Minnesota Family Council

Minnesota Anti-LGBT Activists Turn To Scare Tactics, Religious Persecution Rhetoric In Opposing School Trans-Inclusive Policy

Opponents of a proposed framework for allowing transgender students to participate in school sports in Minnesota has come under fire from anti-LGBT activists in the state, including from the Minnesota Child Protection League, which ran a full-page ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this week with the message: “A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU ok with that?”

At a hearing yesterday, the group that oversees high school sports in Minnesota tabled the proposal until December after speakers warned that the policy would amount to “transgender promotion” and because some students may have religious objections to transgender identity, it would “intentionally endorse one particular religious view over another.”

The Minnesota Child Protection League claims that its transphobic ad generated over 10,000 emails to the sports board. Andy Birkey with The Colu.mn reports that “most of the speakers in opposition” at yesterday’s hearing “had a connection with either the Child Protection League or the Minnesota Family Council,” a state affiliate of Focus on the Family’s political arm.

Birkey recorded some of the most incendiary rhetoric against the measure:

Attorney Renee Carlson was one of several speakers who were misinformed about the policy, specifically the sensitivity training element.

She said the policy forces schools to “embrace transgenderism through sensitivity training, training that the school does not have an option to decline according to this policy” and “imposes a narrative regarding human sexuality that is different from my own as a parent and leaves no other options.”

Becky Swenson asked, “How much will it cost to provide training? She lamented that OutFront Minnesota was consulted about the policy and said. “I wonder if the true goal isn’t transgender promotion… I’m sad to see that any disagreement is called hate speech.”

Religious school also testified that they objected to the proposed policy on religious ground.

Dr. Jeff Mattner of the Association of Christian Schools International asked the board not to step on the rights of religious schools to exercise their faith and convictions.”

Rev. Fredric Hinz of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, a Lutheran denomination that rejects LGBT rights and advocated ex-gay conversion therapy, echoed some of MNCPL’s misinformation. “We are also disappointed that the proposed policy makes no apparent efforts to acknowledge the financial burden that it may impose on participating schools,” he said. “We find it ironic that while going to great lengths to advocate for greater sensitivity to the concern of transgender students, the proposed policy seems to lack any sensitivity to the vast majority of student athletes who may be forced to forfeit their privacy rights in sharing public facilities.”

He added that his faith rejects people being transgender.

“It is a policy that presumes that our true essence as human beings is somehow separable from our bodies that our bodies are somehow meaningless. This is a view which stands in direct contradiction of the religious views of the vast majority of students and their parents…to adopt this policy would be to intentionally endorse one particular religious view over another.”

Brian Sullivan head of Maranatha Christian Academy and Living Word Christian Center said he opposed it because of “deeply held religious conviction… whether it’s intended or not, it discriminates against these schools on the basis of religion.”

Michele Lentz of the Minnesota Child Protection League said her group is not spreading misinformation about the issue and defended her ad. “If you ran an ad, we wouldn’t have had to. Now parents know.” She challenged the very idea of transgender people. “The underlying assumption is that gender is a choice and not a matter of biology, which is absurd but that is what is at the heart of the controversy.”

Anti-Gay Activists Warn 'Homosexual References' in School will 'Bring Many of the Kids into the Gay Lifestyle'

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality hosted Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute and Barbara Anderson of the Parents Action League and the Minnesota Family Council. Higgins railed against the “homosexual agenda” as the “greatest threat to First Amendment speech and religious liberty in America today” and later Anderson, who called anti-bullying efforts “child abuse,” said that Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin school district’s new guidelines regarding sexual orientation will turn kids gay:

Higgins: This is not about sound pedagogy, it will do the exact opposite; it will interfere with intellectual exploration and critical thinking. And I don’t think there is a greatest threat to First Amendment speech and religious liberty in America today than that posed by the homosexual agenda.

LaBarbera: And it just keeps going on and on and they want to go younger and younger.

Higgins: That’s right.



Anderson: They want school children to be bombarded with homosexual references in math, geography, science, English, all of this to promote the gay agenda. I think kids are going to get so sick of this, but unfortunately it’s going to brainwash many of the children with this propaganda and will bring many of the kids into the gay lifestyle as they experiment with this and are told that this is normal and a choice that they can make as well.

During the interview, LaBarbera also congratulated Anderson after she informed him that the Parents Action League was designated as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and LaBarbera repeated his claim that organizations working “to counter the homosexual activist movement” should strive to find a place the SPLC’s hate group list. Anderson, who has warned that “homosexual teachers” are targeting “creative” students and that gay rights advocates will “increase bullying as more kids get into this kind of a lifestyle,” told LaBarbera in 2010 that AFTAH’s hate group designation was a “badge of honor.”

LaBarbera: Barbara, I wouldn’t be surprised if SPLC started labeling Minnesota Family Council or your Parents Action League as a hate group.

Anderson: They already have.

LaBarbera: Oh they did? I’m behind the times. Which one?

Anderson: Parents Action League has been added to their ridiculous catalogue of haters.

LaBarbera: Congratulations, Barb! We decided that if you’re not labeled a hate group by the SPLC you’re not really doing anything to counter the homosexual activist movement.

