Minnesota

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.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 2/01/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: “Tea Party State of the Union Response” is widely panned, mocked on SNL (HuffPo, 1/31).

Budget: Veterans groups blast Bachmann’s proposal to slash veterans benefits (UPI, 1/28).

Congress: Invites Religious Right notable and anti-Islam activist to teach class on Constitution (RWW, 1/26).

Haley Barbour

Civil Rights: Congressman says Barbour's civil rights work in Mississippi more symbolic than substantive (Clarion Ledger, 1/30).

South Carolina: Privately meets with top South Carolina GOP activists (CNN, 1/25).

John Bolton

Foreign Affairs: In CNSNews interview, claims Obama “basically doesn’t care” about foreign and national security issues (1/31).

Budget: Tells neoconservative group that defense department shouldn’t face budget cuts (Philly Daily News, 1/28).

Mike Huckabee

PAC: Leadership PAC “plagued by anemic fundraising” (Politico, 1/31).

Health Care: Lauds ruling on reform law, says “it’s nice to see the courts upholding the Constitution” (Sunshine State News, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Justifies Israeli settlements by saying they are building in “the place that God gave them.” (AP, 1/31).

Polls: Ahead of rivals in early GOP polls with strong support among conservatives (TPM, 1/27).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Leaves post as Ambassador to China, advisers start New Horizons leadership PAC (Salt Lake Tribune, 1/31).

Religion: Will Huntsman’s Mormon faith hurt his presidential aspirations? (WaPo, 1/31).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Led other potential presidential candidates in final quarter fundraising (National Journal, 1/31).

Second Amendment: Defended gun rights and praised conservationism at Safari Club (AP, 1/31).

SOTU: Rants against Obama’s “WTF” moments, says he can’t be trusted (Facebook, 1/27).

Tim Pawlenty

Iowa: Courts Religious Right activists in next visit to Iowa (Iowa Independent, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Says Obama Administration’s response to crisis in Egypt was “inconsistent and bordering on incoherent” (Minnesota Post, 1/31).

PAC: Freedom First PAC has about $155,000 on hand after midterm election (WaPo, 1/28).

Religious Right: Meets with anti-choice radical Rob Schenck (RWW, 1/28).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Obama aide says administration “got some good ideas” from Romney’s Massachusetts health law (CNN, 1/31).

PAC: Raised more than all other prospective candidates in 2010 (NYT, 1/31).

New Hampshire: Meets with New Hampshire businessmen (Union Leader, 1/31).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Set to address the far-right group Catholic Citizenship (AP, 1/29).

Iowa: Hires staffers with ties to corporate-backed group to lead Iowa campaign (RWW, 1/28).

SOTU: Pens New Hampshire op-ed criticizing Obama’s State of the Union (Union Leader, 1/27).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 2/01/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: “Tea Party State of the Union Response” is widely panned, mocked on SNL (HuffPo, 1/31).

Budget: Veterans groups blast Bachmann’s proposal to slash veterans benefits (UPI, 1/28).

Congress: Invites Religious Right notable and anti-Islam activist to teach class on Constitution (RWW, 1/26).

Haley Barbour

Civil Rights: Congressman says Barbour's civil rights work in Mississippi more symbolic than substantive (Clarion Ledger, 1/30).

South Carolina: Privately meets with top South Carolina GOP activists (CNN, 1/25).

John Bolton

Foreign Affairs: In CNSNews interview, claims Obama “basically doesn’t care” about foreign and national security issues (1/31).

Budget: Tells neoconservative group that defense department shouldn’t face budget cuts (Philly Daily News, 1/28).

Mike Huckabee

PAC: Leadership PAC “plagued by anemic fundraising” (Politico, 1/31).

Health Care: Lauds ruling on reform law, says “it’s nice to see the courts upholding the Constitution” (Sunshine State News, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Justifies Israeli settlements by saying they are building in “the place that God gave them.” (AP, 1/31).

