In Colorado, Big Money on Anti-Gay Initiatives Leaves New Religious-Right Group in Wake

Focus on the Family has been a key player in the passage of constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage in a number of states, but when it came to its home state of Colorado, the group (and its affiliate, Focus on the Family Action) pulled out all the stops, spending over $900,000 last year to oppose a domestic partnership initiative and pass a separate amendment banning gay marriage. Most of the money went through two groups that Focus helped to create, Coloradans for Marriage and Colorado Family Action.

Now, after the defeat of the partnerships initiative and the passage of the marriage ban, at least one of the front groups is trying to establish a permanent presence in the state as a satellite “family policy council.”

Now Colorado Family Action is getting money from other sources, said President and CEO Jim Pfaff, but he wouldn’t identify them. Organizers have formed the Colorado Family Institute, a related nonprofit that’s one of 37 state Family Policy Councils allied with Focus on the Family.

Pfaff, a former staffer at Focus, outlined an agenda that spans the familiar touchstones of the Religious Right: “protecting life from conception until natural death, protecting religious liberty, working to point out examples of judicial activism and help define the proper role of the courts, and upholding the principle that parents are the primary educators of their children.” It remains to be seen whether the group will have much of a half-life beyond the high-profile fight against domestic partnerships and the substantial financial support from Focus on the Family that went with it.