Family Research Council Is Fervently Anti-Gay

October 02, 2009 11:47 am ET

Even before its baseless attacks on Kevin Jennings, the right-wing Family Research Council had a long history of anti-gay rhetoric and activity.

The Family Research Council Was Founded To Promote Marriage, Family, "And The Sanctity Of Human Life."  According to its website, "Family Research Council (FRC) was founded in 1983 as an organization dedicated to the promotion of marriage and family and the sanctity of human life in national policy." [, accessed 10/1/09]

FRC's Extreme Position On Homosexuality

FRC: Homosexuality Is Unnatural And Harmful To Society.  According to its website, the "Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed.  It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects." [, accessed 10/1/09

FRC: "There Is No Convincing Evidence That A Homosexual Identity Is Ever Something Genetic Or Inborn."  The FRC position on homosexuality includes: "While the origins of same-sex attractions may be complex, there is no convincing evidence that a homosexual identity is ever something genetic or inborn. We oppose the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools." [, accessed 10/1/09]

FRC's Robert Knight: Acceptance Of Homosexuality Will Result In More Unwanted Pregnancies.  In his 2008 work, Chaos, Law, and God: The Religious Meanings of Homosexuality, Jay Michaelson wrote, "many critics claim that homosexuality forfeits or betrays the masculine gender role, a critique sociologist Dana Briton calls a form of 'boundary maintenance.' For example, the Family Research Council's Robert Knight has predicted that the acceptance of homosexuality will reduce the value of masculinity, which will then lead to further societal decay: '[A] s man is reduced in stature, all hell will break loose. We'll see a breakdown in social organizations, with more drug use, more disease, more unwanted pregnancies. You're mainstreaming dysfunction.'" [Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, Chaos, Law, and God: The Religious Meanings of Homosexuality, 2008]

FRC Founder Said Homosexuality Is Popular Because It Is More Pleasurable Than Heterosexual Relations.  In his 2008 work, Chaos, Law, and God: The Religious Meanings of Homosexuality, Jay Michaelson wrote that "Dr. Paul Cameron, a controversial former psychologist and founder of the Family Research Council, has said that homosexuality is threatening precisely because it is so appealing:

'Untrammeled homosexuality can take over and destroy a social system. If you isolate sexuality as something solely for one's own personal amusement, and all you want is the most satisfying orgasm you can get - and that is what homosexuality seems to be - then homosexuality seems too powerful to resist. The evidence is that men do a better job on men and women on women, if all you are looking for is orgasm .... It's pure sexuality. It's almost like pure heroin. It's such a rush. . . . Marital sex tends toward the boring end. Generally, it doesn't deliver the kind of sheer sexual pleasure that homosexual sex does.'" [Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, Chaos, Law, and God: The Religious Meanings of Homosexuality, 2008]

FRC Policy Director: "Pro-Gay Theology" Is Pathetic.  The Dallas Morning News reported that Robert Knight, Family Research Council policy director, said: "'We stick with the word of God, which is quite clear on homosexuality...You have to twist yourself into a theological pretzel to come up with a pro-gay theology. It's pathetic, the lengths they will go.'" [Dallas Morning News, 10/10/98]

FRC's Peter Sprigg: The Issue Of Homosexuality Is Not One Of Identity, It Is One Of Behavior.  In a piece critiquing Harvey Milk's posthumous Medal of Freedom award, Peter Sprigg wrote: "Pro-homosexual activists will describe the issue as one of identity - 'who they are.' But the real issue is one of behavior -- what they do. And what Harvey Milk (like other homosexual activists) wanted was not only the freedom to engage in homosexual sex, but the right to do so without ever being criticized."  [, 8/12/09]

FRC's Sprigg: I Would Prefer To Export Homosexuals.  According to Andrew Sullivan, the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg said, "I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society." [The Atlantic, "The Daily Dish," 3/20/08]