Polls: Ahead of rivals in early GOP polls with strong support among conservatives (TPM, 1/27).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Leaves post as Ambassador to China, advisers start New Horizons leadership PAC (Salt Lake Tribune, 1/31).

Religion: Will Huntsman’s Mormon faith hurt his presidential aspirations? (WaPo, 1/31).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Led other potential presidential candidates in final quarter fundraising (National Journal, 1/31).

Second Amendment: Defended gun rights and praised conservationism at Safari Club (AP, 1/31).

SOTU: Rants against Obama’s “WTF” moments, says he can’t be trusted (Facebook, 1/27).

Tim Pawlenty

Iowa: Courts Religious Right activists in next visit to Iowa (Iowa Independent, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Says Obama Administration’s response to crisis in Egypt was “inconsistent and bordering on incoherent” (Minnesota Post, 1/31).

PAC: Freedom First PAC has about $155,000 on hand after midterm election (WaPo, 1/28).

Religious Right: Meets with anti-choice radical Rob Schenck (RWW, 1/28).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Obama aide says administration “got some good ideas” from Romney’s Massachusetts health law (CNN, 1/31).

PAC: Raised more than all other prospective candidates in 2010 (NYT, 1/31).

New Hampshire: Meets with New Hampshire businessmen (Union Leader, 1/31).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Set to address the far-right group Catholic Citizenship (AP, 1/29).

Iowa: Hires staffers with ties to corporate-backed group to lead Iowa campaign (RWW, 1/28).

SOTU: Pens New Hampshire op-ed criticizing Obama’s State of the Union (Union Leader, 1/27).

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Personal Meeting Leaves Rob Schenck Very Impressed With Tim Pawlenty

In the early 1990s, Rob Schenck was a radical anti-abortion activist who worked alongside his twin brother Paul carrying out protests against Dr. Barnett Slepian in upstate New York ... until Slepian was murdered by another anti-abortion activist.

Instrumental in the founding of Operation Rescue with Randall Terry, Schenck was arrested in 1992 for thrusting a container containing a fetus at then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton and stopped by the Secret Service a few years later after aggressively confronting President Clinton as he headed to church.

Since then, Schenck has toned down his radical anti-choice activities and become an influential minister to members of Congress and created a network of overlapping right-wing organizations through which he carries out his work, 

In recent years, he has become best known for regularly annointing doorways and hearing rooms with oil before big events like Supreme Court hearings and presidential inaugurations and questioning the Christian faith of President Obama ... and, I guess, meeting with Tim Pawlenty:

I had the privilege of spending an evening with Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty during one of his visits to Washington. I found him genuine, a mature Christian and a very pleasant personality.

Personal Meeting Leaves Rob Schenck Very Impressed With Tim Pawlenty

In the early 1990s, Rob Schenck was a radical anti-abortion activist who worked alongside his twin brother Paul carrying out protests against Dr. Barnett Slepian in upstate New York ... until Slepian was murdered by another anti-abortion activist.

Instrumental in the founding of Operation Rescue with Randall Terry, Schenck was arrested in 1992 for thrusting a container containing a fetus at then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton and stopped by the Secret Service a few years later after aggressively confronting President Clinton as he headed to church.

Since then, Schenck has toned down his radical anti-choice activities and become an influential minister to members of Congress and created a network of overlapping right-wing organizations through which he carries out his work, 

In recent years, he has become best known for regularly annointing doorways and hearing rooms with oil before big events like Supreme Court hearings and presidential inaugurations and questioning the Christian faith of President Obama ... and, I guess, meeting with Tim Pawlenty:

I had the privilege of spending an evening with Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty during one of his visits to Washington. I found him genuine, a mature Christian and a very pleasant personality.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Barton: “I Guarantee You They Are Getting Homosexual Indoctrination” in Public Schools

The zealous opposition to anti-bullying initiatives in schools from Religious Right groups is based on the premise that such programs are surreptitious ways to “promote homosexuality” or disseminate “homosexual propaganda” in schools. On WallBuildersLive, faux-historian David Barton and co-host Rick Green brought on Brian Camenker of the stringently anti-gay group MassResistance to discuss ways “homosexual activists” are the real bullies and manufactured the whole problem of bullying in the first place. With more scrutiny given to the problem of the pervasive harassment of LGBT students (including the case of one Minnesota teenager who committed suicide last week), right-wing groups and leaders have become even more fanatical in their hostility to anti-bullying programs.