Linda Harvey and Barb Anderson Decry School District's Decision to Try to Stop Anti-Gay Bullying

This weekend Mission America president spoke to Barb Anderson of the Parents Action League and the Minnesota Family Council about Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin school district where Anderson’s group had successfully lobbied the school district to stop the school from dealing with anti-gay bias and discrimination as part of its bullying-prevention policy. A number of students who were bullied for being gay or perceived to be gay committed or attempted to commit suicide, and ultimately the school board reversed the policy after six students sued, saying that the district failed to tackle the continuous problem of anti-gay harassment.

Anderson bewailed the school board decision and warned about schools giving access to Gay-Straight Alliances, which she had earlier called “dangerous” and wanted them banned from schools, and seemed to suggest that they even promote pedophilia by calling it a “red flag” that LGBT students “get paired with adult mentors, adult homosexuals” through GSA clubs. Harvey said that GSA’s do not help protect LGBT students since “they’re advocating going into this lifestyle” and said gay-rights advocates “have manipulated this entire tragedy.”

Harvey: ‘Protection.’ That word ‘protection.’ They say they are protecting homosexual kids, no they’re not, if they’re advocating going into this lifestyle, that’s not protection.

Anderson: Absolutely not. In fact, when they get into the Gay-Straight Alliances many of the kids get affirmed in this sexual behavior which can lead to disease and terrible relationships in the future. Many of them are steered into gay drop-in centers where they get paired with adult mentors, adult homosexuals, I mean this should be a red flag for any parent. These Gay-Straight Alliances train these kids to be political activists. In fact at the press conference one of the comments that they made about these six plaintiffs, ‘they started off as victims but now they are going to be activists and will be out there presenting their cause,’ so they are going to use these kids in the future as well.

Harvey: And they are being manipulated. They have manipulated this entire tragedy, they saw the issue of the suicides, the tragedy of kids being self-destructive, and then they jumped on it, that’s just the long and short of it.

Anderson: Yes, that’s right.

The two also attacked the Southern Poverty Law Center, which led the lawsuit along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights against the school district, for trying to prevent bullying by “indoctrinating kids with homosexuality” and listing both of their organizations as anti-gay hate groups. Anderson said that the SPLC is “totally opposed to Judeo-Christian values, they really hate Christians and hate evangelicals,” and bemoaned that they listed “pro-family, pro-traditional values” as hate groups when in fact it is the SPLC “that should be considered a hate group.” Harvey later in the interview said that the only organization on their list she thinks is a hate group is Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church.

Harvey: Here we have the Southern Poverty Law Center which has named our group recently as an anti-gay group and yours, Parents Action League, as well, they were part of this and they have this whole section in their organization called Teaching Tolerance which is just, I mean I just roll my eyes because they have no tolerance. They’ve been big on tracking the Ku Klux Klan and actual racism but now they’re broadening this and trying to muddy the waters by a smack down on traditional values, isn’t that what’s really going on here?

Anderson: Yes they are just totally opposed to Judeo-Christian values, they really hate Christians and hate evangelicals. We can have anti-bullying programs that can eliminate bad behavior without indoctrinating kids with homosexuality, but that is what they want.



Anderson: The Southern Poverty Law Center is the group that should be considered a hate group. The common thread that they have of all the groups that they have listed are basically good, pro-family, pro-traditional values, decent organizations that they’ve put on their list.

Tony Perkins Defends Minnesota School District with Rampant Anti-Gay Bullying

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Tuesday defended the Parents Action League, a Minnesota group that fiercely lobbied the Anoka-Hennepin school district against implementing anti-bullying policies they believe will make the kids targets of “homosexual propaganda” and result in them being “indoctrinated in homosexuality.” The Parents Action League, a division of the Minnesota Family Council, claims the school district has an “outstanding policy” regarding sexual orientation and gloats that they helped craft it. But the group has come under fire from legal organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and even the Justice Department after a string of teen suicides, so naturally Perkins is standing by the school district’s anti-gay activists:

Perkins: Out of Minnesota where the school board had adopted a neutral policy on homosexuality, where teachers couldn’t be for it or against it and there were a few suicides that took place, which is really kind of tragically a rash, there’s been a rash of suicides, actually it’s been almost growing for a number of years in high schools across the country. Well there may be some cases where these young people are bullied, which is wrong, shouldn’t happen. The Southern Poverty Law Center, teaming up with local homosexual groups, immediately claimed that all these were related to homosexual students being bullied, as it turned out it was not but the damage had already been done. The Southern Poverty Law Center came in threatening a law suit, then brought the Justice Department in—the federal government, going into a local school district—and then in the process a parents organization kind of grew up, the Parents Action League, which was defending the neutral policy, they weren’t against homosexuality, they weren’t for it, but they didn’t want their kids taught something that countered what they were taught at home. Well the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocate in the process for homosexual special rights and special status for homosexuals, labeled the opposing group a hate group for trying to marginalize and stigmatize them in that local debate. Then the Justice Department went forward with consent decree which is onerous, we’ll get into that on Thursday, but it just shows how the other side wants to shut down the debate so they can have their way and push their radical agenda through.

However, as Rolling Stone reported, at least four of the students who committed suicide were bullied for being gay or perceived to be gay:

There was another common thread: Four of the nine dead were either gay or perceived as such by other kids, and were reportedly bullied. The tragedies come at a national moment when bullying is on everyone's lips, and a devastating number of gay teens across the country are in the news for killing themselves. Suicide rates among gay and lesbian kids are frighteningly high, with attempt rates four times that of their straight counterparts; studies show that one-third of all gay youth have attempted suicide at some point (versus 13 percent of hetero kids), and that internalized homophobia contributes to suicide risk.

