Organization Profile: Family Research Council

801 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

President: Tony Perkins
Date of founding: 1983
Membership: 455,000 members.
Finances: $10 million (2000 revenue)

Staff: 120
State groups: 40
Publications: Washington Watch (monthly) and Family Policy (bimonthly). Ed Facts (available via fax, e-mail or internet on a weekly basis). CultureFacts (available by fax or e-mail). I.E. (Ideas & Energy) monthly newsletter provides articles on political, social, and cultural trends for high-school students. Also produces numerous issue papers.
Radio: Ken Connor's "Washington Watch," a daily radio program hosted by FRC's president.
Affiliate groups: American Renewal, Family Policy Councils

Read the latest news on the Family Research Council on the group's Right Wing Watch index page

FRC's Principal Issues:

  • Since the early 1990's, FRC has emerged as a leading conservative think-tank championing "traditional family values" by lobbying for state-sponsored prayer in public schools, private school "vouchers," abstinence-only programs, filtering software on public library computers, the right to discriminate against gay men and lesbians.
  • FRC's objective is to establish a conservative Christian standard of morality in all of America's domestic and foreign policy.
  • FRC has dedicated itself to working against reproductive freedom, sex education, equal rights for gays and lesbians and their families, funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. FRC supports a school prayer amendment and would like to 'disestablish' the Department of Education.

FRC's Activities:

  • FRC has testified before congress on many "pro-family" issues, filed amicus briefs, and published a lot of reports that they regularly circulate to politicians.
  • In September 2001, FRC's president attacked President Bush for his "implicit endorsement of the homosexual political agenda" with the appointment of two openly gay men by the Bush administration.
  • FRC has also defended the Boy Scout's discriminatory practices against gay men and lesbians and has criticized the Girl Scouts for not having the same practice. FRC has joined many other right-wing conservative groups by attacking and boycotting Disney's "gay-friendly" policies. FRC has lobbied against many "equal rights" measures that extend civil rights protections to gay and lesbian people, and has promoted the "ex-gay" movement as a way to combat civil rights measures for gay men and lesbians.
  • FRC strives to ban all federal or state support for family planning services and overturn the right to an abortion. FRC is a strong supporter of "abstinence-only" education and opposes sex education that addresses contraception.

FRC history:

  • FRC was originally established by Dr. James Dobson, of the behemoth right-wing group Focus on the Family, to lobby for "traditional family values" in Washington, DC. In 1988 the group was led by Gary Bauer, former head the Reagan Administration's Office of Policy Development and Reagan's chief adviser on domestic policy. The ambitious Bauer set out to make FRC the voice of social conservatives in Washington, DC.
  • Under Bauer, FRC became a division of Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family from 1988 until October 1992, when IRS concerns about the group's lobbying led to an amicable administrative separation. When Ralph Reed stepped down as executive director of the Christian Coalition, Bauer emerged as an emerging star of the religious right.
  • Bauer's leadership helped establish the group as one most well-known conservative lobbying groups in Washington, DC. In 1999, Bauer left FRC to run for president of the United States. After his failed bid for the presidency, in 2000 Bauer returned to American Values, a group he had formed years ago but had been dormant for several years.
  • In 1999, Attorney Ken Connor was tapped to be FRC's next president, a seasoned anti-choice activist from Florida. Connor stepped down as FRC's president in August 2003.
  • FRC appointed former Louisiana state Rep. Tony Perkins as their new president in September 2003.
  • Perkin's Louisiana legislative background includes:
    • author of legislation requiring public schools to install filtering software.
    • author of American History Preservation Act, which "prevents censorship of America's Christian heritage in Louisiana public schools."
    • authored legislation providing "a daily time of silent prayer in Louisiana public schools."
    • author of the first Covenant Marriage Law.
  • In 1998, Perkins founded the Louisiana Family Forum due to his concern for "increasing influence of the homosexual community on public policy issues."

Quotes from the Family Research Council:

"We are encouraged that the President is now saying he will support amending the Constitution to protect marriage. However, I am concerned that the President thinks counterfeit institutions such as same-sex unions are OK and do not threaten to devalue the real thing. This administration has spent millions of dollars to prevent the counterfeiting of our currency which threatens the health of our economy. Counterfeit marriages called "civil unions" pose a serious threat to the health of our culture, and while the President may believe this is an issue to be resolved at the state level, he should use his moral leadership to steer states away from such culture-threatening unions - not encourage them by showing indifference or political tolerance." -Tony Perkins, Washington Update, December 17, 2003

"Supporters of V. Gene Robinson, the newly consecrated homosexual Episcopal bishop, claim his elevation sends "a powerful message of love and tolerance." However, it is not "tolerant" to brush off opposition to the consecration of a homosexual bishop. Nor is it "loving" to suppress evidence that homosexual behavior is a "death-style" that is sending young people to an early grave." -Tony Perkins, Washington Update, November 4, 2003

"Do you really think that when our troops from Delta Force crawl into Osama bin Laden's cave in Afghanistan or into the face of the muzzle of a terrorist machine gun, that they are doing it so that women can kill their children, so that pornographers can peddle their smut, so that people of the same sex can marry? If those features of American life become the fixtures of American life, I fear that our nation may not long endure." — President Ken Connor,
from "Reflections After the Terror,"October 2, 2001

"This is another attempt by the homosexual lobby to indoctrinate children as young as kindergarten in the homosexual lifestyle. Young people who are sexually confused need the facts about homosexuality. They need to know that research shows they aren't `born gay,' that there is hope for a way out of the lifestyle, and that continuing in homosexuality presents serious health risks. The NEA's proposal would censor such honesty." —Family Research Council spokeswoman Genevieve Wood on the National Education Association, Washington Times, July 4th, 2001

"With today's effective [internet] filtering technology, there is no excuse for schools and libraries to become a virtual dirty peep-show open to kids and funded by taxpayers." — spokeswoman Jan LaRue, March 20, 2001 press release

" of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the 'prophets' of a new sexual order." —"Homosexual Behavior & Pedophilia," a FRC publication, July 1999,

"Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement." —"Homosexual Behavior and Pedophilia," FRC publication, July 1999,

[Updated December 2003]

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