Green and Camenker, who described gay-rights groups as “fascist,” agree that “homosexual activists” invented the problem of bullying and became the bullies themselves:

Camenker: It often takes parents standing up to the homosexual activists and it’s hard to do, but you’re right. This is a very aggressive, fascist type of movement and these guys define the term ‘bullies.’

Green: I think you’re right and the perception I guess and maybe a lot of teachers, principals, superintendents out there have bought into this perception is that they are only the ones being bullied, the homosexual lobby is, so they’re hypersensitive to the other side of it.

Barton later claims that “homosexual indoctrination” is found in the entire public school system and tells parents that they “better get on top of what’s being taught to your kids.”

Barton: There’s a whole lost of this that goes on that parents don’t even hear about but it is going on. All this bullying stuff, as Brian pointed out, it’s not the schools that are doing bullying, it’s the people from outside the schools coming in and saying “oh you got a bullying problem and we need to teach a course for you.” The people living there didn’t see any problem. But it’s these outside agenda-

Green: They’re the very thing they say they’re going in to stop is what they’re doing themselves.

Barton: They generate and start. It goes back to the question Jesus asks, “What’s it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?” The question I gotta ask is, what’s it worth to you to gain everything you want and lose your kids?

Because unless you’re willing to monitor what’s going on in that classroom, I guarantee you they are getting homosexual indoctrination. I don’t care whether you’re in a rural area or not, because this is so much a part of textbooks, so much a part of curricular stuff, so much a part of what goes on with other kids. We see it too often in lawsuits, we hear of accounts like this, and we hear of dozens of other accounts where nothing’s ever done. You better get on top of what’s being taught to your kids.

Barton: “I Guarantee You They Are Getting Homosexual Indoctrination” in Public Schools

The zealous opposition to anti-bullying initiatives in schools from Religious Right groups is based on the premise that such programs are surreptitious ways to “promote homosexuality” or disseminate “homosexual propaganda” in schools. On WallBuildersLive, faux-historian David Barton and co-host Rick Green brought on Brian Camenker of the stringently anti-gay group MassResistance to discuss ways “homosexual activists” are the real bullies and manufactured the whole problem of bullying in the first place. With more scrutiny given to the problem of the pervasive harassment of LGBT students (including the case of one Minnesota teenager who committed suicide last week), right-wing groups and leaders have become even more fanatical in their hostility to anti-bullying programs.

Green and Camenker, who described gay-rights groups as “fascist,” agree that “homosexual activists” invented the problem of bullying and became the bullies themselves:

Camenker: It often takes parents standing up to the homosexual activists and it’s hard to do, but you’re right. This is a very aggressive, fascist type of movement and these guys define the term ‘bullies.’

Green: I think you’re right and the perception I guess and maybe a lot of teachers, principals, superintendents out there have bought into this perception is that they are only the ones being bullied, the homosexual lobby is, so they’re hypersensitive to the other side of it.

Barton later claims that “homosexual indoctrination” is found in the entire public school system and tells parents that they “better get on top of what’s being taught to your kids.”

Barton: There’s a whole lost of this that goes on that parents don’t even hear about but it is going on. All this bullying stuff, as Brian pointed out, it’s not the schools that are doing bullying, it’s the people from outside the schools coming in and saying “oh you got a bullying problem and we need to teach a course for you.” The people living there didn’t see any problem. But it’s these outside agenda-

Green: They’re the very thing they say they’re going in to stop is what they’re doing themselves.

Barton: They generate and start. It goes back to the question Jesus asks, “What’s it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?” The question I gotta ask is, what’s it worth to you to gain everything you want and lose your kids?

