Family Research Council was founded by right-wing religious leaders in 1983 to promote “the idea Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society.” FRC and its leaders have hateful opinions on Muslims (FRC has argued they don’t deserve Constitutional Rights), Jewish people (FRC claims they control the Democratic Party), gay men (FRC says they are pedophiles), trans people (FRC writes that they are mentally ill and don’t deserve medical care) and Planned Parenthood (FRC calls the organization “complicit” with sex trafficking and responsible for the “decimation of the African-American community”). FRC has also applauded laws that call for the execution of LGBTQ+ people (FRC said such laws lead to “repentance”), as well as anti-abortion policies in service of white supremacy (FRC thinks they’re good).
While FRC has had an impact on conservative policies for decades, it has become an especially important player in the American right under President Tony Perkins. Perkins’ unabashed support of former President Donald Trump granted the group significant influence on U.S. policy during the Trump administration, culminating in Perkins’ appointment as the chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) from 2019-2020. Additionally, former HHS Secretary Alex Azar sat down with Perkins on numerous occasions.
Last updated: 10/4/22
FRC and its leaders hold and espouse extreme and hateful views regarding abortion
FRC supports criminalizing abortion and over-the-counter birth control, opposes research that relies on fetal tissue and supports denying healthcare to LGBTQ people.
FRC advocates for equal protection under the law for zygotes, embryos, and fetuses — criminalizing all forms of abortion and many types of birth control. “On its website, the group advocates for ‘equal protection under the law’ for zygotes, embryos, and fetuses. In practice, this kind of ‘personhood’ policy would outlaw and criminalize abortion and certain kinds of birth control.” [Rewire.News, 5/10/19]
Rewire.News: “FRC also opposes over-the-counter contraception (including hormonal birth control and the morning-after pill).” [Rewire.News, 5/10/19]
Rewire.News: “Advocates allowing health-care providers to claim religious objections to providing essential care to patients.” [Rewire.News, 5/10/19]
Rewire.News: “[FRC] Opposes fetal tissue research.” [Rewire.News, 5/10/19]
FRC and its leaders attack Planned Parenthood, calling the organization supportive of “gendercide,” incompatible with Christianity, and an enabler of human trafficking.
FRC published a document falsely claiming that Planned Parenthood supports “gendercide.” “Planned Parenthood has also shown support for gendercide. ‘Protect Our Girls,’ Live Action’s 2012 video project highlighting gendercide in America, exposed Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas, Arizona, New York, Hawaii, and North Carolina encouraging women to get sex-selective abortions for unborn girls they did not want.” [FRC, “The Real Planned Parenthood: Leading the Culture of Death 2019 Edition, Page 6, 2019]
FRC published a blog which claimed that Planned Parenthood is “aimed at…the eradication of an entire generation of [African-American] children.” “February is Black History Month, and we are reminded of the many African-Americans who have made remarkable contributions to our great country. Sadly, I am reminded also of the huge number of African-American babies aborted every day in the United States snuffing out enormous future potential from this community… The exposure of these actions by Planned Parenthood employees reminds us again how seriously divisive this hateful behavior is. The conduct of Planned Parenthood should fuel a revolt to end taxpayer funding of this organization. The decimation of the African-American community should ignite a movement aimed at stopping the eradication of an entire generation of children by removing African-Americans from the crosshairs of the Planned Parenthood abortionists.” [FRC Blog, 2/19/09]
FRC President Tony Perkins claimed that Christianity and Planned Parenthood are incompatible. “Perkins, however, suggests that Christianity and Planned Parenthood are incompatible. ‘A straightforward reading of the Bible shows that since the beginning God held human life to be sacred, and values human life, no matter the stage,’ Perkins says. ‘I imagine that Christians, supposed or true, who support Planned Parenthood either do not fully understand what abortion is, what its physical and emotional consequences are or what Planned Parenthood as an organization actually stands for and advocates.’” [Right Wing Watch, 6/10/14]
FRC published a document titled “The Link Between Pornography, Sex Trafficking, And Abortion…”
…FRC cited debunked Live Action videos for proof that Planned Parenthood enables sex trafficking. “By committing abortions on women who are sexually exploited and not reporting the abuse, Planned Parenthood is complicit in the abuse. The ‘treatment’ that Planned Parenthood supplies often includes abortion. Planned Parenthood commits roughly 330,000 abortions annually, one-third of all U.S. abortions. The determination of Planned Parenthood to cover up sex trafficking and provide abortions was dramatically documented in a series of undercover videos conducted by Live Action in 2011.” [“The Link Between Pornography, Sex Trafficking, and Abortion,” Page 8, November 2017]
- Live Action videos are known to be deceptively edited to advance their agenda. “Anti-abortion group Live Action released (another) misleading video about Planned Parenthood’s health care practices on Monday… Live Action’s video is, of course, not the anti-abortion movement’s first attempt at misleading the public into thinking Planned Parenthood has a secret agenda. Live Action released similarly deceptive videos in 2012.” [HuffPost, 1/26/17]
FRC’s “Prayer Team” led a prayer asking for God to “grant America national repentance of the evil of abortion.” “Lord, thank you for those like Allan Parker and so many others who have labored for many decades to stop abortion, including Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano whose testimonies of repentance, faith, and forgiveness is open for all to see. Please grant America national repentance of the evil of abortion. May the Lord pour out the bottled-up prayers of his people, make this the year the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the ruling that, since 1973, has led to the shed blood of over 60 million innocent, unborn babies. God have mercy upon America!” [FRC Prayer Team, 10/02/19]
FRC claimed that climate change is a conspiracy theory designed to increase abortions by stoking fears of overpopulation.
FRC claimed that climate change “just another excuse to fund” abortion providers. “Good thing the Family Research Council is here to remind us, via email: ‘Today isn’t just another reminder to use recycled paper or drive energy-efficient cars. It’s a calculated attack on the sanctity of human life. Population control is inextricably linked to the environmental and abortion movements. […] The crisis du jour is global warming, but even that is just another excuse to fund ‘Planet’ Parenthood and similar groups.’” [American Prospect, 4/22/08]
FRC leaders have a history of making antisemitic and Islamophobic statements
FRC President Tony Perkins Has Made antisemitic comments.
FRC President Tony Perkins lamented support for equal marriage and abortion rights among “liberal Jewish folk.” “In a June address to the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council lamented the support for same-sex marriage and abortion rights among ‘liberal Jewish folk.’ Perkins cited the rise of gay rights as a sign that American society is abandoning the Bible, warning that the U.S. may next disregard biblical directives to support Israel.” [Right Wing Watch, 7/09/14]
FRC President Tony Perkins claimed that Democratic senators are “mostly aligned with a lot of the Jewish lobby” and “enjoy money coming from the Jewish community.” “Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made an interesting observation on his radio show yesterday. Speaking about the confirmation of Chuck Hagel, Perkins mused about the ‘irony’ that Hagel, whom he considers to be anti-Israel, was backed by Democratic senators who are ‘mostly aligned with a lot of the Jewish lobby’ and ‘enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community.’” [Right Wing Watch, 2/28/13]
FRC leaders have a history of Islamphobic comments, as well.