...

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have filed a lawsuit on behalf of five students, alleging the school district's policies on gays are not only discriminatory, but also foster an environment of unchecked anti-gay bullying. The Department of Justice has begun a civil rights investigation as well.

Stephanie Mencimer notes that along with the nine suicides, at least seven other students “have been hospitalized for attempting or threatening suicide.” She goes on to write:

There's no sure way of knowing why any of the kids took their own lives, but gay rights activists quickly honed in on one factor they saw as contributing to an unhealthy climate for at-risk kids. Anoka-Hennepin has a policy on the books known colloquially as "no homo promo," which dates in back to the mid-1990s. Back then, after several emotional school board meetings, the district essentially wiped gay people out of the school health curriculum. There could be no discussion of homosexuality, even with regard to HIV and AIDS, and the school board adopted a formal policy that stated school employees could not teach that homosexuality was a "normal, valid lifestyle."

Later the policy was changed to require school staff to remain neutral on issues of homosexuality if they should come up in class, a change that critics said fostered confusion among teachers and contributed to their inability to address bullying and harassment, or to even ask reasonable questions about some of the issues the kids were struggling with, like sexual orientation. Both policies were put into place at the behest of conservative religious activists who have been among Bachmann's biggest supporters in the district. They include the Minnesota Family Council (MFC), and its local affiliate, the Parents Action League, which has lobbied to put discredited "reparative therapy" materials in schools.

But Perkins tells a much different story.

First, he claims that the Southern Poverty Law Center “immediately claimed that all these were related to homosexual students being bullied,” adding, “as it turned out it was not.” However, the SPLC never claimed that all of the suicides were by “homosexual students,” but did argue that anti-gay bullying was “at least in part the result of a gag policy that prevented teachers from discussing issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people.” Perkins also claimed that the Parents Action League emerged as a result of the SPLC lawsuit, which isn’t true as PAL has been active in the school district for years prior to the SPLC’s involvement. He even claimed that PAL’s members “weren’t against homosexuality,” which is difficult to believe since the organization wants schools to teach reparative therapy, warned that gays and lesbians  have “targeted” students and called homosexuality “one of the most hazardous behaviors that kids could get into.”

But of course, no one should be surprised that Perkins twists the facts in order to promote his anti-gay views, and after misrepresenting the controversy he attacked the SPLC for advocating “special status for homosexuals” and pushing a “radical agenda.”

Imagine If Janet Porter Ran For President

Perhaps one of the most alarming realizations about Michele Bachmann is that even if she hand never a member of Congress and a Republican presidential contender, we would probably still be writing about her here on Right Wing Watch because she is, at heart, a hardcore Religious Right activist.

Tim Murphy of Mother Jones has a new profile of Bachmann which, I feel, perfectly demonstrates that point: 

There was one issue that seemed to consume Bachmann. The slow creep of the gay rights movement was, in her words, an "earthquake issue," with the potential to shake the foundation of society itself: the family. Taking a page from Schaeffer, who vilified the "rampant sexuality" and moral relativism of the Romans, Bachmann saw the gay rights movement as a secular ideology that posed a direct challenge to traditional marriages.

As she'd done before with the Profile of Learning, Bachmann embraced her role as a messenger. When EdWatch, as the Maple River Education Coalition was later known, invited her to deliver a speech at its 2004 convention, she unleashed a masterful presentation, mixing slides with self-deprecating humor, that hammered home the same urgent message that has since become familiar to a national audience: The forces working against you are bigger than you think.

Bachmann ripped into pop culture, telling her audience about a dangerous show she'd discovered called Sex and the City. ("It's received critical acclaim," she said, "so that tells you, 'Don't watch it.'") She warned that The Lion King soundtrack was potentially toxic to small children because it was written by Elton John, a gay man. She urged her audience to pray for Melissa Etheridge, suggesting that the lesbian songwriter's breast cancer diagnosis might be a wake-up call for her to turn away from her sinful lifestyle. To Bachmann, homosexuals had even usurped the English language. "It's part of Satan, I think, to say that this is 'gay,'" she said. "It's anything but gay."

The Bachmanns worked as a tag team. In 2005, they both participated in the Minnesota Pastors' Summit, a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Family Council that was designed to train religious leaders for the culture wars. Michele led a session on a state gay marriage amendment; Marcus, in a rare moment of public activism, moderated a talk called "The Truth of the Homosexual Lifestyle."

Imagine if Sally Kern or Janet Porter were not only running for president but winning the Iowa Straw Poll and being treated like a front-runner and you start to get an idea of just how truly amazing/terrifying this development is.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Will Money Help Gingrich Win Over The Religious Right?

The Wall Street Journal today features an extensive profile on Newt Gingrich’s vast network of political organizations, including American Solutions, Renewing American Leadership (ReAL), and Gingrich Productions. The paper reports that Gingrich’s “network has amassed more than 1.7 million voter and donor contacts and raised $32 million between 2009 and 2010—more than all his potential 2012 rivals combined.” Gingrich also helped steer $150,000 to American Family Association Action to help defeat three Iowa State Supreme Court justices that ruled in favor of marriage equality. Along with ReAL, which is led by anti-gay activist Jim Garlow, and his support for the AFA, Gingrich has made overtures to other Religious Right groups and leaders including John Hagee, Bryan Fischer, Janet Porter, Liberty University, Liberty Counsel, The Family Leader and the Minnesota Family Council.