Because unless you’re willing to monitor what’s going on in that classroom, I guarantee you they are getting homosexual indoctrination. I don’t care whether you’re in a rural area or not, because this is so much a part of textbooks, so much a part of curricular stuff, so much a part of what goes on with other kids. We see it too often in lawsuits, we hear of accounts like this, and we hear of dozens of other accounts where nothing’s ever done. You better get on top of what’s being taught to your kids.

Leading GOP Contenders to Speak At Forums Hosted By Iowa's Leading Anti-Gay Group

The other day, Brian noted that Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would soon be heading to Iowa to discuss "pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy" at a forum being hosted by the right-wing group The Family Leader

The Family Leader is the new group that is being run by Bob Vander Plaats after his successful effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices over the court's gay marriage ruling ... and it looks like Pawlenty will be just the first in a series of GOP presidential hopefuls to participate in such forums for the anti-gay group: 

The series line-up begins with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Monday, February 7. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and businessman and radio host Herman Cain have also made commitments to participate. Other invited speakers include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, South Dakota Senator John Thune, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and Indiana Representative Mike Pence.

“Iowans play a vital role in hosting the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus, and it is our privilege to offer this Presidential Lecture Series in order to provide our very influential base an opportunity to gain insight into our political process,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our base is serious about its role in the political process and the Presidential Lecture Series is a focused strategy to facilitate meaningful exposure to our constituents.”

It is worth pointing out that Vander Plaats' crusade against the Supreme Court continues to this day, leading a former advisor to declare that he has become "obsessed with the gay-marriage issue" and that his effort had deep support from many of the national anti-gay Religious Right groups, including the American Family Association and its bigot-in-chief Bryan Fischer.

Leading GOP Contenders to Speak At Forums Hosted By Iowa's Leading Anti-Gay Group

The other day, Brian noted that Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would soon be heading to Iowa to discuss "pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy" at a forum being hosted by the right-wing group The Family Leader

The Family Leader is the new group that is being run by Bob Vander Plaats after his successful effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices over the court's gay marriage ruling ... and it looks like Pawlenty will be just the first in a series of GOP presidential hopefuls to participate in such forums for the anti-gay group: 

The series line-up begins with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Monday, February 7. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and businessman and radio host Herman Cain have also made commitments to participate. Other invited speakers include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, South Dakota Senator John Thune, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and Indiana Representative Mike Pence.

“Iowans play a vital role in hosting the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus, and it is our privilege to offer this Presidential Lecture Series in order to provide our very influential base an opportunity to gain insight into our political process,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our base is serious about its role in the political process and the Presidential Lecture Series is a focused strategy to facilitate meaningful exposure to our constituents.”

It is worth pointing out that Vander Plaats' crusade against the Supreme Court continues to this day, leading a former advisor to declare that he has become "obsessed with the gay-marriage issue" and that his effort had deep support from many of the national anti-gay Religious Right groups, including the American Family Association and its bigot-in-chief Bryan Fischer.

Cain Tells Fischer He'll De-Fund Planned Parenthood, Reinstate DADT, and Veto ENDA

The Bryan Fischer primary continues.

Last week, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty sat down with Bryan Fischer, one of the Religious Right's biggest bigots, and pledged that he would reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell if elected president.

Yesterday, Herman Cain, who also hosts a radio program for AFA, appeared on Fischer's radio program and likewise pledged to reinstate DADT, while also saying he would appoint only judges who share his Christian belief that life begins as conception, would de-fund Planned Parenthood, and veto the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:

Cain also related to Fischer how "God is speaking to me through my granddaughter" and her text message to tell him he needs to run for president:

Cain Tells Fischer He'll De-Fund Planned Parenthood, Reinstate DADT, and Veto ENDA

The Bryan Fischer primary continues.

Last week, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty sat down with Bryan Fischer, one of the Religious Right's biggest bigots, and pledged that he would reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell if elected president.

