Traditional Values Coalition

The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) is a small but influential organization that appears to consist mostly of the Rev. Lou Sheldon and his daughter Andrea Sheldon Lafferty. Both are mainstays on the conservative circuit, though their reputation has been damaged by revelations that Lou Sheldon took money from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff to help kill an anti-gambling bill that would have hurt one of Abramoff's clients.

Traditional Values Coalition
100 S. Anaheim Boulevard - Suite 320
Anaheim, CA 92805

Traditional Values Coalition
139 C Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Website: www.traditionalvalues.org

Chairman/Founder: Rev. Louis P. Sheldon
Executive Director: Andrea Sheldon Lafferty
Date of founding: 1980
Membership: Claims over 43,000 churches nationwide representing 12 denominations
Publications: Monthly letters are sent to pastors of member churches, along with action alerts and special letters from Founder "Lou" Sheldon. Occasionally publishes reports.
Revenue: Traditional Values Coalition, its 501(c)4 organization - $6,389,448 (2004) [According to tax forms, TVC carried nearly $4 million in debt at the end of the year]; and Traditional Values Education & Legal Institute, its 501(c)3 arm - $716,032 [nearly $80,000 in debt]
Media: Lou Sheldon and Andrea Lafferty have appeared on many mainstream news programs to discuss the TVC perspective on social issues. TVC also runs television ads during political campaigns.
Affiliate organizations: Traditional Values Education & Legal Institute, the foundation arm of TVC, and the Task Force for the Preservation of the Heterosexual Ethic in America (defunct)

Read the latest news on the Traditional Values Coalition on the group's Right Wing Watch index page

Principal Issues

  • Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) describes itself as the largest church-lobby in the United States. TVC's mission is "to restore America's cultural heritage" by opposing gay and lesbian civil rights, reproductive freedom, the teaching of evolution in public schools, and sex education curricula that does not stress abstinence to the exclusion of information on birth control and disease prevention, and promotes prayer in schools.
  • TVC is active both as a group that lobbies Congress and as a grassroots organization that gives marching orders to churches to oppose local, state, and federal legislation.
  • TVC distributes information about gays and lesbians, often referring to gays and lesbians as "sexual predators" and "pedophiles."
  • TVC has also worked on issues relating to the dangers of pornography, including supporting the use of internet filters at public libraries.
  • Under their "Judicial Nominee Monitoring Project" the group has lobbied for a conservative judicial system and right wing judicial nominees/appointments.

Activities

  • TVC's website includes an interactive guide to the presence or absence of Marriage Protection laws in each of the 50 states.
  • Rev. Louis Sheldon was outraged by the 2005 decision of the San Francisco Superior Court to rule California's gay marriage ban as unconstitutional, and along with TVC and other CA state legislators, has proposed two amendments that would protect marriage from being redefined by activist judges.
  • TVC created a "Judge John Roberts Action Center" on a separate website, "Our Battle Plan," where it provided talking points for proponents of Roberts, and admonished the "anti-God Left [that] has been using America's courts to impose an anti-religion, anti-family agenda on America…"
  • Before President Bush nominated Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court, TVC promoted its "$4.5 Million Supreme Court Battle Plan" for a "massive national grassroots mobilization and media campaign to fight the radical left and pressure the Senate to confirm President Bush's nominee."
  • Following Roberts' nomination, TVC activated a "Supreme Court Nominee Action Center" urging its members to pray for Judge Roberts because "character assassins are already out in full force trying to destroy his chances of confirmation." Members were asked to send pre-written "thank-you" letters to President Bush, praising his Supreme Court nominee choice.
  • TVC actively lobbies against hate crime legislation because according to its executive director, hate crime legislation will be "used by homosexual activists to punish any person who has the courage to speak out against the recruitment of children by homosexuals."
  • Most of TVC's work is concerned with homosexuality, which it opposes by working against civil unions, supporting Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) statutes, and accusing gays and lesbians of "recruiting" children into homosexuality.
  • TVC and many other Religious Right groups oppose the rules that prohibit churches from directly supporting political candidates, either through endorsement or campaign contributions.
  • TVC was active in state battles over constitutional amendments outlawing civil rights protections for gays and lesbians in Colorado and Oregon. TVC has also helped organized anti-gay initiatives in California, Arizona, Missouri, and Washington.
  • The group was instrumental in convincing the California State Board of Education to reject a health education curriculum that touched on such subjects as homosexuality and AIDS. TVC has also worked to preserve sodomy laws in California.
  • TVC occasionally runs ads on televisions in elections in certain congressional districts. TVC offers a weekly e-mail service alerting constituents how their congressional representative voted on TVC issues.
  • TVC operates an extensive "non-partisan" voter education program. During elections, TVC distributes district specific voter guides which featured side by side profiles of the candidate's positions and/or their voting records.
  • Andrea Sheldon Lafferty, founder Louis Sheldon's daughter, is a former Reagan administration official who works out of the TVC DC office as a Capitol Hill lobbyist.

Quotes from Andrea Sheldon Lafferty

Andrea Sheldon Lafferty says supporters of hate crimes laws that include sexual orientation as a protected category "are trying to take a handful of hideous, horrible crimes and use that to force acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle."

In reference to fetal tissue research, Lafferty says "I think we're going to have to apologize to the Nazis for this."

Quotes from Rev. Louis P. Sheldon

"As Homosexuals continue to make inroads into public schools, more children will be molested and indoctrinated into the world of homosexuality. Many of them will die in that world." ("Homosexuals Recruit Public School Children," by Louis Sheldon, special report, Vol. 18, No. 11)

"Americans should understand that their attitudes about homosexuality have been deliberately and deceitfully changed by a masterful propaganda/marketing campaign that rivals that of Adolph Hitler. In fact, many of the strategies used by homosexuals to bring about cultural change in America are taken from Hitler's writings and propaganda welfare manuals." ("Homosexual Propaganda Campaign Based on Hitler's 'Big Lie' Technique," by Louis Sheldon, special report, Vol. 18, No. 10)

"Give us a few more years under the belt and we will learn how to replace many of the school board members. Give us more time to understand how the system works, and we'll work the system even better than one could ever imagine." (CNN News, September 9, 1990)

"There is a war waging in America. The battle is over values, beliefs and the cultural basis of western civilization.... the elitist avant-garde arts community uses the NEA to advertise and disseminate their political beliefs. The NEA then uses our scarce tax dollars to fund works which are intended to shock Americans into an acceptance of dysfunctional behavioral lifestyles and to destroy the family." (Hearing on the National Endowment for the Arts, April 1991)


Updated: December 2006

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