CitizenLink

Who's Who in Today's DOMA Hearing

Cross-posted on PFAW blog

Senate Republicans have called Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, David Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund and Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center as witnesses in today’s hearing on the “Defense of Marriage Act.” The groups these witnesses represent have a long record of extreme rhetoric opposing gay rights:

CitizenLink, Focus on the Family’s political arm, is a stalwart opponent of gay rights in every arena:

• Focus on the Family has consistently railed against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, demanding the discriminatory policy’s reinstatement.

• The group claims anti-bullying programs that protect LGBT and LGBT-perceived youth in schools amount to “homosexual indoctrination” and “promote homosexuality in kids.”

• The group insists that House Republicans investigate the Justice Department over its refusal to defend the unconstitutional Section 3 of DOMA.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center is backed by the far-right Sarah Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Koch- backed Castle Rock Foundation, all well-known right-wing funders.

• George Weigel of EPPC wrote in June that “legally enforced segregation involved the same kind of coercive state power that the proponents of gay marriage now wish to deploy on behalf of their cause.”

• Ed Whelan spearheaded the unsuccessful and widely panned effort to throw out Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision finding California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional on the grounds that Walker was in a committed same-sex relationship at the time of the decision.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which bills itself as a right-wing counter to the American Civil Liberties Union, is dedicated to pushing a far-right legal agenda:

• The ADF has been active on issues including pushing "marriage protection," exposing the "homosexual agenda" and fighting the supposed "war on Christmas."

• The ADF claims 38 “victories” before the Supreme Court, including: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to spend unlimited money on elections in the name of “free speech” and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), which allowed the Boy Scouts to fire a Scout Leader because he was gay.


As Sure As The Religious Right Reacts, They Overreact

When NBC cut the phrase "under God" for the Pledge of Allegiance during its coverage of the US Open golf tournament last weekend, it was obvious that the Religious Right would seize on it ... and that is exactly what they did.

And it was equally obvious that, in reacting to this incident, they would also wildly overreact ... which exactly what they are doing now, with the Family Research Council now demanding "the network play a public service announcement featuring the Pledge of Allegiance, in its entirety, daily" and produce an entire program to explaining why "under God" was added to the Pledge: 

"NBC must remedy this abuse by airing a series of public service announcement(s) with the entire Pledge of Allegiance," read an e-mail blast sent Tuesday from council President Tony Perkins.

"Please join me in contacting NBC and demanding that the network air a daily public service announcement with the entire Pledge of Allegiance."

The Washington-based Family Research Council says its mission is to advance "faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion." The group is best known for its strong objections to same-sex marriage and abortion. It's a powerful political force among conservative evangelicals.

"This is something that people, they get and they're upset about it," Perkins told CNN. "We know that 15,000 people have already sent e-mails to NBC. Based on the calls I got this morning, this is something people are incensed over."

Perkins said he did not watch the event live. He said he is not a big golf fan but was alerted to the omission quickly. He said he found the use of military images with the pledge omission particularly galling. "As a veteran I stood for the pledge and I stood for all of the pledge," the retired Marine said.

"These types of things need to be met with significant resistance," he said when asked if his group was leveraging this controversy for its own gain. "It's not up to NBC to change the pledge of the United States of America."

...

Perkins said in addition to the public service announcement of a daily Pledge of Allegiance he said he would also like to see NBC produce a program explaining the history of the pledge and why "under God" was inserted in the first place.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel thinks People For the American Way and other members of the “intolerant left” are going to purge religion from the US.

Right Wing Mobilizes Against Adoption And Foster Care By Gay Couples

In May Rep. Pete Stark (R-CA) introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which prohibits “discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved.” While it is unlikely that the GOP-controlled House would approve the legislation, it is an important step in the fight to ensure that children awaiting adoption or foster care can find homes.

But the “pro-family” Religious Right wants to stop the bill in its tracks.

Focus on the Family along with the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg attacked the bill, claiming that “children will suffer” if it passes:

“We need to do all we can to encourage successful and innovative partnerships, rather than try to shut agencies out of the process,” said Kelly Rosati, vice president of community outreach at Focus on the Family. “It’s the children who will suffer.”