But will Gingrich’s financial influence, religious documentaries and appeals to prominent Religious Right figures translate to real support from activists who might be wary of backing a thrice-married adulterer? Fischer remains a skeptic, but Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats, who coordinated the anti-judge campaign, is still grateful for Gingrich’s significant monetary aid:

Mr. Gingrich hasn't run a truly competitive campaign in 21 years. He is given to public gaffes, most recently criticizing President Barack Obama for failing to back the rebels fighting Col. Moammar Gadhafi, only to reverse himself after Mr. Obama ordered U.S. planes into Libya. He resigned from Congress in 1998 under an ethics cloud, after his party suffered a historic midterm loss. It was later revealed that he was having an affair with a congressional aide.

Even groups that have allied with him, such as the conservative American Family Association, aren't poised to back him, citing his two messy divorces and three marriages. "He is brilliant, and has much to offer. But he isn't what we need in the Oval Office," said the AFA's director of issue analysis, Bryan Fischer.



Wearing an array of organizational hats, he has met repeatedly with pastors, trained local candidates, consulted with doctors on his proposed health-care innovations and met with local refiners to tout ethanol. After raising money through one of his groups, Mr. Gingrich funneled $150,000 in seed money to a successful campaign last fall to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges who supported gay marriage.

"Newt's role was quiet and very low key, but it was pivotal," said Bob Vander Plaats, a well-known Iowa conservative who led the anti-judges campaign.



The heavy emphasis on religion is part of his long push to atone for his multiple divorces, according to people who know him. "He was very direct about this," said Rev. Brad Sherman, a prominent Iowa evangelical leader, recounting a session Mr. Gingrich had last year with a small group of Iowa religious leaders. "He said he had deep regrets, and asked our forgiveness."

Bachmann And Gingrich Will Address Anti-Gay Organization That’s "Proud To Be A Hate Group"

Likely presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich are slated to address the Minnesota Family Council’s annual “Reconnecting Faith, Family and Freedom” fundraiser. Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports that the event will “be held May 17 at the Minneapolis Hilton. Tickets are $100.” In the invitation, Gingrich lauds the MFC for “vigorously defending our God-given freedom in our communities, schools, at the Capitol and the ballot box” and asks people to “join me and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in rediscovering God and the vital role of faith and family in our American freedoms.”

The MFC is the state’s leading Religious Right group and has increasingly become one of the most strident opponents of anti-bullying bills. Tom Prichard, the MFC’s president, maintained that LGBT youth commit suicide because they live an “unhealthy lifestyle” and that anti-bullying programs are ways to have children “indoctrinated in homosexuality.” Prichard also criticized Gay Straight Alliances, saying “it’s sad and harmful for kids to celebrate homosexuality when in fact it’s not a healthy lifestyle;” he went on to claim that Matthew Shepard’s murder wasn’t a hate crime and that his “death served an important ideological purpose for homosexual activists.”

The MFC’s Barb Anderson told anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera that “the greatest threat to our freedom and to the health and well-being of our children is from this radical homosexual agenda which is just so pervasive” and that she considers it “a badge of honor to be called a hate group.” Anderson also blamed supporters of gay rights for school bullying, saying that they “are the ones that are contributing to an atmosphere that can even increase bullying as more kids get into this kind of a lifestyle” and that “homosexual behavior is one of the most hazardous behaviors that kids could get into and start practicing.”

Anderson also warned of “targeted” students and that “pro-gay training[s]” are coming “like a tsunami.” In January, the organization hosted a legislative summit with pseudo-historian David Barton featuring courses on “Bullying bills: The homosexual agenda in your child’s public school.”

Religious Right Slams the Purportedly "Homosexual Message” of Anti-Bullying Efforts in California Schools

With greater awareness among policymakers about the problem of pervasive anti-gay bullying in schools, the Religious Right has stepped-up their efforts to misleadingly label anti-bullying policies as “homosexual propaganda.” Focus on the Family warned of “activists who want to promote homosexuality in kids,” David Barton dismissed accounts of bullying and condemned alleged “homosexual indoctrination,” and the Minnesota Family Council blamed the LGBT community for bullying by endorsing an “unhealthy lifestyle.”

Now, the California Family Council (CFC) is escalating its own attacks against anti-bullying initiatives in schools. The CFC is affiliated with Focus on the Family and was highly involved in the campaign to pass Proposition 8. The CFC is now turning its attention to combating what it calls the new “cause célèbre of homosexual activists,” implementing anti-harassment policies. The CFC’s Rebecca Burgoyne spoke to the American Family Association’s news service OneNewsNow about their work fighting anti-bullying policies under the guise of protecting free speech:

A pro-family activist is taking to task a prominent homosexual-rights group for camouflaging its true agenda behind the banner of "bullying" in public schools.

Rebecca Burgoyne, research analyst with California Family Council, tells OneNewsNow that children across The Golden State are being indoctrinated with a pro-homosexual message. She maintains that the Obama administration and homosexual lobbyists are advancing an agenda that silences religious speech and the rights of parents.

"For many years, maybe a decade or so, gay activists in California have been making a big to-do about 'bullying' because of sexual orientation -- or even perceived sexual orientation," she explains. And the term "bullying," she argues, has become the elementary-level word for "hate speech."