Yesterday, Herman Cain, who also hosts a radio program for AFA, appeared on Fischer's radio program and likewise pledged to reinstate DADT, while also saying he would appoint only judges who share his Christian belief that life begins as conception, would de-fund Planned Parenthood, and veto the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:

Cain also related to Fischer how "God is speaking to me through my granddaughter" and her text message to tell him he needs to run for president:

Pawlenty to Meet with Anti-Gay Iowa Group

After telling the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer that he would work to reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as President, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will continue to court anti-gay leaders by meeting with Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats and his organization, The Family Leader. Vander Plaats told the Des Moines Register that his group will be “hosting Governor Pawlenty in Iowa” in early February to discuss “pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy.”

After losing the race for the Republican nomination for governor, Vander Plaats became a leader of Iowa’s Religious Right after he coordinated a successful campaign to block the retention of three Iowa Supreme Court justices who supported the Court’s unanimous ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. Vander Plaats, who a former aide said is “obsessed with the gay marriage issue,” has since called for the removal of the entire Supreme Court because of the Court's decision in favor of marriage equality. The Family Leader is the parent organization of Marriage Matters, the Iowa Family PAC, and the Iowa Family Policy Center, an organization that attacks “the public health crisis of same-sex activity” and tells church groups that they can “protect your children” from “homosexual activists.”

Pawlenty, who is currently touring the country to promote his new book Courage to Stand, has been beefing up his credibility with the Religious Right, bragging to Bryan Fischer about his record of appointing far-right judges to Minnesota courts and calling for the reinstatement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

Pawlenty to Meet with Anti-Gay Iowa Group

After telling the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer that he would work to reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as President, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will continue to court anti-gay leaders by meeting with Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats and his organization, The Family Leader. Vander Plaats told the Des Moines Register that his group will be “hosting Governor Pawlenty in Iowa” in early February to discuss “pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy.”

After losing the race for the Republican nomination for governor, Vander Plaats became a leader of Iowa’s Religious Right after he coordinated a successful campaign to block the retention of three Iowa Supreme Court justices who supported the Court’s unanimous ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. Vander Plaats, who a former aide said is “obsessed with the gay marriage issue,” has since called for the removal of the entire Supreme Court because of the Court's decision in favor of marriage equality. The Family Leader is the parent organization of Marriage Matters, the Iowa Family PAC, and the Iowa Family Policy Center, an organization that attacks “the public health crisis of same-sex activity” and tells church groups that they can “protect your children” from “homosexual activists.”

Pawlenty, who is currently touring the country to promote his new book Courage to Stand, has been beefing up his credibility with the Religious Right, bragging to Bryan Fischer about his record of appointing far-right judges to Minnesota courts and calling for the reinstatement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17).

Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17).

Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17).

2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14).

John Bolton

2012: Tells Russia Today that he could win the GOP nomination since he is in "the mainstream of the Republican Party" (GOP12, 1/17).

Foreign affairs: Knocks Obama Administration's handling of the political crisis in Lebanon (The Hill, 1/16).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Travelling to Alaska with a "Christian-based" cruise (HuffPo, 1/14).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner analyzes Huckabee's ties to Evangelical voters, "Christian nation mythology" (Religion Dispatches, 1/12).

Sarah Palin

Fox News: Tells Sean Hannity that Tucson shooting was "left-leaning," defends herself from criticism (Mediaite, 1/17).

Polling: Performs well among Republicans nationwide, but not in early primary states (Public Policy Polling, 1/14).

Arizona: Video response to Tucson shootings widely panned (Politico, 1/13; Salon, 1/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Economics: Opposes raising the debt ceiling despite prospect of default (HufPo, 1/16).

Religious Right: Tells Bryan Fischer of AFA that he supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell (RWW, 1/13).

Palin: Says that her "bullseye" crosshairs map of congressional Democrats isn't "his style" (MinnPost, 1/12).

Mike Pence

2012: Former GOP Congressman launches a draft-Pence petition called the American President Committee (AP, 1/17).

Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood criticizes Pence's legislation to strip the group of federal funds (Muncie Star Press, 1/12).

Media: Introduces bill to block possible implementation of the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio (The Hill, 1/12).

Gun Violence: Denounces calls for gun control measures after Tuscon shootings (TPM, 1/12).

Rick Perry

2012: Begins polling voters outside of Texas (NRO, 1/17).

Immigration: Presses for new laws to curb immigrant rights (NYT, 1/15).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Meets with Israel's Prime Minister after visiting Afghanistan (Politico, 1/14).

Campaign: Hires new political director and pollster (RealClearPolitics, 1/13).

2012: Signs point to spring announcement as Romney steps down from the board of Marriott International (AP, 1/12).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Addressed the Aiken Republican Club 2011 kickoff meeting (The Augusta Chronicle, 1/17).

Religious Right: Keynoted major anti-choice rally in Columbia, South Carolina (The State, 1/16).

New Hampshire: Interviewed by Boston Herald at Granite Oath PAC house party (Boston Herald, 1/14).

John Thune

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Conference in February despite Religious Right boycott (Argus Leader, 1/13).

GOP: Keynote speaker for Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days fundraiser (News Leader, 1/11).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17).

Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17).

Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17).

2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14).

John Bolton

2012: Tells Russia Today that he could win the GOP nomination since he is in "the mainstream of the Republican Party" (GOP12, 1/17).

Foreign affairs: Knocks Obama Administration's handling of the political crisis in Lebanon (The Hill, 1/16).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Travelling to Alaska with a "Christian-based" cruise (HuffPo, 1/14).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner analyzes Huckabee's ties to Evangelical voters, "Christian nation mythology" (Religion Dispatches, 1/12).

Sarah Palin

Fox News: Tells Sean Hannity that Tucson shooting was "left-leaning," defends herself from criticism (Mediaite, 1/17).

Polling: Performs well among Republicans nationwide, but not in early primary states (Public Policy Polling, 1/14).

Arizona: Video response to Tucson shootings widely panned (Politico, 1/13; Salon, 1/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Economics: Opposes raising the debt ceiling despite prospect of default (HufPo, 1/16).

Religious Right: Tells Bryan Fischer of AFA that he supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell (RWW, 1/13).

Palin: Says that her "bullseye" crosshairs map of congressional Democrats isn't "his style" (MinnPost, 1/12).

Mike Pence

2012: Former GOP Congressman launches a draft-Pence petition called the American President Committee (AP, 1/17).

Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood criticizes Pence's legislation to strip the group of federal funds (Muncie Star Press, 1/12).

Media: Introduces bill to block possible implementation of the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio (The Hill, 1/12).

Gun Violence: Denounces calls for gun control measures after Tuscon shootings (TPM, 1/12).

Rick Perry

2012: Begins polling voters outside of Texas (NRO, 1/17).

Immigration: Presses for new laws to curb immigrant rights (NYT, 1/15).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Meets with Israel's Prime Minister after visiting Afghanistan (Politico, 1/14).

Campaign: Hires new political director and pollster (RealClearPolitics, 1/13).

2012: Signs point to spring announcement as Romney steps down from the board of Marriott International (AP, 1/12).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Addressed the Aiken Republican Club 2011 kickoff meeting (The Augusta Chronicle, 1/17).

Religious Right: Keynoted major anti-choice rally in Columbia, South Carolina (The State, 1/16).

New Hampshire: Interviewed by Boston Herald at Granite Oath PAC house party (Boston Herald, 1/14).

John Thune

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Conference in February despite Religious Right boycott (Argus Leader, 1/13).

GOP: Keynote speaker for Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days fundraiser (News Leader, 1/11).