Sprigg agreed.

“This represents one more case,” he said, “in which we are seeing the rights of adults placed ahead of the best interests of the children.”

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel even alleged that the legislation is unconstitutional and demonstrates how the “homosexual activist political tsunami destroys everything in its path that is righteous, good and beneficial to society”:

At least one pro-family attorney disagrees with the liberal Democrat from California. "This bill has nothing to do with providing adoptive homes for children in need and has everything to do with shutting down all biblically-sound Christian adoption agencies around the country," contends Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action.

And he argues that the proposal is unconstitutional because it violates the freedom of religion, which is protected by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

"This bill puts the [political] demands of selfish, adult homosexual activists...ahead of the welfare of children and religious liberty, and it must be stopped," Barber adds.

So he decides this is the latest example of how the "homosexual activist political tsunami destroys everything in its path that is righteous, good and beneficial to society." He cites a preponderance of studies that conclusively show children are best served in a home with a mother and a father.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Looks like Sarah Palin will be launching a "hey, please pay attention to me" bus tour.
  • Rep. Eric Cantor is the latest Republican to sign on to Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.
  • Focus on the Family looks at how marriage equality was defeated in Maryland.
  • John Stamos will be joining The Beach Boys for the second annual Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Concert. Sounds exciting.
  • The AFA loves Herman Cain so I wonder how long it will be before they remove this Elijah Friedeman post from their blog.
  • Finally, I am looking forward to seeing how Bill Donohue responds to this.  I am sure he will blame "the gays."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery has been chosen by the Republican National Committee to serve on its Committee on Presidential Debates.
  • WorldNetDaily is not longer to be known as WorldNetDaily, but simply WND.
  • Based on previous experience with these kinds of stories, I am willing to bet that this story from The Rutherford Institute about a child being suspended from school for crying is either bogus or completely misleading.
  • Janet Porter is hosting an "intercessory prayer" session for passage of her "Heartbeat Bill."
  • Quote of the day from Pat Boone: "Tell me, what's the difference between a few of our youngest, morally numbed soldiers posing with dead casualties – and an international magazine publishing those same pictures all over the world, to discredit and hamper America's military efforts? What's your definition of treason? Mine includes 'aiding and abetting the enemy.' There can be no question that the Rolling Stone attacks are doing that."
  • Finally, a storm is coming that can only be stopped by the National Day of Prayer:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • I find it rather interesting that Liberty University brought in nearly a half-billion dollars last year thanks to federal financial aid.
  • I guess we have David Barton to thank for getting the Duggar clan active in right-wing politics.
  • David Brody reports that Rick Santorum canceled a recent Iowa trip because his young daughter Isabella is very ill.
  • Apparently gays are responsible for the fact that nobody cares about Michael Brown's book.
  • Finally, somebody actually made a movie based on one of John Hagee's books. And it features Randy Travis. Really.

Focus On The Family Warns Of Gay “Indoctrination” In Schools And The Military

Yesterday, RWW reported on the Religious Right’s virulent opposition to a California bill that would make sure lesbian and gay historical figures are represented in the curriculum. Now, Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink is linking the curriculum bill to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in its post “Indoctrination 101: From the Battlefield to the Ball Field.” Focus on the Family has consistently railed againsthomosexual indoctrinationin schools and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, demanding its reinstatement. CitizenLink looks to traditionally anti-gay groups such as the Center for Military Readiness and the Pacific Justice Institute, along with its affiliated California Family Council, to blast the purported “indoctrination”:

The California Senate Education Committee passed legislation Wednesday that would mandate public schools teach U.S. history, California history and social science with a deliberate emphasis on the roles and contributions of gay- and lesbian-identified individuals, as well as those of transsexuals and bisexuals.

“It seems a bit like a quota system,” said Ron Prentice, executive director of the California Family Council. “It’s based less on the level of contribution and more on one’s sexual orientation.”

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said: “Our Legislature just doesn’t get it — with thousands of teachers getting pink slips, this is not the time to place more expensive, politically correct mandates on our schools. This bill also undermines parental rights and is insensitive to those whose cultures and belief systems are at odds with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) agenda.”