January 24-28 marked "No Name-Calling Week" in public schools across the nation -- a week-long observance designed for fifth- through eighth-grade and sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). While the observance claimed to be a week of educational and creative activities "designed to address bullying and end name-calling of all kinds," Burgoyne explains that the agenda behind it contains a decidedly pro-homosexual slant.

"Nobody wants a child to be bullied," she acknowledges. "Nobody wants a child to [be] hurt. Most people say 'Oh, great! We're teaching our children not to bully each other' -- which is a good thing. But it's being used instead to push the homosexual message."

In an article published on her group's website, Burgoyne notes that a young adult book featured during the week is The Misfits. The book, authored by an open homosexual, normalizes same-sex attraction, one character being an "openly homosexual seventh-grader who sees nothing wrong with being attracted to the boy who sits next to him in class."

The CFC research analyst contends that through such events as "No Name-Calling Week," homosexual activists are seeking to make same-sex attractions acceptable to young children -- while at the same time silencing the voice of other viewpoints.

Religious Right Slams the Purportedly "Homosexual Message” of Anti-Bullying Efforts in California Schools

With greater awareness among policymakers about the problem of pervasive anti-gay bullying in schools, the Religious Right has stepped-up their efforts to misleadingly label anti-bullying policies as “homosexual propaganda.” Focus on the Family warned of “activists who want to promote homosexuality in kids,” David Barton dismissed accounts of bullying and condemned alleged “homosexual indoctrination,” and the Minnesota Family Council blamed the LGBT community for bullying by endorsing an “unhealthy lifestyle.”

Now, the California Family Council (CFC) is escalating its own attacks against anti-bullying initiatives in schools. The CFC is affiliated with Focus on the Family and was highly involved in the campaign to pass Proposition 8. The CFC is now turning its attention to combating what it calls the new “cause célèbre of homosexual activists,” implementing anti-harassment policies. The CFC’s Rebecca Burgoyne spoke to the American Family Association’s news service OneNewsNow about their work fighting anti-bullying policies under the guise of protecting free speech:

A pro-family activist is taking to task a prominent homosexual-rights group for camouflaging its true agenda behind the banner of "bullying" in public schools.

Rebecca Burgoyne, research analyst with California Family Council, tells OneNewsNow that children across The Golden State are being indoctrinated with a pro-homosexual message. She maintains that the Obama administration and homosexual lobbyists are advancing an agenda that silences religious speech and the rights of parents.

"For many years, maybe a decade or so, gay activists in California have been making a big to-do about 'bullying' because of sexual orientation -- or even perceived sexual orientation," she explains. And the term "bullying," she argues, has become the elementary-level word for "hate speech."

January 24-28 marked "No Name-Calling Week" in public schools across the nation -- a week-long observance designed for fifth- through eighth-grade and sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). While the observance claimed to be a week of educational and creative activities "designed to address bullying and end name-calling of all kinds," Burgoyne explains that the agenda behind it contains a decidedly pro-homosexual slant.

"Nobody wants a child to be bullied," she acknowledges. "Nobody wants a child to [be] hurt. Most people say 'Oh, great! We're teaching our children not to bully each other' -- which is a good thing. But it's being used instead to push the homosexual message."

In an article published on her group's website, Burgoyne notes that a young adult book featured during the week is The Misfits. The book, authored by an open homosexual, normalizes same-sex attraction, one character being an "openly homosexual seventh-grader who sees nothing wrong with being attracted to the boy who sits next to him in class."

The CFC research analyst contends that through such events as "No Name-Calling Week," homosexual activists are seeking to make same-sex attractions acceptable to young children -- while at the same time silencing the voice of other viewpoints.

More Religious Right Seminars for Elected Leaders

Looks like members of Congress and legislators in Arkansas might not be the only elected officials David Barton will be teaching in the coming weeks, as Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports that he has also been invited to participate in a joint Minnesota Family Council/Family Research Council summit for Minnesota legislators: 

When state legislators checked their office mailboxes Wednesday, they found an invitation to attend a Minnesota Family and Marriage Summit featuring a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as a hate group. The summit, to be held next week, is organized by the Minnesota Family Council and the Family Research Council and will teach legislators how to pass a constitutional amendment banning rights for same-sex couples.

The summit includes courses for legislators such as “Bullying bills: The homosexual agenda in your child’s public school” and “Why family matters,” but the bulk of the summit appears to be focused on getting an amendment on the ballot in 2012 banning gay marriage.

Sessions entitled “Effective marriage protection amendment strategies” and “What’s the harm in same-sex marriage?” are aimed at getting the amendment passed, and the latter is taught by a man who once said gays should be “exported” and that homosexuality should be outlawed: Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council.

...

Invited, but not confirmed, is David Barton of Wallbuilders.

Minnesota Religious Right Activist Blames LGBT-Rights Advocates for Anti-Gay Bullying

As organizations such as Focus on the Family vigorously work to stop schools from implementing anti-bullying policies that protect gay students, the Minnesota Family Council (MFC) is leading the charge against anti-bullying programs in Minnesota schools. MFC head Tom Prichard previously condemned schools for permitting Gay Straight Alliances, which he says have “kids indoctrinated in homosexuality,” adding that “it’s sad and harmful for kids to celebrate homosexuality when in fact it’s not a healthy lifestyle.” Barb Anderson of the MFC and the Parents Action League recently talked to rabidly anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality about why she thinks LGBT-rights groups like the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) are actually to blame for the bullying of gay students by promoting “homosexual propaganda” and targeting certain students for indoctrination.