FRC President Tony Perkins said that Islam is incompatible with the Constitution and should not be considered a religion under the first amendment. “‘Religious freedom and our liberty is ordered liberty under the Constitution,’ Perkins said. ‘And as [then-GOP presidential candidate] Dr. [Ben] Carson pointed out, and I know this is driving the left crazy, that Islam is not just a religion, Islam is an economic system, it is a judicial system, it is a compressive system which is incompatible with the Constitution. That’s what Dr. Carson said and he happens to be correct.’” [Right Wing Watch, 9/22/15]
FRC Executive Vice President William Boykin said that there should be “no Mosques in America” because Islam is “not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life” and that Muslims do not have First Amendment rights. “While speaking with Fischer, Boykin declared, ‘no mosques in America.’ He later added that Muslims do not have First Amendment rights because Islam ‘is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.’” [Right Wing Watch, 9/07/11]
While working for the George W. Bush administration, FRC Executive Vice President William Boykin claimed that military operations against Islamic militants were part of a “Christian struggle against Satan.” “The comments by Mr. Bush were his first in public about Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, the deputy under-secretary of defense for intelligence and war-fighting. General Boykin has likened the battle against Islamic militants to a Christian struggle against Satan and said at evangelical gatherings that a militant Muslim militia leader in Somalia worshiped an ‘idol’ and not ‘a real God.’” [New York Times, 10/23/03]
FRC President Tony Perkins claimed that former President Donald Trump’s immigration policy is “biblical”
FRC President Tony Perkins claimed that the Trump administration’s immigration policy is “biblical” because the Bible “speaks to the rule of law” after the revelation of the child separation policy. “Tony Perkins, president of the conservative nonprofit Family Research Council and a longtime Trump ally, said Monday on CNN that although the Bible calls Christians to care for the poor and immigrant, this divine directive has limits…‘Scripture does speak to the poor, it does speak to the immigrant, but it also speaks to the rule of law,’ Perkins told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. ‘In fact, in almost every instance you read in the Old Testament about taking in the poor, immigrant and stranger, it is then that they have an obligation to operate by your customs and laws. It’s the assimilation, it’s the rule of law.’” [HuffPost, 11/06/18]
FRC is designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group for its strong anti-LGBTQ views
FRC is designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.
FRC is a Southern Poverty Law Center-recognized hate group for its extreme anti-LGBTQ ideology. “The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people as the organization battles against same-sex marriage, hate crime laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.” [SPLCenter.org, Accessed 11/19/19]
FRC leaders and writers claimed that LGBTQ activists are pedophiles who want to abolish all age of consent laws.
A former FRC author published a booklet titled “Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys” which falsely claimed that LGBTQ+ advocates wanted to abolish all age of consent laws. “While at the FRC, Knight also co-wrote (with Robert York, a former editor at Focus on the Family) a 1999 booklet with the attention-getting title of Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys. Among its more remarkable claims was the baseless assertion that ‘one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.’” [Southern Poverty Law Center, 10/07/11]
FRC President Tony Perkins said pedophilia is a “homosexual problem” and that “homosexual activists” are “part of a concerted effort” to “recruit…kids into the ‘gay lifestyle.’” “According to Perkins, pedophilia ‘is a homosexual problem’ that seeks to ‘recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of the new sexual order.’ Gay men are ‘more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men”; in fact, ‘homosexuals have entered the [Boy] Scouts in the past for predatory purposes.’ What’s worse, ‘homosexual activists”—those “intolerant,” ‘hateful,’ ‘vile’ and ‘spiteful’ predators—aren’t just content to engage in pedophilia: They’re also ‘part of a concerted effort’ to ‘recruit … kids’ into the gay ‘lifestyle.’” [Slate, 9/25/13]
Former FRC Senior Policy Fellow Peter Sprigg claimed that gay men are mentally ill and that they are more likely to be pedophiles. “Other anti-gay propagandists at the FRC include Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies, who joined the organization in 2001. Sprigg authored a 2010 brochure touting ‘The Top Ten Myths about Homosexuality.’ In the brochure, Sprigg claimed that ex-gay therapy works, that sexual orientation can change, that gay people are mentally ill simply because homosexuality makes them that way, and that, ‘Sexual abuse of boys by adult men is many times more common than consensual sex between adult men, and most of those engaging in such molestation identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual.’” [SPLCenter.org, Accessed 11/19/19]
Former FRC Senior Policy Fellow Peter Sprigg said he would like to deport gay people from the United States because “homosexuality is destructive to society”.
Former FRC Senior Policy Fellow Peter Sprigg said he “would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States” because “homosexuality is destructive to society.” Discussing his opposition to the Uniting American Families Act — ’ which would allow gay Americans the same right straight Americans have to sponsor a foreign partner for citizenship’ — Family Research Council Vice President Peter Sprigg recently offered rhetorical support for exporting gay men and women from America. ‘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,’ said Sprigg.” [Think Progress, 3/20/08]
FRC claimed that the best way to reduce the LGBTQ+ teen suicide rate is to encourage LGBTQ+ youth to not identify as LGBTQ+.
FRC claimed that anti-bullying policies encourage LGBTQ+ youth to commit suicide and the best way to drop the teen suicide rate amongst LGBTQ+ youth is to “discourage teens from self identifying” as LGBTQ+. “Enact anti-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation as a protected category, adopt anti-bullying policies that give special protections to homosexuals instead of protecting everyone equally, and form pro-homosexual gay-straight alliances in the schools, and you will save lives, he appears to be saying. (Oh, and it also helps to have more homosexual couples and registered Democrats living in your county.)…Therefore, the logical take-away from the study would be this: 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.” [FRC Blog, 4/28/11]
Former FRC Senior Policy Fellow Peter Sprigg thinks there should be a “place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior” in the United States.
Former FRC Senior Policy Fellow Peter Sprigg Did Not Rule Out Criminalizing “Homosexual Behavior” In An A National TV Interview On Hardball with Chris Matthews. “SPRIGG: People do not choose to have same-sex attractions, but they do choose to engage in homosexual conduct. And that‘s conduct also which, incidentally, is against the law within the military. It violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It does not make any sense for us to be actively recruiting people who are going to violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
MATTHEWS: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?
SPRIGG: Well, I certainly…
MATTHEWS: I‘m just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?
SPRIGG: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.” [Hardball With Chris Matthews, 2/02/10]
FRC helped write the Trump administration’s plan to ban trans troops from the military.
FRC President Tony Perkins helped draft the Trump administration’s plan to exclude trans individuals from serving in the military. “On Friday night, the Trump administration released its plan to exclude transgender troops from the armed forces…According to multiple sources, Vice President Mike Pence played a leading role in the creation of this report, along with Ryan Anderson, an anti-trans activist, and Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ lobbying group.” [Slate, 3/24/18]
FRC attempted to get the Republican 2016 platform to endorse debunked and abusive “gay conversion therapy”.