  • Sprigg Apologized To Immigration Group For "Export" Comment.  Immigration Equality received an apology from Peter Sprigg for his "export" comments: "'I used language that trivialized the seriousness of the issue and did not communicate respect for the essential dignity of every human being as a person created in the image of God,' Sprigg wrote.  'I apologize for speaking in a way that did not reflect the standards which the Family Research Council and I embrace.'" [Immigration Equality, 3/27/08]

FRC vs. American Psychological Association

APA: Therapy Unlikely To Change Sexual Orientation.  The APA's release on sexual orientation therapy said: "'Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation,' said Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, chair of the task force. 'Scientifically rigorous older studies in this area found that sexual orientation was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose.'" [, 8/5/09, emphasis added]

Therapy Mostly Taught People "To Ignore Or Not Act On Their Homosexual Attractions."  The APA's release on sexual orientation therapy said: "Glassgold added: 'At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects.'" [, 8/5/09]

  • APA: "Mental Health Professionals Should Avoid Telling Clients That They Can Change Their Sexual Orientation."  On August 5, 2009, the American Psychological Association issued a statement regarding efforts to treat sexual orientation, saying: "mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments." [, 8/5/09]
  • APA Recommended Support Services Instead Of Orientation Change Therapy.  The APA's release on sexual orientation therapy said: "The 'Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts' also advises that parents, guardians, young people and their families avoid sexual orientation treatments that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and instead seek psychotherapy, social support and educational services 'that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.'" [, 8/5/09, emphasis added]

APA Found That Some Seeking To Change Their Orientation Were Motivated By Their Religion.  The APA's release on sexual orientation therapy said: "As part of its report, the task force identified that some clients seeking to change their sexual orientation may be in distress because of a conflict between their sexual orientation and religious beliefs. The task force recommended that licensed mental health care providers treating such clients help them 'explore possible life paths that address the reality of their sexual orientation, reduce the stigma associated with homosexuality, respect the client's religious beliefs, and consider possibilities for a religiously and spiritually meaningful and rewarding life. 'In other words,' Glassgold said, 'we recommend that psychologists be completely honest about the likelihood of sexual orientation change, and that they help clients explore their assumptions and goals with respect to both religion and sexuality.'" [, 8/5/09, emphasis added]


FRC Insisted The APA Report Encouraged The Continuation Of "Sexual Orientation Change Efforts."  Despite this evidence, the Family Research Council wrote under the heading "APA and Media Play Mind Games over Ex-Gay Therapy":

"Promoting the belief that people are 'born gay' and cannot change is crucial to the homosexual agenda of equating sexual orientation with race and the identification of homosexual conduct with the civil rights movement. Unfortunately for them, facts--like the existence of thousands of 'ex-gays'--are stubborn things. Politically correct attacks on the ex-gay movement continued yesterday with the American Psychological Association's adoption of a resolution discouraging what they call 'sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).'

This led to a predictable round of headlines today saying things like 'Gay Therapies Unsound' and 'Psychologists Reject Gay Therapy.' The APA's actual scientific findings were much more modest, however, declaring, 'There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether or not recent SOCE do or do not work' [emphasis added]. Ironically, it is largely the pro-homosexual forces in the APA which have prevented 'studies of adequate scientific rigor' to make more definitive conclusions. Claims that such therapy is actually harmful, meanwhile, are supported by only anecdotal rather than scientific evidence.