Anderson singled out the Anoka-Hennepin School District for her group’s campaign. In July, a student committed suicide after he was relentlessly bullied for being gay, and his family and other advocates have asked the school district to strengthen their anti-bullying policies to protect LGBT students from pervasive bullying. Anderson accused safe-schools groups such as GLSEN of using the student’s suicide “as a Trojan horse” to instill “pro-gay training” in schools.

Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports:

[Anderson] said that it was LGBT groups that caused the bullying because more students were coming out of the closet.

“That is one of the tactics that they are using now, to say that by not legitimizing and normalizing homosexuality, we are creating an atmosphere in the schools that is hostile to quote-end-quote gay kids,” she said. “What they are doing is just the opposite themselves. They are creating an environment where these children that are sexually confused suddenly become affirmed as a homosexual or that they are born that way, and then these kids are locked into a lifestyle with their choices limited, and many times this can be disastrous to them as they get into the behavior which leads to disease and death in some cases.”

She added, “So, it’s really… They are the ones that are contributing to an atmosphere that can even increase bullying as more kids get into this kind of a lifestyle.”

Specifically, she said that it was the fault of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

“They are the driving force, really the clearing house for all of the homosexual propaganda that is coming into the schools,” she said. “GLSEN also promotes getting gay themed literature for children to read which in most cases is extremely obscene and pornographic. They are also behind getting the Gay-Straight Alliances into the elementary schools as well.”

She added, “This is a real dangerous organization. They are what I would call a child corruption organization basically.”

She said the group is targeting “creative” and “unique” students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District’s Fred Moore Middle School where a GSA was created this year.

“It’s interesting that they targeted an arts school to begin with because a lot of times your have homosexual teachers in that type of environment working with students,” she said. “So these are students that tend to be sometimes very creative and unique in their personalities so it seems to be an area where they try to get in and get the students involved in gay themed productions as well.”

Anderson said that her group, the Parents Action League, has been pressing the school district to do away with GSAs.

“Because of the Equal Access act they feel that they have to allow this in the schools and they they have not been able to put a stop to it, but there are parents getting organized and trying to plead the case that this really is harmful to students,” she said. “It is not providing them with healthy information. None of this is based on truth or scientific fact, especially if they are telling kids they are born this way.”



She added, “Really homosexual behavior is one of the most hazardous behaviors that kids could get into and start practicing.”



“In the wake of that tragedy,” said Anderson, “we have had more of the pro-gay materials flooding into our school district, because they are using that as a Trojan horse, playing on the emotions of the people involved and, of course, this is just a horrendous tragedy for this family.”

Anderson continued, “But they are playing on the fact that we have got to get more of this in the schools so this doesn’t happen to other kids and so that’s where all this pro-gay training is coming in, and it’s making it harder for parents to stop it. It’s really coming in like a tsunami.”

She then praised the school board, “But we do have an outstanding policy. Our sexual orientation policy, which parents can look at on the Parents Action League website, that was written by our school board members and is in place and is the one piece that is keeping these types of pro-gay materials out of the school day.”

Pawlenty Appoints Religious Right Advocate, Wife of Staffer to District Court

Since Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination, he ought to be prepared to answer questions about his decisions, such as the one to bypass the state's Commission on Judicial Selection in order to appoint an attorney with ties to the Religious Right to a seat on a district court ... especially since said attorney also happens to be the wife of his Deputy Chief of Staff:

On Tuesday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed Jamie L. Anderson to the 4th Judicial District Court following the retirement of Judges Tanja Manrique. Press reports note that Anderson is the wife of Pawlenty’s deputy chief of staff and that the appointment raised eyebrows because the governor bypassed the standard judicial selection process to tap a friend’s wife who has little major legal experience. But one fact may shed some light on the appointment: Anderson has ample religious right experience.

Pawlenty picked Anderson without going through the Commission on Judicial Selection, which vets applications for judicial positions and makes recommendations to the governor. Pawlenty skipped that process, and while legally he has that right and past governors have also done the same, local media picked up on it because Anderson is a friend of Pawenty’s. As MinnPost notes, she’s married to Paul Anderson, who serves as his deputy chief of staff.

“Anderson was a surprise choice because she works for a small firm, has not been a prominent lawyer and was not screened through the Commission on Judicial Selection,” the Star Tribune wrote on Tuesday.

But she has handled some high-profile cases for the religious right.

Anderson served as counsel for the Minnesota Family Council (MFC) when that group recently petitioned a Hennepin County judge to become defendants in a case seeking to overturn Minnesota’s ban on same-sex marriage. Three couples have filed suit against Hennepin County and the State of Minnesota challenging the state’s Defense of Marriage Act. The case will be heard in the 4th Judicial District Court, the same court where Anderson was appointed.

Jason Shellack, an attorney for the same-sex couples, said that Anderson joined the case this fall. The Family Council had enlisted the help of James Dobson’s Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) in its bid to be named a defendant in the case, but needed a local attorney to back the ADF’s case. When a previous local attorney dropped the case, Shellack said, Anderson joined up to assist MFC and ADF.

A judge rejected MFC’s request to be named as a defendant in the case late last month.

...