FRC President Tony Perkins attempted to get the 2016 RNC platform to include an amendment endorsing “conversion therapy.” “Earlier today, the platform committee of the Republican National Convention considered a number of anti-LGBT resolutions. Tony Perkins of the far-right Family Research Council, who is serving as an RNC delegate from Louisiana, reportedly proposed an amendment calling for the endorsement of ex-gay ‘conversion therapy.’” [Right Wing Watch, 6/11/16]
- FRC released a paper which defended conversation therapy for LGBTQ+ persons. “This paper consists of ten key points which weaken the case for therapy bans. Each of these ten points is backed up by evidence cited from sources which support the acceptance of homosexual relationships and identities (and most of them from the APA’s Task Force Report itself). Rejection of therapy bans would allow the public and social debate about the merits and limitations of SOCE to continue, while at the same time winning a victory for personal freedom for all—including that small population of people who experience same-sex attractions as unwanted, and the therapists willing to help them achieve their own goals.” [FRC.org, Accessed 11/19/19]
Conversion therapy, or attempting to force someone to change their natural sexual orientation, has been debunked and labeled abusive by major medical associations and experts. “These so-called conversion therapies, also known as reparative treatments, rely on the assumption that sexual orientation can be changed or “cured” — an idea debunked and discredited by major medical associations in the UK, the United States and elsewhere… “It’s not a fringe issue — it’s an issue that isn’t being talked about enough,” [Matt Ogston, founder of the LGBTQ rights organization the Naz & Matt Foundation] concludes. It’s a legal form of abuse — and it has to be stopped.” [CNN 1/21/19]
FRC published a document claiming that sexual orientation can change.
FRC published a document which stated that LGBTQ+ orientation can change — and that the public should question whether LGBTQ+ rights “can be justified at all.” “FRC endorses the call by pro-LGB scholars Lisa Diamond and Clifford Rosky to ‘abandon the immutability argument once and for all.’ Diamond, Rosky, and others on the Left argue that a belief in personal freedom should be sufficient support for pro-homosexual policies. However, this amounts to substituting the principles of the sexual revolution for the principles of the civil rights movement. The public would be wise to question instead whether the goals of the homosexual movement can be justified at all.” [FRC.org, Accessed 11/19/19]
FRC has published blogs endorsing discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.
FRC published a blog which stated that “it is not bigotry” to pursue anti-LGBTQ values and that LGBTQ rights are a “moral issue at play in the public square.” “But it is not bigotry to affirm what the Bible says about human sexuality and sexual intimacy. The weight of Keller’s article is all about affirming this, to which end I think his foregoing paragraph is just poorly expressed…In other words, the reason Christians who are faithful to biblical teaching are occupied with homosexuality at present is that it’s the salient moral issue at play in the public square, not because of some bizarre preoccupation or fascination they have with it.” [FRC.org, 6/10/15]
FRC President Tony Perkins has made comments comparing LGBTQ+ rights to the Holocaust, and the end of the world.
FRC President Tony Perkins claimed that LGTBQ+ equality would lead to the end of humanity. “Family Research Council president Tony Perkins told Washington Watch listeners last Friday that they should oppose gay equality because it will lead to the end of humanity. Perkins agreed with a caller who said that gay people should be asked how they could exist ‘if it were not for physical relationship, intimacy between a man and a woman,’ a point which followed a long rant about how President Obama is a Muslim under the influence of the Devil.” [Right Wing Watch, 1/13/14]
FRC President Tony Perkins once compared “rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians” to granting LGBTQ+ individuals protections from being discriminated against by private businesses. “In 2014, the Family Research Council president alluded to the Holocaust while discussing Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop case on his ‘Washington Watch’ radio show, telling listeners, ‘When are they going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?’” [Huffpost, 6/20/19]
FRC President Tony Perkins implied that Christians who support LGBTQ+ rights don’t have the same rights as anti-LGBTQ+ Christians because “true religious freedom” only applies to “orthodox religious viewpoints.” “Family Research Council President Tony Perkins implied today that Christians who support gay rights don’t have the same religious rights as conservative Christians because ’true religious freedom’ only applies to ‘orthodox religious viewpoints.’” [Right Wing Watch, 5/08/14]
FRC argues that laws which protect trans individuals from discrimination are illegitimate and dangerous.
FRC claims that laws which protect individuals from discrimination based on their gender identity are illegitimate since gender identities are based on “feelings.” “Sexual orientation and gender identity are unlike other characteristics protected in nondiscrimination laws…‘Sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ are considerably more complex than these other characteristics and involve a combination of feelings, sense of identity, and outward behaviors…SOGI laws are unnecessary. One irony is that advocates of such laws place great emphasis on the large number and percentage of corporations that already have internal policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.” [FRC, “Why ‘Sexual Orientation’ and ‘Gender Identity’ Should Never Be Specially Protected Categories Under the Law,” Accessed 11/19/19]
FRC claimed that trans-inclusive bathroom policies are dangerous… “‘Gender identity’ non-discrimination laws—particularly those that apply to schools and ‘public accommodations’—authorize people to use sex-separated facilities (such as restrooms, locker rooms, and showers) that correspond to their subjective, psychological ‘gender identity,’ rather than their objective, biological sex…Transgender activists have scoffed at these suggestions, essentially denying that such incidents even occur, but below is a list of publicly reported incidents in which men violated the privacy of women in bathrooms, locker rooms, and other private spaces, demonstrating that the concern about safety and privacy is legitimate[.]” [FRC.org, Accessed 11/19/19]
…But a UCLA study found that there is no evidence that trans-inclusive bathroom policies lead to increased safety risks. “There is no evidence that letting transgender people use public facilities that align with their gender identity increases safety risks, according to a new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. The study is the first of its kind to rigorously test the relationship between nondiscrimination laws in public accommodations and reports of crime in public restrooms and other gender-segregated facilities.” [NBC News, 8/19/18]
FRC claimed that gender affirming medical care is a “socio-political agenda” and argued that trans people should be counseled to no longer identify as trans.
FRC claimed that gender affirmation surgeries are a “socio-political agenda” and argued that trans people should be counseled to no longer identify as trans. “However, the medical profession is moving more and more in the direction of offering expensive, body-altering surgery as the primary solution—instead of counseling to get at the roots of this discomfort and help to heal it…‘Human rights?’ ‘Stigma?’ ‘Legal status?’ It is hard to see what any of these have to do with accurate diagnosis of a health condition. Instead, they reveal that the changes in the ICD are motivated by a socio-political agenda—not a scientific or medical one. Money and politics, not compassion, are driving this transgender bus.” [FRC.org, 6/14/19]
FRC leaders attended an event which endorsed a white supremacist conspiracy theory which inspired mass shootings
FRC President Tony Perkins spoke at a “Making Familes Great Again” event at the Hungarian embassy to celebrate Hungarian family planning policies.