Yesterday's report could have been worse, since some homosexual activists want sexual reorientation therapy to be flatly declared unethical--something the APA declined to do. Instead, the APA should re-affirm the profession's traditional ethical commitment to letting every client, including those unhappy with their homosexuality, set their own goals for therapy. The Left's growing problem with professional ethics and valid medical standards continues to grow." [, accessed 10/1/09]

Family Research Council Opposes "Counterfeit Marriage"

FRC: Same-Sex Marriage Would Falsify The Institution Of Marriage.  The FRC asserts that "Attempts to join two men or two women in 'marriage' constitute a radical redefinition and falsification of the institution, and FRC supports state and federal constitutional amendments to prevent such redefinition by courts or legislatures.   Sympathy must be extended to those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions, and every effort should be made to assist such persons to overcome those attractions, as many already have." [, accessed 10/1/09]

Sprigg: Same-Sex Couples Do Not Benefit Society, So Are Not Due The Benefits Of Society.  On February 28, 2008 Peter Sprigg, the Vice President for Policy at the Family Research Council, testified to the Judiciary Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates on the issue of same-sex marriage.  Sprigg testified: "Society does not give 'benefits' to marriage because individuals want them or would be helped by them. Society gives 'benefits' to marriage because marriage gives benefits to society. Therefore, when those who are not married, such as people in homosexual or cohabiting relationships, seek to receive such public 'benefits,' they bear the burden of proof. They must show that such relationships benefit society (not just themselves) in the same way and to the same degree that the authentic, natural institution of marriage between a man and a woman does. This is a burden they cannot meet." [, accessed 10/1/09]

Sprigg: Same-Sex Couples Are Not Entitled To The Legal And Financial Benefits Of Marriage.  On February 28, 2008 Peter Sprigg, the Vice President for Policy at the Family Research Council, testified to the Judiciary Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates on the issue of same-sex marriage.  Sprigg testified: "The legal and financial 'benefits' of marriage are not an entitlement for every citizen regardless of lifestyle. They give an incentive to enter into the socially beneficial relationship of authentic marriage, and give protection to the social institution of marriage. Awarding such benefits to the unmarried makes no more sense than giving veterans' benefits to people who never served in the military." [, accessed 10/1/09]

"Ten Facts About Counterfeit Marriage." The Family Research Council posted a document titled "Ten Facts About Counterfeit Marriage" that laid out ten reasons why same-sex, or "counterfeit," marriage should not be allowed in the United States.  Those ten reasons are:

1. Homosexual marriage degrades a time-honored institution  

Homosexual marriage is an empty pretense that lacks the fundamental sexual complementariness of male and female. And like all counterfeits, it cheapens and degrades the real thing...

2. Homosexual marriage would radically redefine marriage to include virtually any sexual behavior.

Once marriage is no longer confined to a man and a woman, and the sole criterion becomes the presence of "love" and "mutual commitment," it is impossible to exclude virtually any "relationship" between two or more partners of either sex...

3. Homosexual marriage is not a civil rights issue

Defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman would not deny homosexuals the basic civil rights accorded other citizens. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights or in any legislation proceeding from it are homosexuals excluded from the rights enjoyed by all citizens--including the right to marry...

4. Upholding traditional marriage is not "discrimination"

Discrimination occurs when someone is unjustly denied some benefit or opportunity. But it must first be demonstrated that such persons deserve to be treated equally regarding the point in question. For example, FAA and airline regulations rightly discriminate regarding who is allowed into the cockpit of an airplane. Those who are not trained pilots have no rightful claim to "discrimination" because they are denied the opportunity to fly an airplane...Although not strictly comparable, radically altering the definition of marriage can also pose dangers to society in much the same way as permitting unqualified individuals to fly airplanes.

5. Any comparison with interracial marriage is phony

Laws against interracial marriage sought to add a requirement to marriage that is not intrinsic to the institution of marriage. Allowing a black man to marry a white woman, or vice versa, does not change the fundamental definition of marriage, which requires a man and a woman. Homosexual marriage, on the other hand, is the radical attempt to discard this most basic requirement for marriage. Those who claim that some churches held interracial marriage to be morally wrong fail to point out that such "moral objection" to interracial marriage stemmed from cultural factors rather than historic and widely-accepted biblical teaching.

6. Homosexual marriage would subject children to unstable home environments

Many homosexuals and their sex partners may sincerely believe they can be good parents. But children are not guinea pigs for grand social experiments in redefining marriage, and should not be placed in settings that are unsuitable for raising children.  