In 2009, Anderson represented Child Evangelism Fellowship of Minnesota (CEF) along with Jerry Falwell’s Liberty Counsel, an evangelical legal group, in a suit against the Elk River School District. The district allowed outside groups such as the Boy Scouts to send literature home with students, but when the CEF asked to send literature about Christianity home with students, the district said no.

LaBarbera: "If You Are Not On The SPLC Hate List, You Are Not Doing Enough"

Last week, Peter LaBarbera interviewed Barbara Anderson of the Minnesota Family Council and Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports that the discussion eventually turned to the topic of the Southern Poverty Law Center having designated LaBarbera's Americans for Truth About Homosexuality as anti-gay hate group, which Anderson called "a badge of honor," prompting LaBarbera to assert that if you didn't find your group on the list, "you are not doing enough":

The Minnesota Family Council’s Barb Anderson sat down with Peter LaBarbera of Americans for the Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) for a radio interview recently. The duo talked about bringing “ex-gays” into the Anoka-Hennepin School District and the fact that AFTAH is now listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a designation Anderson calls a “badge of honor.” The organization recently added 13 new groups to its hate-group map, many for anti-gay positions. The Minnesota Family Council, which opposes homosexuality, has associations with a number of groups that are now on the SPLC list.

“We are one of the rare groups that is opposed single-mindedly against the homosexual activist movement,” said LaBarbera, who founded AFTAH in 1996. “The so-called gay lobby has reached the zenith of its power. They are everywhere.”

“I don’t feel like a homophobe; as one guy said, I’m homo-nauseated,” he continued. “They are everywhere. You can’t get away from them, even in the schools, so today we are interviewing Barb Anderson of the Minnesota Family Council.”

Both LaBarbera and Anderson agreed that AFTAH’s recognition by the SPLC is a point of pride.

“There’s a lot of hatred out there in the so-called gay lobby,” LaBarbera said.

Anderson agreed: “Absolutely. They call us a hate group but the emails and the responses we get from them are just full of anger and hateful comments that they make towards us.”

“I think it’s becoming perhaps a badge of honor to be called a hate group,” said Anderson.

LaBarbera added, “If you are not on the SPLC hate list, you are not doing enough.”

“You are not doing your job,” agreed Anderson. “I think the greatest threat to our freedom and to the health and well-being of our children is from this radical homosexual agenda which is just so pervasive.”

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sadly, Rep. Michele Bachmann has dropped her leadership bid.
  • But Richard Viguerie is not giving up.
  • Speaking of Bachmann, why am I not surprised to see that she thinks David Barton would be a great teacher for his classes on the Constitution?
  • Minnesota Family Council intends to push for a vote in 2012 to ban gay marriage.
  • The Religious Right expects big things from the new GOP Congress when it comes to abortion.
  • Shockingly, when Peter LaBarbera offered half-price admission to married couples, he didn't intend it to apply to married gay couples.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from the Family Research Council's latest prayer update: "Lord, thank You for Your grace, so evident in these elections. We dedicate our newly elected leaders to You. Help them to draw near and draw strength from You as never before. Grant them spiritual discernment in an environment of intense daily spiritual warfare. Protect them and their families. Enable them to withstand every evil. May God's people, in pulpit and pew, intercede for them often, pulling down spiritual strongholds that will enable them to enact public policy that is righteous and just. Guide them by the light of Your Word and grant them success!"

In Minnesota, Religious Right Fights Anti-Bullying Policies, GSA’s

On Friday we asked whether Focus on the Family would hold its ground in opposing anti-bullying programs that take into account the harassment of LGBT students in light of the five reported suicides in September that resulted from anti-gay bullying. Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports that the Minnesota Family Council, like Focus on the Family, is stepping up its fight against anti-bullying programs and support groups like the Gay-Straight Alliance:

The Minnesota Family Council (MFC) is pushing back against efforts to improve the climate for LGBT students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, where community members are mourning suicides by four LGBT students in the last year. The real issue is “homosexual indoctrination,” not anti-gay bullying, says MFC’s Tom Prichard, who says the students are dead because they adopted an “unhealthy lifestyle.” MFC’s campaign against anti-bullying education comes as national religious right groups mount a similar campaign in the aftermath of nearly half a dozen suicides by LGBT students around the country in the last month.

Prichard asserts that the suicide death of 15-year-old Justin Aaberg was not due to anti-LGBT bullying. Aaberg took his life in July, and his mother and friends say anti-LGBT bullying played a factor Prichard claims that “homosexual activists” are “manipulating” his death to get homosexual indoctrination programs into the school district.



“I don’t think parents want their kids indoctrinated in homosexuality,” he said, adding that Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), often the only safe space for LGBT students on campus, should be removed from schools. “It’s sad and harmful for kids to celebrate homosexuality when in fact it’s not a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Prichard went on to float in his blog the discredited claim that the murder of Matthew Shepard was not actually an anti-gay hate crime:

The manipulation of this tragedy is reminiscent of the Matthew Shepard tragedy. Shepard a homosexual was brutally murdered by two men who robbed him. It was asserted that Shepard was murdered, because he was homosexual. It turns out that wasn't the case. No matter. Shepard's tragic death served an important ideological purpose for homosexual activists.