The Hungarian embassy hosted a “Making Families Great Again” event that promoted policies incentivizing marriage and childbirth of “native Hungarians.” “White House officials, Republican members of Congress and evangelical leaders gathered Thursday for ‘Making Families Great Again,’ a conference on family policy hosted by the Hungarian Embassy at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. Led by President Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz Party, Hungary has become a poster child for passing nationalist pro-family policies over the last several years. With nearly a decade-worth of data, Hungarian officials claimed Thursday that policies instituted over the last several decades that have incentivized marriage and childbirth have helped boost marriage and birth rates in Hungary at a time many countries struggle with those issues…Participants in the conference included White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp, President Trump’s special assistant on domestic policy Kathryn Talento and Health and Human Services senior policy advisor Valerie Huber.” [Christian Post, 3/17/19]
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins spoke at the event, and praised Hungary for its “pro-family” policies and its “commitment to religious liberty and the defense of persecuted Christians around the world.” “On Thursday, it was my honor to speak at an event here in Washington called, ‘Making Families Great Again: The Role of Family and Marriage in Modern Society.’ This was not unusual for a pro-family group. What was unusual was the sponsor — the Embassy of Hungary. The relatively small nation of Hungary (population 10 million) has emerged in recent years, under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, as an international leader in promoting pro-family policies…I also praised Hungary for its commitment to religious liberty and the defense of persecuted Christians around the world.” [Family Research Council, 3/15/19]
Hungary’s new family planning policies are rooted in white nationalist thinking, as exemplified by comments made by Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban.
Hungary’s policies have the goal of “repopulating” without “mass immigration,” promoting a “Christian nation.” “Hungary’s birth rate fell below replacement level decades ago and the nation has struggled to repopulate. Unlike some of its European counterparts that have relied on immigration to boost population totals, the Orbán government has made clear that it does not view mass immigration as the answer. Rather, the administration believes the answer is to ensure that Hungarian citizens have all the incentives they need to build large and happy families. Today, the Hungarian government spends nearly 5 percent of its GDP towards incentives for those in the predominantly-Christian nation to get married and have children — lots of them.” [Christian Post, 3/17/19]
When Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced the policies, he said, “We want Hungarian children. Migration for us is surrender,” and condemned “mixed population countries.” “Hungary, he insisted, has a better answer: ‘We Hungarians have a different way of thinking. Instead of just numbers, we want Hungarian children. Migration for us is surrender…’In his speech Sunday, Orban railed against ‘mixed population countries’ and warned that Christians were becoming a minority in Europe. ‘There is no return ticket,’ he said.” [Washington Post, 2/11/19]
- Orban said the following in the same speech in his speech announcing the policies: “the target countries for migrants are witnessing the emergence of a Christian Muslim world with a shrinking rate of Christians. but we, central Europeans, still have a future of our own.” “Orban called Brussels ‘the citadel of new internationalism’ and immigration as ‘the instrument of this internationalism.’ He said there are once again forces that want to see open societies and a world without nations, ‘fabricate’ a supranational global government and are still controlled from abroad. ‘The target countries for migrants are witnessing the emergence of a Christian-Muslim world with a shrinking rate of Christians. But we, central Europeans, still have a future of our own.’ Orban said.” [Hungary Journal, 2/10/2019]
Orban has “aggressively vilified Hungarian American financier George Soros,” proclaiming that he is using agents to “flood Europe with migrants.” “As in previous campaigns, Orban has aggressively vilified Hungarian American financier George Soros, proclaiming without evidence that the billionaire philanthropist is using his ‘agents’ — including mainstream European politicians, the free press and nonprofit groups — to flood Europe with migrants.” [Washington Post, 2/11/19]
- Associated Press: “White nationalists and others on the political fringes have long cast Soros as the supposed leader of a globalist Jewish plot to undermine white Christian civilization.” “White nationalists and others on the political fringes have long cast Soros as the supposed leader of a globalist Jewish plot to undermine white Christian civilization. Now, President Donald Trump, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and other political leaders have brought the vilification of Soros into the mainstream.” [Associated Press, 10/27/18]
Orban’s policy aligns with the white nationalist “Great Replacement Theory” which inspired multiple mass shootings.
Orban’s birth policies correspond with the white nationalist “Great Replacement Theory,” which believes “that white populations face ‘genocide’ as a result of declining birthrates and mass immigration.” “My colleagues pointed to the particular emphasis Tarrant seemed to place on the ‘great replacement’ theory, a belief popular among the West’s far right that white populations face ‘genocide’ as a result of declining birthrates and mass immigration. In his manifesto, Tarrant pointed to the formative impact of a trip to France in 2017, where he was disturbed by the number of Muslims he saw in a midsize French town.” [Washington Post, 3/18/19]
New York Times: “Before the massacre of 50 people in New Zealand mosques last week, the suspect released a document called ‘the great replacement.” “Before the massacre of 50 people in New Zealand mosques last week, the suspect released a document called ‘The Great Replacement.’ The first sentence was: ‘It’s the birthrates.’ He repeated it three times. If the phrase about replacement sounded familiar, perhaps that was because it echoed what white supremacists bearing tiki torches shouted in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017: ‘You will not replace us.’ It is also the slogan of the neo-Nazi group Identity Evropa.” [New York Times, 3/18/19]
- New York Times: The goals of the New Zealand shooter mirror those of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “’Remove the invaders,’ the manifesto read. ‘Retake Europe.’ These goals find echoes in the angry rhetoric of several mainstream politicians in Europe, including the Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, and Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary.” [New York Times, 3/15/19]
- Just hours after the New Zealand shooting, Orban gave a speech which made no mention of the massacre — but did defend the need to protect “Christian culture.” On Friday, just hours after the Christchurch shooting, Mr. Orban returned to these themes in a major speech in which he made no mention of the massacre in New Zealand. ‘Without Christian culture, there will be no freedom in Europe,’ he said. ‘If we don’t protect our Christian culture, we lose Europe.’” [New York Times, 3/15/19]
The “Great Replacement Theory” also inspired the mass shooting in El Paso which targeted non-white immigrants in 2019. “The threat of the great replacement,’ or the idea that white people will be replaced by people of color, was cited directly in the four-page screed written by the man arrested in the killing of 22 people in El Paso over the weekend.” [New York Times, 8/07/19]
The 2018 Tree Of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh was directly inspired by the idea that Jewish people are engineering the “great replacement” of white people by means of immigration. “The mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh comes amid a wave of rightwing violence across the US fuelled by conspiracy theories. It is also part of a long history of white supremacist terror aimed at American Jewish communities…This belief is in keeping with white supremacist ‘white genocide’ narratives, which hold in part that Jews are orchestrating the ‘demographic replacement’ of white people by means of immigration.” [The Guardian, 10/27/18]
Hungary’s family planning policies also works to “keep” women “home and pregnant.”
Hungary’s newly announced family planning policy waives income tax for life for families with four or more children. “Hungary’s birth policies made headlines recently after the government announced its seven-point plan to entice Hungarian women to have more children, with offers that include waiving income taxes for life for those who have four or more babies and subsidies to buy larger cars for their larger families.” [Washington Post, 3/21/19]
A spokesperson for Human Rights First said Hungary’s policy “does not encourage women to rejoin the labor force, but keeps them home and pregnant.” “Berschinski, who works at Human Rights First, a nonpartisan advocacy group based in New York and Washington, said Hungary’s birth plan is at odds with accepted best practices in other countries. ‘The critique is — in effect and by design — it does not encourage women to rejoin the labor force, but keeps them home and pregnant in more of a traditionalist sense through financial incentives,’ he said.” [Washington Post, 3/21/19]
Tony Perkins has served as the President of Family Research Council since 2003, making him the longest serving president of the organization.