  • Transient relationships: While a high percentage of married couples remain married for up to 20 years or longer, with many remaining wedded for life, the vast majority of homosexual relationships are short-lived and transitory...
  • Serial promiscuity: Studies indicate that while three-quarters or more of married couples remain faithful to each other, homosexual couples typically engage in a shocking degree of promiscuity...

7. Homosexual activists have a political agenda: to radically redefine the institution of marriage

Homosexual activists admit that their goal is not simply to make the definition of marriage more "inclusive," but to remake it in their own hedonistic image. Paula Ettelbrick, former legal director of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, states, "Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and ... transforming the very fabric of society." ...

8. If victorious, the homosexual agenda will lead to the persecution of those who object on moral or religious grounds

If homosexual marriage becomes the law of the land, then children in public schools will be taught that homosexuality is a normative lifestyle, and that gay households are just another "variant" style of family.  Those who object may find themselves on the wrong side of the law...

9. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans reject same-sex marriage

Public opinion remains firmly opposed to the redefinition of marriage. A May 2008 Gallup Poll asked the question: "Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid?" Respondents opposed homosexual marriage by a margin of 56 percent (opposed) to 40 percent (agreeing). Respondents to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll in October 2007 rejected same-sex marriage by the same margins.

10. Support for traditional marriage translates into ballot initiatives and laws around the country

Because of strong public support for traditional marriage, same-sex marriage advocates have attempted to circumvent public opinion by redefining marriage through the courts.   Despite some victories, such as in Massachusetts and California where the courts have mandated same-sex marriage, there is a strong national movement to protect traditional marriage. A total of 45 states have instituted protections for traditional marriage either through state constitutional amendments or through laws:

  • 26 states prohibit same-sex marriage in their state constitutions.
  • 19 states currently prohibit same-sex marriage through statute only.

In addition, in 2008-9 several more states will be considering ballot initiatives to protect traditional marriage, including Florida and California.   Others, such as Indiana and Pennsylvania, will be voting to institute laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman. [, accessed 10/1/09]

FRC & Values Voter Summit Promoted Anti-Gay Agenda

FRC Action Sponsored The 2009 Values Voter Summit.  Family Research Council Action sponsored the 2009 Values Voter Summit, held in Washington, DC.  [, accessed 10/1/09]

Values Voter Summit Co-Sponsors Included Several Right-Wing Organizations.  The co-sponsors of the Values Voter Summit included: the American Family Association, Focus on the Family Action, American Values, the Family Research Council, and the Heritage Foundation.  [, accessed 10/1/09]

Values Voter Summit Included A Workshop On Fighting The "Homosexual Agenda In Public Schools."  The Summit included a break-out workshop titled "True Tolerance: Countering the Homosexual Agenda in Public Schools," and featured Focus on the Family Action Education Analyst Candi Cushman as the speaker.  [, accessed 10/1/09]

Values Voter Summit Included A Defense Of Marriage Workshop.  The Summit included a break-out workshop titled "Marriage: Why It's Worth Defending and How Redefining It Threatens Religious Liberty."  Featured speakers were: Charles Donovan, Senior Research Fellow, the Heritage Foundation; Thomas Messner, Visiting Fellow, the Heritage Foundation; Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President, Ruth Institute. [, accessed 10/1/09]

  • Summit Marriage Workshop Meant To Teach Attendees On How To Keep Traditional Marriage As The Status Quo. The defense of marriage workshop was summarized as: "Redefining marriage poses serious threats to the religious liberties of people who continue to believe that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. This understanding of marriage is an important religious belief for many Americans, but the freedom to express it will come under growing pressure as courts, public officials, and private institutions come to regard the traditional understanding of marriage as a form of irrational prejudice that should be purged from public life. This briefing will focus on policy and legal developments, as well as how to communicate the link between marriage and religious liberty." [, accessed 10/1/09]