Meanwhile, the military has been ordered to “re-educate” its members on similar issues. The U.S. House Armed Services Committee soon will hold hearings on the repeal of the law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which prevented open homosexuality in the military.

In 1993, the House and Senate conducted 12 hearings and field trips before passing the policy. Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said the committee needs to hold a similar number before any repeal is made permanent.

“Imposition of LGBT law and policies on our military would be enormously complicated and anything but simple,” she said. “Members of Congress must ask questions and insist on honest answers.”

Among the issues Donnelly wants addressed: sexual privacy violations; “zero tolerance” of dissent; impact of sexual misconduct on unit cohesion and trust in leadership; infringements on religious liberty for chaplains and people of faith; plans to accommodate same-sex couples in military family housing; LGBT “sensitivity” training in all Defense Department training programs, academies and schools; and personal dress and behavior.

Focus on the Family: Anti-Bullying “Radicalism” Coming To Sports Teams

Candi Cushman of Focus on the Family’s True Tolerance campaign has been an outspoken opponent of anti-bullying policies, and now she is warning parents that the safe-schools group GLSEN wants to make school sports teams a friendlier and less hostile environment for gay and lesbian athletes. While the National Education Policy Center found that 85% of LGBT students “report being harassed because of their sexual or gender identity” at school, anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family militantly oppose any efforts to tackle the bullying problem and claim “pro-homosexual” anti-bullying programs “promote homosexuality in kids.” Today, Cushman demonizes GLSEN for designing ways for coaches and athletes to prevent the harassment of LGBT players:

Parents should be aware of how this radicalism could be introduced to their children through school sports programs.

Called “Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project,” the new initiative is “focused on addressing LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] issues in K-12 school-based athletic and physical education programs.”

The director of the new GLSEN sports program is Pat Griffin, who has a history of promoting homosexual and transgender activism and is the author of a book entitled Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbians and Homophobia in Sport. The book has chapters with titles like, “We Prey, They Pray? Lesbians and Evangelical Christians in Sport.”

In a “Chalk Talk” series for coaches, Griffin has advised on “What is Unacceptable in an Athletic Setting,” including “Teammates proselytizing other team members who are not interested in discussing religion.”

Does this mean that GLSEN’s new sports project director would prefer to ban athletes using their freedom of speech to voluntarily share the Gospel with those who disagree with their viewpoint?



It’s clear we can expect GLSEN’s sport project to become yet another venue for pressuring schools to implement radical policies and teachings that fall in line with homosexual and transgender political activist goals.

Focus On The Family Dubs Anti-Bullying Programs “Pro-Homosexual Curriculum”

The Religious Right continues to parade the myth that gays and lesbians are trying to “recruit” followers in schools, and are increasingly using the lie as the basis of their opposition to anti-bullying programs. Leaders and groups continue to describe anti-bullying policies as attempts to “homosexualize their children” and “promote homosexuality in kids” through “homosexual indoctrination.”

Focus on the Family has been at the forefront of challenging anti-bullying policies, which often cover the widespread harassment and bullying directed towards LGBT youth. Through initiatives like “True Tolerance” and the “Day of Dialogue,” Focus on the Family uses anti-gay rhetoric to attack proponents of anti-bullying policies.

When the White House recently held a conference on the problem of bullying in schools, Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink quickly announced their disapproval and said that Obama is trying “to promote pro-homosexual curriculum”:

The White House Conference of Bullying Prevention, which took place Thursday, provided a platform for gay activists and their allies to promote their agenda — which increasingly is being pushed into the classroom.

Ellen Kahn, director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Family Project, was more than happy to have the president’s ear. At the summit, she was working to get HRC’s “Welcoming Schools” campaign into more elementary schools. The curriculum addresses “family diversity, gender stereotyping and name-calling in K-5 learning environments.”



“That’s the problem with allowing this issue to become politicized by special-interest groups: It sends the wrong message to our children,” said Candi Cushman, education analyst at CitizenLink.