Perkins had an extremist and concerning history even before joining FRC. Perkins served as a police officer and covered up a conspiracy by anti-abortion activists which could have led to violence in Louisiana. Perkins infamously purchased the mailing list of former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke for $82,5000 while managing a U.S. Senate campaign in 1996. Perkins also gave a speech to a white supremacist group which described Black people as a “retrograde species of humanity” in 2001.
Perkins has continued his extremist and racist behavior at FRC. Since becoming FRC president, Perkins has said that “liberal Jewish folks” are undermining Israel by support equal marriage, that Muslims don’t deserve First Amendment rights, that marriage equality will lead to the end of humanity, applauded a Ugandan bill which calls for the execution of LGBTQ+ people, and claimed true Christians can’t support reproductive rights. For this, Perkins and FRC have been awarded increased influence in right-wing politics. Perkins was appointed the head of the Louisiana Law Enforcement Commission, helped draft the Trump administration’s attempted ban on Trans troops in the US military, held numerous public interviews with former HHS Secretary Alex Azar and, most alarmingly, was appointed the chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom under the Trump administration.
Executive Vice President
William G. ("Jerry") Boykin
Jerry Boykin is the executive vice president at FRC. Prior to working at FRC, Boykin, who then worked at the Department of Defense, forced then President George W. Bush to publicly distance himself from Boykin’s claim that the war on terror was a Christian Struggle against Satan. Boykin also infamously called for there to be “no Mosques in America,” that Islam is not a religion, and that Muslims do not deserve First Amendment protections.
Former Senior Fellow for Policy Studies
Peter Sprigg was for twenty years a senior fellow for policy studies at FRC. Sprigg worked with FRC from 2001-2021, and has authored texts such as Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage outside of his time at the FRC office.
Sprigg has publicly stated his desire to criminalize “homosexual behavior” and his preference to “export homosexuals from the United States” because, as he puts it, “we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”
Sprigg has written 79 pieces for FRC, including, “Why Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Should Never Be Specially Protected Categories Under the Law,” “LGBT ‘Equality’ Laws Lose Their Foundation: Evidence Shows Sexual Orientation Can Change,” “Is Gender Reassignment Surgery ‘Medically Necessary’?,” “California’s ‘Must Stay Gay’ Bill Is Nearing Passage. Here’s the Severe Harm It Would Do,” and “Homosexual Assault in the Military.” Sprigg also penned an infamous piece where he claimed the best way to prevent LGBTQ teens from committing suicide was the counsel them to not identify as LGBTQ. He also authored an FRC pamphlet which claimed that gay men were pedophiles. Since leaving FRC, Sprigg took a position as the Director of Research and Advocacy at Family Watch International.
Founder, Focus On the Family, FRC
James Dobson founded multiple influential right-wing Christian fundamentalist groups in the United States including Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus on The Family, and Family Research Council. Dobson is perhaps best known for his role as the leader and public face of Focus On The Family, a position which he held from 1977 until he was forced out in 2010 for what he called his “divisive” views. During his time at Focus On The Family, the group denied the existence of trans people, opposed marriage equality, and founded one of the largest anti-abortion pregnancy center networks in the country. Dobson himself proclaimed that the patriarchy is god’s will, said Spongebob Squarepants was “pro-gay” propaganda, and personally advocated for fathers to show their sons their penises in order prevent them from “becoming gay.” Since leaving Focus On The Family, Dobson blamed the Sandy Hook shooting on legalized abortion and LGBTQ rights, called immigrants “violent criminals,” and recorded a radio ad endorsing alleged pedophile Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate.
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called HHS “The Department Of Life” in an interview at FRC with Perkins; the two discussed jovially the Trump administration’s rollback of reproductive rights
FRC President Tony Perkins praised the anti-abortion movement’s progress during the Trump administration; former HHS Secretary Azar called the department a “pro-life, pro-science team” committed to protecting the “freedom of life” and “the freedom of conscience”.
Azar told Perkins that the freedoms of life and conscience are “the most fundamental freedoms we have.” “Just this morning we at HHS announced that the state of California is in violation of the Weldon Amendment and the Coats-Snowe provision that prevents discrimination against health care providers who refuse to provide or refer for abortion services. That’s the first time in history that’s been done, enforcing those provisions… It’s really important, and it shows I think what we’re trying to do as a pro-life administration, a pro-life, pro-science team at HHS, is we’re really trying to protect two of the most important and fundamental freedoms we have. The first is the freedom of life and the second is of conscience, and we try to make sure that both of those are respected in everything that we do and in all of our programs.” [Alex Azar remarks at Family Research Council, 1/18/19]
- Azar called the “right to conscience as foundational as the right to life.” “The right to conscience is as foundational as the right to life in our perspective. We at HHS, we’re a massive department with 1.3 trillion dollars of programs, we’re over one-fourth of the U.S. government, 330 programs, and the president and I and my predecessor I think have demonstrated very strong leadership here to make sure that we have a culture of protecting life, health, wellbeing for all individuals from conception through natural death.” [Alex Azar remarks at Family Research Council, 1/18/19]
Azar declared HHS “the department of life” during the Trump administration…
He referenced the department’s strategic plan, which “for the first time ever” defined life as beginning at conception. “We have in our strategic plan at HHS for the first time ever — it actually declares support for life from the moment of conception up through natural death. Because we are the department of life.” [Alex Azar remarks at Family Research Council, 1/18/19]
…Azar continued to say that HHS’ mission was to protect the health of all Americans — despite his department’s policies consistently devaluing and endangering the health of women, low-income Americans, LGBTQ+ folks, and immigrants.
Azar said his department was determined to protect the health of all Americans. “We are the department whose mission is about enhancing and protecting the health and wellbeing of all Americans from conception until natural death through all of our programs and whether it’s in biomedical research or our social services program. It’s always standing up for the sanctity of human life and trying to enhance the quality of that life while people are here on this earth.” [Alex Azar remarks at Family Research Council, 1/18/19]
Azar bragged about how his department had worked to weaken the Title X Family Planning Program… “We have proposed a foundational reform of Title X which is the contraception services program that we have at HHS. We have proposed a system of rules that would bring integrity to the program, ensuring that there has to be a fiscal separation between a Title X grantee and any entity that provides abortion services, so really bringing that fiscal integrity back to ensure that taxpayer money is not being used directly or indirectly to fund abortion.” [Alex Azar remarks at Family Research Council, 1/18/19]
- …Including HHS’ moves to make it easier for anti-contraception, anti-abortion organizations to receive family planning grants. “We have opened the door to more Title X providers, and we’ve seen faith-based, community-based organizations come in, and I hope more providers will come in and seek to be Title X providers there.” [Alex Azar remarks at Family Research Council, 1/18/19]
- These abstinence-promoting organizations attempted to divert funds from the already under-resourced family planning program that is designed to serve low-income women. “So-called crisis pregnancy centers, which offer limited services such as pregnancy testing, ultrasounds and certain supports for women with unplanned pregnancies, have been increasing in number for several years… Now, some are trying to become anti-abortion, abstinence-promoting alternatives to Planned Parenthood clinics [and]… are increasingly vying for the same federal funds that go to Planned Parenthood, signaling a major change in federal policy being pushed by the Trump administration. This new front in the abortion wars comes as conservatives have largely given up on completely defunding Planned Parenthood, so they’re trying to use the rules to their advantage, pushing for faith-driven women’s clinics to apply for those same federal funds to push an anti-abortion agenda.” [Politico, 12/14/18]
Azar spoke proudly of HHS’ Office of Global Affairs’ work to impinge on women’s reproductive rights globally.