If Elected President, Pawlenty Tells Fischer He'll Reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell

There are few Religious Right leaders active today who can compete with the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer in terms of openly hostile bigotry against gays, Muslims, and all those who do not share his radical worldview:

So it is bound to raise a few eyebrows that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty went on Fischer's radio program yesterday to promote his new book ... but it won't raise any eyebrows that Fischer used the opportunity to grill Pawlenty on social issues or that Pawlenty largely shared Fischer's right-wing concerns:

Fischer: If you are asked the question "should CPAC provide a place at the table for an organization like GOProud," what will you say?

Pawlenty: You know, I am not familiar with that dispute, I have heard it referenced ... but I'm not just a fiscal conservative, I'm a social conservative so I can't speak for CPAC but I can speak for myself and what I believe and I've been a strong supporter of the family, pro-life positions, traditional marriage positions - so I'm not sure what that dispute all involves. But whatever it is, I don't think we should be afraid of telling what I believe and what we believe to whatever audience. We're trying to make sure we stand what what we believe in and we share it in a way that will hopefully bring more people to our side.

Fischer: Now the Left, and homosexual activists and organizations like GOProud, one of their stated agendas is to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defines marriage in federal law and for federal purposes as a union of one man and one woman. The Obama administration has made a tepid and pretty ineffective defense of that law - if you become president and that law faces a challenge under your administration, how vigorously will you defend DOMA? What will you do to make sure it's defended?

Pawlenty: I believe strongly in traditional marriage. I was co-author of the law in Minnesota that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. I've been a vocal supporter of an amendment in Minnesota that would put that into our constitution. I hope that the day comes when it is put before the voters of Minnesota. And it's not just a legal issue; it's also an important cornerstone for our society and our culture. I mean, families and traditional marriage is so important to that and I don't believe all other domestic relations should be on the same platform as traditional marriage, I just don't buy and so I've been a strong supporter of traditional marriage. I also think who you appoint to courts in this regard is important and we don't have litmus tests, so to speak, but we want strict constructionists and people who take a conservative view toward the interpretation of our laws.

Fischer: Now Roe v. Wade is obviously the critical court ruling on the abortion issue - that is a ruling that was issued in 1973 so it seems to me that candidates would have the freedom to comment on whether they thought potential nominees to the Supreme Court, would have the freedom to comment on whether they thought Roe v. Wade was properly decided from a constitutional perspective. A number of sitting Supreme Court justices have commented on the fact that they believe it was poorly decided. So that's going to be a critical issue, if you have the opportunity to appoint nominees to the federal bench - will you talk explicitly with a nominee to the federal bench about his or her view about whether they think Roe v Wade was properly decided from a constitutional basis, will that be in the nature of a litmus test for you, that question, will you bring it up, will you look for an answer?

Pawlenty: Well, I've appointed a lot of judges as the Governor of Minnesota, including at our Supreme Court, appellate court and district court level. For the first time, at least in the modern history and maybe in a long time we now have a small majority of people on our Minnesota Supreme Court we are conservative and strict constructionist. I have confidence in them and how they would approach these issues of how you interpret the law. On the specific issue of Roe. v Wade, when you tell people or ask people to be strict constructionist and you look at the Constitution, to have people say "I'm a strict constructionist" would somehow lead to a decision or a conclusion like Roe v. Wade, I think it was wrongly decided. And if you look at the reasoning behind it and the strict interpretation approach to interpreting the Constitution, I think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided by the Court. But I have been careful that I appoint people, particularly at the appellate level, that share this strict constructionist philosophy - that at least says to me directly - I didn't have litmus test - but I do want to know that they share my view and values about the proper role of the court and the interpretation of the law, so we try to get to the bottom of that.

Fischer: One last question, got about forty five seconds left, put you on the hot seat one more time: we just saw the ban on homosexual service in the military repealed, overturned. Conservatives will be working over the next couple of years to see that that ban is reinstated. If you become president in 2012, will you work to reinstate the prohibition on open homosexual service in the military? Would you sign such a prohibition if it got to your desk?

Pawlenty: Bryan, I have been a public and repeat supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell. There's a lot of reasons for that, but if you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper and that is something I think we need to pay attention to. But I have been a public supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell and I would support reinstating it as well.

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