“Do we really want to send the message that they’re only worth protecting based on what political category they belong to or their sexual identity? No. What we should be teaching them is that they have innate dignity and worth because they are a sacred creation of God, no matter how they identify.”

Santorum to Address New Hampshire Tea Party and Religious Right Gathering

In another sign that former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is running for President, Fox News has suspended his contract as a commentator and he is scheduled to address the “Tax Payer Tea Party Rally” in Concord, New Hampshire on April 15th. John DiStaso of the Union Leader reports that Santorum is “is the first likely presidential candidate to confirm an appearance” to the event hosted by the pro-corporate group Americans for Prosperity and the far-right Cornerstone Action. “With all eyes once again focused on New Hampshire, Cornerstone Action is excited to co-sponsor the largest tea party rally in the state,” said Cornerstone’s Kevin Smith in a statement announcing the rally.

Cornerstone is an ultraconservative organization that flaunts its close relationship with national groups like the Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, CitizenLink, and the National Organization for Marriage. In fact, Cornerstone worked with NOM to run ads attacking the governor for signing the state's marriage equality law and is collaborating with NOM and the FRC to repeal the law. Good As You notes that Cornerstone also endorses the discredited "ex-gay" therapy groups such as Exodus International, Love Won Out, PFOX, and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). In addition, Cornerstone is a top sponsor of the Creationist movie “The Genesis Code.”

Roll Call also reports that “Cornerstone will ask each Republican presidential candidate to sign a pledge agreeing marriage should be between one man and one woman.”

While Rick Santorum has previously addressed Cornerstone events, it is very likely that more Republican candidates will seek the support of the militantly anti-gay group to bolster their New Hampshire campaigns.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Congrats to Pamela Geller for getting herself designated an anti-Islam hatemonger by the SPLC.
  • Tom DeLay has set up a legal defense fund.
  • Focus on the Family’s Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad won the Best Television Commercial award at the National Religious Broadcasters conference. What an honor.
  • Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery warns that if people ignore the Religious Right "then individual liberty degenerates into selfishness, and eventually into social chaos. And, at that point, it is only the loaded gun and the barbed wire fence that can preserve order."
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Bryan Fischer: "If the federal government shuts down, surely we can do better than we did in 1995. "Essential" workers are those needed to protect human life, property and national security. But in 1995, according to the GAO, Commerce kept 64% of its staff, and Interior 53%. HHS kept over 40% of staff in place. At HUD and at regulatory agencies, 78% kept right on working. That's ridiculous. Not a single worker in any of these agencies is 'essential' for the preservation of either life, property or national defense."

Mohler: It's Inevitable That Marriage Equality Will Be "Normalized, Legalized, and Recognized"

Today, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, joined Focus on the Family's Jim Daly on his radio program to discuss the news that the Obama administration would no longer defend DOMA in court.

During the discussion, Mohler said that it is all but inevitable that day is coming when marriage equality will "become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture" and that Christians had better be prepared for living in a nation where they find themselves in the minority:

Daly: Do you think, as we look at those demographics and the polling data and all the other things, as the Christian community, is this something that is inevitable? I know this is a tough question here on Christian radio but I think it's time to start talking about what if.

Mohler: Well Jim I appreciate your candor in that because I think a lot of Christian conservatives are going to try to deny the obvious. I mean, when we're talking about same-sex marriage, we're talking about something that is already legal in one form or another in basically twelve states. So whether they call it marriage, as they do in a few states, or marriage lite as they have now in twelve states, the reality is that a good number of Americans are living where they're already facing not just the inevitably, but the reality, of same-sex marriage. I think it's clear that something like same-sex marriage - indeed, almost exactly what we would envision by that - is going to become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture. It's time for Christians to start thinking about how we're going to deal with that.

I think in the United States, Evangelical Christians in particular, have kind of grown accustomed to having our beliefs and moral convictions and ways of life supported by the state, by the larger culture and we're going to have to learn what it means to live faithfully as Christians when we do not have those supports. You know, it's one thing to live believing that you're in the majority position - everything comes pretty easy that way ...

Daly: A Christian nation.