Azar mentioned policies such as the Mexico City Policy, or the Global Gag Rule. “We’ve of course been internationally fighting to ensure that globally and internationally, global health organizations do not declare abortion to be a fundamental right, which would have incredible consequences globally, so the United States has been a strong advocate, and of course we’ve been working with the Secretary of State on the implementation and expansion of the Mexico City policy under this administration.” [Alex Azar remarks at Family Research Council, 1/18/19]
The Trump administration’s Global Gag rule, which denied U.S. aid to international groups that counsel or provide abortion referrals, restricted nearly $9 billion in foreign health assistance — around 14 times as much aid as any previous version. “President Trump’s executive order to block U.S. aid to groups abroad that counsel or provide referrals about abortion went into effect Monday and will restrict nearly $9 billion in foreign health assistance. The rule, which has reproductive-rights advocates reeling, is significantly broader than similar bans in place intermittently since 1984. Those past actions were limited to about $600 million in family planning funding….The new policy, which is being called “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” affects any organization deemed to promote abortion “as a method of family planning” through abortion counseling, referrals, lobbying or public information campaigns. Trump has said taxpayer dollars should not be used for this purpose.” [Washington Post, 5/17/17]
Azar lauded HHS’ work to roll back the ACA’s birth control mandate through religious and moral exemptions that a federal judge blocked in January 2019.
Azar said they would “keep fighting for that rule, in spite of the courts” to ensure that people don’t have to “sacrifice conscience.” “Of course there’s what we’re doing on conscience to protect people’s right to conscience. Because while health care — access to health care is important, there’s no… one doesn’t have to sacrifice health care and access to health care doesn’t have to sacrifice conscience and respect for people’s conscience to ensure that people have access to health care. So we put out a conscience regulation saying that while the Affordable Care Act does require access to contraceptive services, that those employers who have a religious or moral objection to the provision of contraceptive services, do not have to do so, and of course there are many forms of contraceptives that many would believe are abortifacients, um, and this gives them the right as a matter of conscience to pull out of that, and we’re going to keep fighting for that rule, in spite of the courts.” [Alex Azar remarks at Family Research Council, 1/18/19]
- A federal judge blocked the Trump administration rules that would allow employers to deny women birth control coverage just before the rules went into effect. “A federal judge on Monday put a nationwide hold on Trump administration rules that allow more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control. U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia agreed with a lawsuit originally filed by Pennsylvania, citing the potential harm to states should the rules be enforced. Numerous citizens could lose contraceptive coverage, Beetlestone wrote, resulting in the increased use of state-funded contraceptive services, as well as increased costs to state services from unintended pregnancies.” [Associated Press, 1/14/19]
Family Research Council hosted Regent Law School Professor Lynne Marie Kohm to encourage parents to deny their child’s gender identity — and one week later, the Trump administration's HHS issued a policy mirroring her speech
FRC hosted Regent Law School Professor Lynne Kohm, who claimed parents should have the right to deny their kid’s gender identity.
At an FRC hosted talk, Regent Law School Professor Lynne Marie Kohm stated that parents forcing their kids to reject their gender identity should not be considered abusive, and attempts to do so is an attack on the individual rights of parents. “Nowhere is this more apparent, that parental authority is being disregarded, than in the transgender ideology uhh policies that are sweeping are schools…When a parent has a disagreement with his or her child’s gender choice, school staff are urged to review information and consider reporting child abuse because their parents might be against their transgender changes. The clear result is that the parent, and his or her parental authority, is not only undermined but is labeled a problem—and now is being labeled abusive. Abuse is one of those ways that parental rights are terminated.” [FRC.org Video Player, 11:23]
Kohm encouraged parents to take up legal battles against laws which protect transgender youth from abusive parents. “Sadly, that’s where you have to go get a good lawyer. And if they’re making your child do a certain kind of therapy, and you think that’s not best, you need a good lawyer that can help defend your parental rights and put together a good case” [FRC.org Video Player, 36:00]
Kohm claimed that according to her research, children are forced into changing their gender identity “100% of the time” by school and medical authorities. “These are really serious things that parents, adults, are pushing kids to—without allowing parents to make good decisions. Very concerning in this is the American Academy of Pediatrics. It has published something called ‘Gender Affirmative Care,’ and that gender affirmative care is just really another way of saying that all doctors, all schools must embrace transgender ideology…Cases like that show that just because a child expresses gender dysphoria, that pressure immediately begins and they are pressured, 100% of the time, from my research to go towards a gender change.” [FRC.org Video Player, 16:05]
Kohm claims “people” have said they are coerced into transition therapy and then wanted to pursue conversion therapy, and implied conversion therapy should be considered legitimate. “And now, um, it’s been around long enough, some people are starting to say ‘wow, I really didn’t know what was happening when I went through this transgender therapy. In fact I was kind of pushed and pressured and now I want to back up and no one’s helping me and in fact some states don’t let you back up because that’s called conversion therapy and that’s outlawed.’ [FRC.org Video Player, 37:00]
- Conversion therapy, or attempting to force someone to change their natural sexual orientation, has been debunked and labeled abusive by major medical associations and experts. “These so-called conversion therapies, also known as reparative treatments, rely on the assumption that sexual orientation can be changed or “cured” — an idea debunked and discredited by major medical associations in the UK, the United States and elsewhere… “It’s not a fringe issue — it’s an issue that isn’t being talked about enough,” he concludes. It’s a legal form of abuse — and it has to be stopped.” [CNN, 1/21/19]
The Trump administration HHS released a rule mirroring Kohm’s language on “parental rights” JUST a week after her FRC talk.
