg offers no evidence to back up this assertion.  That’s because it’s entirely false.  What is true is that trans people face exponentially higher levels of discrimination and prejudice than people who are not transgender, thanks in large part to the harmful and misleading propaganda distributed by groups like FRC.

6.FRC thinks that businesses should be allowed to discriminate against LGBT people simply because of who they are.  They assert a personal religious belief ought to be reason enough for a business to deny service to someone if they find that person’s sexual orientation or gender identity objectionable.  Religious respect is a core American value just like respect for other differences.  But when individuals or businesses go out into the commercial market, they must abide by non-discrimination provisions.  So if lesbian grandmothers show up to a hotel with their grandchildren during a trip to a national memorial or park, the local hotel shouldn’t be able to turn them away because the owners or staff’s personal religious beliefs disagree with the women’s existence.

7.FRC fought against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and claimed that “homosexuality helped create” the military’s problem with sexual assault.  False. UCLA’s Palm Center released a report, “One Year Out: An Assessment of DADT Repeal’s Impact on Military Readiness” and responded directly to FRC’s shocking claim about sexual assault.  “Despite warnings about an increase in assaults,” the report reads, “we did not uncover any evidence suggesting that DADT repeal has led to a rise in violence among service members.”

8.FRC thinks gay people should be imprisoned and that our very existence should be outlawed.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: “Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?”
FRC’s Peter Sprigg: “…I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.” 
Matthews: “So, we should outlaw gay behavior?”
Sprigg: “Yes.”
Us watching from home: “…”

9.FRC, suggesting that gay people are harmful to society, wants President Obama and the U.S. government to stop advocating against the archaic criminal punishment of LGBT people around the world, and quit “forc[ing] acceptance of the world's gays and lesbians.”  There are millions of LGBT people around the world who live in fear and isolation under the rule of governments that criminalize their very identities, often with harsh prison sentences – or worse.  FRC thinks it’s wrong for U.S. government to use its power and influence to champion LGBT equality abroad, suggesting, “Our global neighbors have the freedom to believe that homosexuality is wrong--just as they have the freedom to legislate against any behavior they think is harmful to society.”

10.FRC claims that LGBT activists “work to normalize sex with boys,” seek to “abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order” – these lies are just a few of the many reasons the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies them a Hate Group.

FRC’s goals, mission and message are completely out of step with the vast majority of Americans – and even Republicans.  Each year at the Values Voter Summit since 2007, the group conducts a straw poll on candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president.  And each year the poll has been conducted, voters have chosen a candidate that has gone on to be soundly defeated in the Republican primary.  The views of those attending the Summit don’t match those of the broader GOP, and most certainly don’t match the American public’s positions.  This week HRC President Chad Griffin signed onto a letter with the Southern Poverty Law Center and a number of other pro-equality organizations, calling on the Republican Party to begin distancing itself and its candidates from the Summit. 

For more information on FRC and the 10 anti-LGBT statements or positions above, click here.  

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.


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