Mohler: That's right. But when you live in a situation where we're clearly a minority holding to certain convictions that the larger culture either doesn't hold or doesn't hold tenaciously or as very important, we're going to find out just where we stand as Christians.

Mohler: It's Inevitable That Marriage Equality Will Be "Normalized, Legalized, and Recognized"

Today, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, joined Focus on the Family's Jim Daly on his radio program to discuss the news that the Obama administration would no longer defend DOMA in court.

During the discussion, Mohler said that it is all but inevitable that day is coming when marriage equality will "become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture" and that Christians had better be prepared for living in a nation where they find themselves in the minority:

Daly: Do you think, as we look at those demographics and the polling data and all the other things, as the Christian community, is this something that is inevitable? I know this is a tough question here on Christian radio but I think it's time to start talking about what if.

Mohler: Well Jim I appreciate your candor in that because I think a lot of Christian conservatives are going to try to deny the obvious. I mean, when we're talking about same-sex marriage, we're talking about something that is already legal in one form or another in basically twelve states. So whether they call it marriage, as they do in a few states, or marriage lite as they have now in twelve states, the reality is that a good number of Americans are living where they're already facing not just the inevitably, but the reality, of same-sex marriage. I think it's clear that something like same-sex marriage - indeed, almost exactly what we would envision by that - is going to become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture. It's time for Christians to start thinking about how we're going to deal with that.

I think in the United States, Evangelical Christians in particular, have kind of grown accustomed to having our beliefs and moral convictions and ways of life supported by the state, by the larger culture and we're going to have to learn what it means to live faithfully as Christians when we do not have those supports. You know, it's one thing to live believing that you're in the majority position - everything comes pretty easy that way ...

Daly: A Christian nation.

Mohler: That's right. But when you live in a situation where we're clearly a minority holding to certain convictions that the larger culture either doesn't hold or doesn't hold tenaciously or as very important, we're going to find out just where we stand as Christians.

Jim DeMint: A Modern Day Bonhoeffer?

The latest issue of Focus on the Family's "Citizen Magazine" features a cover story on Sen. Jim DeMint and the cost he has had to pay for standing on his Christian/Tea Party principles ... but it is a sacrifice DeMint is willing to make because "our government has never been further from the principles of freedom" and only Christians can save it:

Tea Party icon Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is just one example of a Christian opting to stand on principle — and his faith — and paying the price in doing so.

While his fiscal conservatism is widely reported, his strong social values and Christian beliefs have proffered him not only perspective, but also courage and perseverance — rare commodities inside the Beltway.

...

DeMint said there’s always a sacrifice involved when people begin to stand for their convictions, but he said one must have courage.

“I’m afraid Christians have been intimidated with this idea of separation of church and state — which is not in our Constitution at all — and that maybe their views aren’t welcomed in the public square; that maybe expressing a value judgment about right or wrong is no longer welcomed,” he said.

“We can’t have that anymore. If a society can’t speak out about what’s right or wrong according to their religious convictions, the culture will continue to decline and those who want lower and lower standards will continue to prevail. Biblical standards have preserved our country to this point.

“People of faith are going to have to stand back up. They’re afraid to go out in the community and say what’s right and wrong and challenge the culture. When I speak to pastors today, I challenge them and say, ‘Don’t let this government make you hide within the walls of your church.’ We need leaders. If we didn’t have pastors to lead this country in the revolution, America would never be free.”

Allow me to just call attention to the title of this piece:

"The Cost of Discipleship" just so happens to be the title of a book written in 1937 by German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was executed for opposing the Nazis.

Jim DeMint: A Modern Day Bonhoeffer?

The latest issue of Focus on the Family's "Citizen Magazine" features a cover story on Sen. Jim DeMint and the cost he has had to pay for standing on his Christian/Tea Party principles ... but it is a sacrifice DeMint is willing to make because "our government has never been further from the principles of freedom" and only Christians can save it:

Tea Party icon Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is just one example of a Christian opting to stand on principle — and his faith — and paying the price in doing so.

While his fiscal conservatism is widely reported, his strong social values and Christian beliefs have proffered him not only perspective, but also courage and perseverance — rare commodities inside the Beltway.