A week after Kohm’s HRC talk, the Trump administration’s HHS released a rule allowing for parents to deny gender-affirming treatment to their children for religious reasons. “Most recently, FRC hosted Regent University law school professor Lynne Marie Kohm to advocate for the parental right to deny gender-affirming treatment to children. HHS mirrored this language on parental rights in its ‘moral conscience’ rule finalized a week later—further displaying the connection between FRC and health-care policy. [Rewire.News, 5/10/19]
FRC spent thousands lobbying U.S. Congress to support a bill in Uganda which called for the execution of LGBTQ individuals
In 2009, a bill which would lead to the death penalty or extradition for LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda was met with widespread condemnation in the international community… “The antihomosexuality bill, also known as the Bahati bill after David Bahati, the lawmaker who proposed it last year, has been widely criticized by human rights groups and foreign governments. It calls for homosexuals to be executed in some cases. It also says that homosexuals should be extradited and that people in Uganda must report anybody known to have committed a homosexual act within 24 hours.” [New York Times, 5/08/10]
…Yet FRC spent $25,000 on lobbying congress to support the Ugandan bill… “The site posted three screencaps from the Family Research Council’s lobbying report; they suggest $25,000 was spent on lobbying what FRC described as ‘Res.1064Ugandan ResolutionPro-homosexual promotion.’ Asked of the organization had indeed lobbied to kill the resolution, FRC provided Hotsheet with a statement calling claims that they had lobbied against the resolution inaccurate. The Tony Perkins-led FRC said it did lobby on the bill, but not to kill it – rather to change the language it contained and ‘to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.’” [CBS News, 6/04/10]
…FRC President Tony Perkins tweeted that Uganda’s president was “leading the nation in repentance” in support of the bill. “The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is once again reminding that the group supports efforts to punish and execute gays and lesbians. Applauding Uganda for taking up the ‘Kill The Gays’ bill, Perkins tweeted that the country’s president is ‘leading his nation in repentance.’ Two years ago, Perkins recorded a radio announcement defending and distorting the bill’s death penalty provisions which was later deleted from the site. Supporting such persecution is a clear example of why FRC deserves to be classified as a hate group.” [ThinkProgress, 11/26/12]
FRC has close ties with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who greatly restricted America’s funding of NGOs worldwide in efforts to roll back reproductive health care
As a senator, Pompeo opposed repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.
In the Senate, Pompeo opposed repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and said “we cannot use military to promote social ideas that do not reflect the value of your nation.” “In his three terms in Congress, Pompeo opposed the repeal of the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy on gays, saying, ‘When you enter the Army you give up a few of your rights.’ On a panel at the Value Voters Summit in 2011, he also said, ‘We cannot use military to promote social ideas that do not reflect the values of your nation.’” [NBC News, 3/15/18]
Before his time at the State Department, Mike Pompeo enjoyed a cozy relationship with FRC.
During his time at the CIA, Pompeo consulted with FRC President Tony Perkins before he expanded chaplain services to CIA employees. “Pompeo has also come under scrutiny on social issues. As part of an effort to expand chaplain services to CIA employees — which Trapani said was in response to requests from the agency workforce — Pompeo has consulted with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled an anti-gay hate group. Perkins has described that characterization as ‘reckless.’” [Washington Post, 8/24/17]
Media Matters: “Between 2013 and 2016, [Pompeo] appeared on FRC’s radio show at least nine times.” [Media Matters, 5/17/18]
FRC cheered for Pompeo to be nominated to the secretary of state position
FRC declared that Pompeo “is the most prepared and capable nominee for Secretary of State since Colin Powell.” “Mike Pompeo has the leadership, experience, instincts, and training to be successful as the next Secretary of State. In fact, he is the most prepared and capable nominee for Secretary of State since Colin Powell. The State Department is desperate for a leader who has a vision for taking the Department in the right direction. After eight years of abysmal leadership from Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, the world has become a more dangerous place. North Korea and Iran now have nuclear weapons, Russia has crossed many red lines including their attempts to impact U.S. elections, and China increases every day as an economic and military threat to this nation.” [FRC.org, 4/20/18]
FRC: “If Mike Pompeo is confirmed as Secretary of State, he would lead us in strategically engaging on religious freedom around the world, which will ultimately help keep us safer at home.” [FRC.org, 4/09/18]
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the Global Gag Rule would become even more extreme to the detriment of global public health.
Under Pompeo, the Trump administration’s Global Gag Rule expanded to apply to any foreign NGO that provides abortion counseling — even if the NGO did not use American aid to discuss or provide abortion services. “The Reagan-era version [of the “Global Gag Rule”] prohibited international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive certain kinds of U.S. foreign assistance funds from providing, counseling, or making referrals for abortion services. But Trump’s “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” (PLGHA) memorandum went further, targeting all global health assistance funds that an organization controls. An international NGO is prohibited from even using its own funds to “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” if it wants to continue to receive U.S. aid. The Trump policy affects all global health assistance, including services related to family planning and reproductive health, maternal and child health, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, HIV and AIDS prevention, and infectious diseases.” [The American Prospect, 8/8/18]
The Trump administration’s Global Gag rule restricted nearly $9 billion in foreign health assistance — around 14 times as much aid as any previous version. “President Trump’s executive order to block U.S. aid to groups abroad that counsel or provide referrals about abortion went into effect Monday and will restrict nearly $9 billion in foreign health assistance. The rule, which has reproductive-rights advocates reeling, is significantly broader than similar bans in place intermittently since 1984. Those past actions were limited to about $600 million in family planning funding….The new policy, which is being called “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” affects any organization deemed to promote abortion “as a method of family planning” through abortion counseling, referrals, lobbying or public information campaigns. Trump has said taxpayer dollars should not be used for this purpose.” [Washington Post, 5/17/17]
The Global Gag Rule left the International Planned Parenthood Foundation and Marie Stopes International with huge funding gaps…
The Global Gag Rule left the International Planned Parenthood Foundation and Marie Stopes International with huge funding gaps. “The Trump administration has forced international health organizations to make a choice: Either they accept U.S. aid and limit their services, or they refuse to comply and likely have to cut back on programs or find alternative sources of funding. Some international NGOs have chosen the latter option, including the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International (MSI), which will lead to funding gaps of $100 million and $80 million, respectively.” [The American Prospect, 8/8/18]
Marie Stopes International said that the policy put more than two million of its clients at risk of losing contraceptive services. “Tuesday marks one year since Trump’s decision, and health organizations are sharing the first effects of the shift the United States, the world’s largest health donor. The Trump administration, cheered by anti-abortion groups such as the Susan B. Anthony List for no longer “exporting abortion,” is expected to release its own assessment. Last week, London-based Marie Stopes International announced it faces a funding gap of $80 million in the 37 countries where it works, with more than 2 million women risking the loss of contraception services. About 870,000 risk unsafe abortions. Africa has been hardest hit. In Zimbabwe, where the health system is in tatters amid a plummeting economy, Marie Stopes has cut in half its outreach sites from 1,200 to 600. “That means I will have children against my will,” one affected mother of four told country director Abebe Shibru, who said they had been reaching at least 150,000 women per year.” [AP, 1/23/18]
The International Planned Parenthood Federation said the policy was “devastating.” “For the International Planned Parenthood Federation and its work in 29 countries the impact is “devastating,” said interim director general Rosemary Gillespie. “Particularly populations who wouldn’t normally be able to access services due to stigma, poverty, location, violence or HIV status.” Services include HIV screening and treatment and screening for gender-based violence.” [AP, 1/23/18]
…And the Global Gag Rule endangered the existence of many clinics.