Focus on the Family, unsurprisingly, had words of praise for the group’s efforts:

“Once schools are forced to include special categories for things like sexual orientation or gender identity in their policies, that has been used as leverage to get in homosexual-themed curriculum for kids as young as kindergarten [and to introduce] so-called ‘diversity training’ for high school students and teachers,” said Candi Cushman, education analyst with Focus on the Family. “So this just becomes a gateway for homosexuality promotion in the school.”

Update: Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) tells The Advocate: "After all the tragedy that Anoka-Hennepin school district students have endured this year, I find it unbelievable that anyone would suggest that bullying is not a problem."

Prichard, however, stands firm: "People say [gays] have a higher incidence of [mental health problems] because they’re not embraced, or because they’re ostracized. I don’t think so,” Prichard said. “It’s unhealthy behavior."

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • This was the Focus on the Family Super Bowl ad that caused all the fuss? Consider me unimpressed.
  • Hooray! Sarah Palin says it would be "absurd" for her to rule out running for president in 2012.
  • Speaking of Palin, she also spoke at a campaign event for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, where she shared the stage with David Barton of Wallbuilders.
  • The AFA's Bryan Fischer is really intent on making his point that life would be so much better if homosexuality were criminalized.
  • Carrie Prejean has gotten engaged.
  • Mike Huckabee will be headlining a fundraiser for the Minnesota Family Council in late April.
  • Finally, despite receiving undeservedly flattering coverage from the Washington Post for his anti-marriage efforts, Bishop Harry Jackson blasts the paper for its coverage of the marriage equality issue.
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Minnesota Family Council Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Friday 10/03/2014, 1:29pm
Opponents of a proposed framework for allowing transgender students to participate in school sports in Minnesota has come under fire from anti-LGBT activists in the state, including from the Minnesota Child Protection League, which ran a full-page ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this week with the message: “A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU ok with that?” At a hearing yesterday, the group that oversees high school sports in Minnesota tabled the proposal until December after speakers warned that the policy would amount to “transgender... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 04/26/2012, 12:10pm
Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality hosted Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute and Barbara Anderson of the Parents Action League and the Minnesota Family Council. Higgins railed against the “homosexual agenda” as the “greatest threat to First Amendment speech and religious liberty in America today” and later Anderson, who called anti-bullying efforts “child abuse,” said that Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin school district’s new guidelines regarding sexual orientation will turn kids gay: Higgins: This is not about... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/03/2012, 1:05pm
This weekend Mission America president spoke to Barb Anderson of the Parents Action League and the Minnesota Family Council about Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin school district where Anderson’s group had successfully lobbied the school district to stop the school from dealing with anti-gay bias and discrimination as part of its bullying-prevention policy. A number of students who were bullied for being gay or perceived to be gay committed or attempted to commit suicide, and ultimately the school board reversed the policy after six students sued, saying that the district failed to... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 03/15/2012, 10:30am
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Tuesday defended the Parents Action League, a Minnesota group that fiercely lobbied the Anoka-Hennepin school district against implementing anti-bullying policies they believe will make the kids targets of “homosexual propaganda” and result in them being “indoctrinated in homosexuality.” The Parents Action League, a division of the Minnesota Family Council, claims the school district has an “outstanding policy” regarding sexual orientation and gloats that they helped craft it. But the group has come under... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/15/2011, 9:09am
Perhaps one of the most alarming realizations about Michele Bachmann is that even if she hand never a member of Congress and a Republican presidential contender, we would probably still be writing about her here on Right Wing Watch because she is, at heart, a hardcore Religious Right activist. Tim Murphy of Mother Jones has a new profile of Bachmann which, I feel, perfectly demonstrates that point:  There was one issue that seemed to consume Bachmann. The slow creep of the gay rights movement was, in her words, an "earthquake issue," with the potential to shake the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/10/2011, 4:58pm
PFAW: PFAW Celebrates Victory of Wisconsin Voters Over Corporate Special Interests. Good As You: Burt Prelutsky, I live for this kind of thing. Sofia Resnick @ Washington Independent: Anti-LGBT group launches campaign to keep gay people from donating blood. Warren Throckmorton: David Barton’s claims about gay indoctrination are false says American Academy of Pediatrics. Julie Ingersoll @ Religion Dispatches: Bachmann’s Law School Mentor Asserts Biblical Roots of American Political System. Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Minnesota... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 06/10/2011, 4:36pm
Lauri Lebo @ Religion Dispatches: David Barton: Creationist Founding Fathers Settled Debate Over Evolution. Steve Benen: What prompted the Gingrich exodus. Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Bradlee Dean and Minnesota Family Council share more than marriage amendment success. Jeff @ Bold Faith Type: Signs of Fissure Between GOP Establishment and Religious Right. Frances Martel @ Mediaite: GOProud Board President Sticks By Herman Cain After ‘Homosexuality Is A Sin’ Comment. Ed Brayton @ Dispatches From the Culture War: The Fraudulent... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/25/2011, 4:43pm
Good As You: The documents the Minnesota Family Council doesn't want you to see. Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Wal-Mart, Salem radio dump Bradlee Dean. Lee Fang @ Think Progress: GOP Congressman Tells Televangelists U.S. Must Give Aid To Israel Or ‘Lose God’s Hand.’ Eric Kleefeld @ TPM: Sharron Angle Drops Out Of NV-02 Special Election, Calls Process ‘A Mockery.’ Oliver Willis @ County Fair: Beck's "Restoring Courage" Travel Agency Run By Falwell's Right-Hand Man. Timothy Kincaid @ Box Turtle Bulletin... MORE >