...

DeMint said there’s always a sacrifice involved when people begin to stand for their convictions, but he said one must have courage.

“I’m afraid Christians have been intimidated with this idea of separation of church and state — which is not in our Constitution at all — and that maybe their views aren’t welcomed in the public square; that maybe expressing a value judgment about right or wrong is no longer welcomed,” he said.

“We can’t have that anymore. If a society can’t speak out about what’s right or wrong according to their religious convictions, the culture will continue to decline and those who want lower and lower standards will continue to prevail. Biblical standards have preserved our country to this point.

“People of faith are going to have to stand back up. They’re afraid to go out in the community and say what’s right and wrong and challenge the culture. When I speak to pastors today, I challenge them and say, ‘Don’t let this government make you hide within the walls of your church.’ We need leaders. If we didn’t have pastors to lead this country in the revolution, America would never be free.”

Allow me to just call attention to the title of this piece:

"The Cost of Discipleship" just so happens to be the title of a book written in 1937 by German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was executed for opposing the Nazis.

House Republicans and Religious Right Collaborate to Save Unconstitutional DOMA

After the Obama administration announced that it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because the law is unconstitutional, groups opposed to marriage equality immediately sprung into action. The Family Research Center, Concerned Women For America, and Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink swiftly demanded that Congress pass a resolution to takeover the legal defense of DOMA. “Marriage advocates are ready to defend God’s design,” said Jennifer Mesko of CitizenLink, “They are calling on Congress to intervene and defend DOMA.”

According to the Washington Times, Religious Right leaders are now plotting with Republicans in Congress to do just that:

House Republicans and conservative groups are working together behind the scenes to fill the legal void created Wednesday when the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend the federal law banning gay marriage.

The House leadership likely will introduce a resolution early next week to intervene in the four lawsuits pending against the Defense of Marriage Act, better known as DOMA, the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, conservative leaders say.

“I know there have been discussions. I’ve been part of the discussions,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “The question is how to handle this hot potato. The president is trying to throw a monkey wrench into what’s been a very unified majority.”

Jordan Sekulow, policy director for the American Center for Law and Justice, said that although individual members could introduce their own measures in support of the law, he expects Republicans to present a united front with one resolution.

“We’re already in private discussions with members of Congress about defending DOMA,” said Mr. Sekulow. “A unified voice coming from the House would be more powerful.”

The consensus was that such a resolution would pass easily and with bipartisan support. “I don’t think there’s any question that this would pass,” Mr. Perkins said.



The decision effectively leaves the law defenseless in the face of four lawsuits, two filed in federal court in Massachusetts and two filed in federal court in New York. The Massachusetts cases are now at the appellate level.

“That’s a huge-level disadvantage for whoever takes this up,” said Mr. Sekulow. “Briefs are due soon in the 1st Circuit [Court of Appeals]. Congress is out of session this week. As of now, there’s no one defending DOMA.”

House Republicans and Religious Right Collaborate to Save Unconstitutional DOMA

After the Obama administration announced that it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because the law is unconstitutional, groups opposed to marriage equality immediately sprung into action. The Family Research Center, Concerned Women For America, and Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink swiftly demanded that Congress pass a resolution to takeover the legal defense of DOMA. “Marriage advocates are ready to defend God’s design,” said Jennifer Mesko of CitizenLink, “They are calling on Congress to intervene and defend DOMA.”

According to the Washington Times, Religious Right leaders are now plotting with Republicans in Congress to do just that:

House Republicans and conservative groups are working together behind the scenes to fill the legal void created Wednesday when the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend the federal law banning gay marriage.

The House leadership likely will introduce a resolution early next week to intervene in the four lawsuits pending against the Defense of Marriage Act, better known as DOMA, the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, conservative leaders say.

“I know there have been discussions. I’ve been part of the discussions,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “The question is how to handle this hot potato. The president is trying to throw a monkey wrench into what’s been a very unified majority.”

Jordan Sekulow, policy director for the American Center for Law and Justice, said that although individual members could introduce their own measures in support of the law, he expects Republicans to present a united front with one resolution.