The Global Gag Rule resulted in many health clinics losing staff or closing. “The Mozambican Association for Family Development, a Planned Parenthood associate, is losing 60 percent of its funding because of Trump’s decision. It has lost 43 staffers and 650 peer educators, and 18 youth clinics and 72 mobile clinics have shut down. “We estimate half million people across their HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and family planning projects will be affected,” executive director Santos Simione told the International Planned Parenthood Federation last month. In Swaziland, Family Life Association of Swaziland is losing one-quarter of its funding and has lost 12 staffers and 26 outreach workers. In Botswana, 60 percent of funding for the Botswana Family Welfare Association is at risk as various contracts end. It has lost more than 70 percent of skilled staff. “Women are basically stranded,” said Amos Simpano, director of clinical services for Family Health Options Kenya. It has stopped providing outreach services to about 76,000 women and closed one of its clinics.” [AP, 1/23/18]
The Global Gag Rule also significantly undermined the fight against HIV/AIDs.
Unlike previous iterations of the Global Gag Rule, the Trump administration’s version did not exempt PEPFAR…“For HIV/AIDS programs, previous iterations of the policy under the second Bush administration specifically exempted President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programs, while Trump’s makes no such distinction…According to the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), Trump’s expanded gag rule jeopardizes funds for a range of aid efforts: “HIV and AIDS…maternal and child health; malaria; tuberculosis; nutrition; non-communicable diseases; water, sanitation and hygiene,” and other community needs—cumulatively affecting “nearly $9 billion in U.S. funds annually.” About $6 billion of the impacted funding streams are dedicated to HIV/AIDS assistance, which is primarily provided through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The overlap of reproductive-health care and HIV/AIDS care is crucial: According to an analysis of the impact of the gag rule on PEPFAR by the research group amFAR, “contraception coverage is a known contributor to HIV prevention, averting an estimated 173,000 infant infections each year in sub-Saharan Africa alone,” and recent research on the gag rule shows that “countries where [it] was most likely to disrupt HIV and [family-planning] service integration were also those with the highest HIV prevalence.” [The Nation, 3/25/19]
…Leading to major cuts to HIV/AIDS programs. “The gag rule is creating massive resource gaps across the public health-care infrastructure in many poor regions of the world. For example, Uganda’s wide-ranging public-health initiative, Reproductive Health Uganda, suffered a 30 percent budget cut (about $300,000), which triggered the closure of several major outreach projects. The loss particularly affects HIV/AIDS programs, which constituted about 70 percent of US aid for Ugandan NGOs in 2015, or about $46 million. The International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF), has forgone an estimated $100 million under the Global Gag Rule, in order to preserve its range of services. The decision to avoid the gag rule has damaged funding for partner programs in 31 countries. Health care for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, which constitutes about 20 percent of overall services, is especially vulnerable. IPPF reports that Family Health Organization Kenya “lost about $1.5 million for integrated health projects for the most marginalized communities to prevent and treat HIV,” leading to funding cuts and two clinic closures. Family Planning Association of Malawi may have to shutter its one-stop center for sexual-health services in a city with 60 percent HIV/AIDS prevalence.” [The Nation, 3/25/19]
Pompeo announced that the United States intended to “punish” a diplomatic body because a group under it engaged in abortion rights advocacy.
Pompeo also said that the U.S. would “punish” the Organization of American States — a diplomatic body — because “American officials had become aware that a group under The Organization Of American States had engaged in abortion rights advocacy.” “In his announcement, Mr. Pompeo said American officials had become aware that a group under the Organization of American States had engaged in abortion rights advocacy. As a result, the State Department will now stipulate in assistance agreements that the diplomatic body must promise no American funds will be used to lobby for or against abortion. The United States would reduce funding to the organization as punishment, Mr. Pompeo added.” [New York Times, 3/26/19]
FRC helped draft the Trump administration’s attempted military ban of trans troops
FRC President Tony Perkins helped the Trump administration’s attempted ban on trans troops from serving in the military. “President Trump’s announcement on Twitter that he was banning transgender people from serving in the military seemed spontaneous and reportedly caught some administration officials and congressional leaders by surprise…The letter urging the president to reverse the policy was written by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who was also at the meeting, and signed by a number of prominent evangelicals, according to Moore. He did not know if the president had read the letter.” [Religion News Service, 7/27/17]
FRC President Tony Perkins was elected the chair of the International Commission On Religious Freedom despite FRC’s history of intolerance
FRC President Tony Perkins was elected the Chair of the International Commission On Religious Freedom in 2019.
Perkins was appointed for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom In 2018. “Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has been appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on the recommendation of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to an announcement in Monday’s Congressional Record.” [Right Wing Watch, 5/15/18]
The International Commission on Religious Freedom is tasked with monitoring threats to religious liberty abroad and recommending actions to support religious oppressed individuals internationally. “It’s been a couple of decades since Congress created the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, whose work is largely self-explanatory. Members of the panel, appointed by the president and lawmakers, are tasked with monitoring threats to religious liberty abroad and making policy recommendations in support of the oppressed.” [MSNBC, 6/19/19]
The Commission is also tasked with advocating for prisoners of conscience. “As the commission explains on its website, it’s charged with tracking the status of religious freedom around the world, advocating for prisoners of conscience, and producing reports that contain policy prescriptions.” [Intelligencer, 6/18/19]
Perkins was elected as the Chair of the Commission in 2019. “The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today elected Tony Perkins as Chair for the 2019-2020 term.” [USCIRF Press Release, 6/17/19]
- One of the members of the group which elected Perkins the chair of the Commission was FRC’s President before Perkins — Gary Bauer. “The obvious question is how in the world Perkins was promoted to the leadership post. As Sarah Jones’ report added, the answer is that five of the nine commissioners were appointed by Republicans. Indeed, the panel includes Gary Bauer – who happens to be Tony Perkins’ predecessor at the Family Research Council.” [MSNBC, 6/19/19]
FRC supported events praising nations that are internationally recognized for being amongst the worst for religious freedom — despite U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom condemnation.
Former FRC Senior Policy Fellow Peter Sprigg appeared at a 2016 event that praised Sudan, and Saudi Arabia — which the United States Commission On International Religious Freedom condemned for oppressively restricting religious freedom. “In 2016, FRC’s Peter Sprigg was among the U.S. Religious Right figures who participated in an event at the United Nations celebrating the ‘Group of Friends of the Family,’ which includes a lot of overlap with countries identified by USCIRF as the worst in the world for religious freedom. Among the countries singled out for ‘pro-family’ praise at the event were Sudan, which the USCIRF said ‘represses and marginalizes its minority Christian community’ and Saudi Arabia, which USCIRF calls ‘uniquely repressive’ when it comes to religious freedom.” [Right Wing Watch, 5/15/18]
FRC President Tony Perkins blamed former President Obama’s “hostility at religious liberty at home” for religious oppression in Russia.
FRC President Tony Perkins blamed former President Obama’s “hostility at religious liberty at home” for religious oppression in Russia in 2017. “In 2017, when the USCIRF classified Russia as a ‘country of particular concern,’ Perkins took note, but essentially blamed Barack Obama for increasing religious repression, saying that ‘America’s hostility to religious liberty at home has led to incredible indifference abroad.’ Added Perkins, ‘After eight years of Obama’s war on faith, it’s time for America to pick up the torch of liberty and find its voice on the crisis.’” [Right Wing Watch, 5/15/18]