“We’re already in private discussions with members of Congress about defending DOMA,” said Mr. Sekulow. “A unified voice coming from the House would be more powerful.”

The consensus was that such a resolution would pass easily and with bipartisan support. “I don’t think there’s any question that this would pass,” Mr. Perkins said.



The decision effectively leaves the law defenseless in the face of four lawsuits, two filed in federal court in Massachusetts and two filed in federal court in New York. The Massachusetts cases are now at the appellate level.

“That’s a huge-level disadvantage for whoever takes this up,” said Mr. Sekulow. “Briefs are due soon in the 1st Circuit [Court of Appeals]. Congress is out of session this week. As of now, there’s no one defending DOMA.”

Focus on the Family Preparing Anti-Gay "Day of Dialogue"

Mark your calendars on April 18th for Focus on the Family’s “Day of Dialogue.”

After the anti-gay ministry Exodus International dropped the “Day of Truth,” an event that tries to counteract GLSEN’s “Day of Silence,” which takes place on April 15th and opposes anti-gay bigotry in schools, Focus on the Family took over and renamed it the “Day of Dialogue.” The website features stories of people “leaving homosexuality” and criticizes GLSEN and the Day of Silence.

Candi Cushman, who leads Focus on the Family’s “True Tolerance” campaign against anti-bullying programs, wants to introduce the Day of Dialogue with a positive spin:

Focus on the Family rolled out its Day of Dialogue™ campaign today with one goal in mind: To encourage honest and respectful conversation among students about the fact that God cares about our relationships, our sexuality and our souls. The nationwide event, which began in 2005 as the Day of Truth, will take place April 18.

Through the Day of Dialogue, Focus hopes to encourage peaceful, student-initiated conversations and ensure there is a safe space for different perspectives and viewpoints, including faith-based ones.

Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family and director of the new Day of Dialogue website, said the name change reflects the key goal of equipping students with an opportunity to articulate a Christian perspective.

“We’re excited about shepherding this student-led event,” she said. “Focus has a long tradition of supporting those who want to express their faith-based viewpoints about homosexuality in a loving and respectful way, and the Day of Dialogue gives students a great way to do just that.”

The event will come on the heels of the Day of Silence, on which gay activists and their allies encourage students to take a vow of silence to bring “attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.”



Cushman said: “Our focus for this year’s event is going to be on dialogue and giving students of faith an opportunity to express the model presented by Jesus Christ in the Bible — who didn’t back away from speaking truth, but neither held back in pouring out His compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people and defending those people from harm.

“The most important way family advocates can help is to make high school and college students aware of the Day of Dialogue. Students can register, and check out activities, conversation cards and posters on the new website.”

Focus on the Family Preparing Anti-Gay "Day of Dialogue"

Mark your calendars on April 18th for Focus on the Family’s “Day of Dialogue.”

After the anti-gay ministry Exodus International dropped the “Day of Truth,” an event that tries to counteract GLSEN’s “Day of Silence,” which takes place on April 15th and opposes anti-gay bigotry in schools, Focus on the Family took over and renamed it the “Day of Dialogue.” The website features stories of people “leaving homosexuality” and criticizes GLSEN and the Day of Silence.

Candi Cushman, who leads Focus on the Family’s “True Tolerance” campaign against anti-bullying programs, wants to introduce the Day of Dialogue with a positive spin:

Focus on the Family rolled out its Day of Dialogue™ campaign today with one goal in mind: To encourage honest and respectful conversation among students about the fact that God cares about our relationships, our sexuality and our souls. The nationwide event, which began in 2005 as the Day of Truth, will take place April 18.

Through the Day of Dialogue, Focus hopes to encourage peaceful, student-initiated conversations and ensure there is a safe space for different perspectives and viewpoints, including faith-based ones.

Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family and director of the new Day of Dialogue website, said the name change reflects the key goal of equipping students with an opportunity to articulate a Christian perspective.

“We’re excited about shepherding this student-led event,” she said. “Focus has a long tradition of supporting those who want to express their faith-based viewpoints about homosexuality in a loving and respectful way, and the Day of Dialogue gives students a great way to do just that.”

The event will come on the heels of the Day of Silence, on which gay activists and their allies encourage students to take a vow of silence to bring “attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.”



Cushman said: “Our focus for this year’s event is going to be on dialogue and giving students of faith an opportunity to express the model presented by Jesus Christ in the Bible — who didn’t back away from speaking truth, but neither held back in pouring out His compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people and defending those people from harm.

“The most important way family advocates can help is to make high school and college students aware of the Day of Dialogue. Students can register, and check out activities, conversation cards and posters on the new website.”
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CitizenLink Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 08/20/2012, 1:35pm
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton and anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly are participating in a prayer rally hosted by Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink and the Florida Family Policy Council in Tampa right before the opening of the Republican National Convention. CitizenLink head Tom Minnery, FFPC’s John Stemberger, former congressman J.C. Watts, Proposition 8 leader Jim Garlow, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver are also among the speakers at the Prayer Rally for America’s Future at the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 07/27/2012, 1:05pm
Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund), the Family Research Council and the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values are planning six seminars in Ohio over the coming months to train Culture Impact Teams and “answer the cry of a culture that needs help.” While FRC’s Tony Perkins and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson won’t be attending in person, they have sent messages, including this one from Dobson condemning an effort to repeal the state’s ban on same-sex marriage by referendum in 2013... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/27/2012, 3:46pm
Right now, wildfires are currently devastating parts of Colorado and these fires are making the Colordao-based political arm of Focus on the Family think about ... sex?  It seems that to the folks at CitizenLink, the tragic consequences of these wildfires are just like the tragic consequences of sex-education since teaching students about safe sex is no different than handing them matches and sending them out into the woods:   Wouldn’t we all agree that it’s better to prevent a forest fire, if and when possible, than treat the immense damage in its aftermath? These... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 06/18/2012, 11:15am
A number of top Religious Right figures over the last few years have been trying to rally support among conservatives for comprehensive immigration reform, arguing that Hispanics are potential allies in their anti-choice and anti-gay advocacy work while warning that if the Right continues to alienate and demonize Latino voters then they will be writing their own political death sentence. As a result, it wasn’t a surprise to see Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention and Sam Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference enthusiastically applaud the Obama... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/31/2012, 3:11pm
Today, yet another court ruled that the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, this time finding that Section 3 of the law, which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in states where they are legal, fails the “rational basis test” as applied to laws that deny equal protection and harm a group long subject to discrimination. The unanimous ruling by the three judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, including two Republican nominees, found no “connection between DOMA’s treatment of same-sex couples and its asserted... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 05/07/2012, 10:30am
This weekend Tom Minnery, the head of Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, announced that the group will be withdrawing a so-called “Religious Freedom Amendment” from consideration in the upcoming election, citing what he deemed cumbersome rules on petitions. Zack Ford of Think Progress points out that the amendment effectively would give certain groups or individuals “veto power over all policy decisions,” as pharmacists could cite “a sincerely held religious belief” not to fill prescriptions like birth control, teachers could refuse to... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/26/2012, 12:50pm
Religious Right activists are reviving their anti-anti-bullying campaign by attacking April 20th’s Day of Silence, an annual event when students protest bullying and anti-LGBT bias. Religious Right groups are once again promoting Focus on the Family’s Day of Dialogue, a counter event scheduled for the previous day. Candi Cushman of Focus on the Family on Friday joined Janet Mefferd to warn about how the Day of Silence “crosses the line in a lot of ways beyond bullying into indoctrination, just promoting homosexuality and transgenderism.” Mefferd, delighted that the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/02/2012, 10:20am
Yesterday the US Senate voted 51-48 to kill the Blunt Amendment to the transportation bill that would have given employers the right to deny insurance coverage for any treatment that they objected to for any reason, representing a major setback for Religious Right groups who urged passage of the extreme amendment. Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink called the vote an affront to the First Amendment, although it is hard to see how anyone’s First Amendment right to free exercise of religion is being violated: “Today the government, this time via Congress, again... MORE >