Penny Nance

After Week Of Sexist Meltdowns, Anti-Choice Activists Stick With Candidate Who Once 'Disgusted' Them

In late January, just days before Iowa caucus-goers cast the first votes of the presidential nominating contests, a coalition of leading women in the anti-abortion movement issued a scathing open letter urging Republican voters "to support anyone but Donald Trump." They cited what they saw as Trump's lack of commitment on their key issue, including their doubts about whether he would nominate justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, help them to defund Planned Parenthood, or pick a vice president friendly to the anti-abortion cause.

But the letter ended with something more personal: an indictment of Trump's appalling treatment of women.

Moreover, as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular. He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly, he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women. Further, Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country.

America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either. Therefore we urge our fellow citizens to support an alternative candidate.

Signing the letter were Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser and her SBA colleagues Jill Stanek and Marilyn Musgrave, former National Organization for Marriage leader Maggie Gallagher, activist Star Parker, Concerned Women for America founder Beverly LaHaye and CWA president Penny Nance.

Many of these activists have tried to paint the anti-abortion movement as a feminist, woman-centered endeavor and portray Planned Parenthood and Democrats as the true enemies of women.

Eight months later, several of the women who signed the letter are supporting Trump’s candidacy and a few are even “pro-life” advisers to his campaign.

What changed?

Certainly not Trump. Yesterday the Associated Press published a story detailing Trump’s history of demeaning treatment of women on the set of his reality show “The Apprentice”:

During one season, Trump called for female contestants to wear shorter dresses that also showed more cleavage, according to contestant Gene Folkes. Several cast members said Trump had one female contestant twirl before him so he could ogle her figure.

Randal Pinkett, who won the program in December 2005 and who has recently criticized Trump during his run for president, said he remembered the real estate mogul talking about which female contestants he wanted to sleep with, even though Trump had married former model Melania Knauss earlier that year: "He was like 'Isn't she hot, check her out,' kind of gawking, something to the effect of 'I'd like to hit that.' "

Former producer Katherine Walker said Trump frequently talked about women's bodies during the five seasons she worked with him and said he speculated about which female contestant would be "a tiger in bed."

A former crew member who signed a non-disclosure agreement and asked not to be identified, recalled that Trump asked male contestants whether they would sleep with a particular female contestant, then expressed his own interest.

"We were in the boardroom one time figuring out who to blame for the task, and he just stopped in the middle and pointed to someone and said, 'You'd f... her, wouldn't you? I'd f... her. C'mon, wouldn't you?'"

The person continued: "Everyone is trying to make him stop talking, and the woman is shrinking in her seat."

This story came just days after Trump, in the first presidential debate against Hillary Clinton, defended his history of comments demeaning women by saying that one object of those comments, Rosie O’Donnell, “deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.” At the same debate, Clinton got under Trump’s skin by bringing up his treatment of Alicia Machado, the Miss Universe winner whom he reportedly called “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.” Trump responded the next day by explaining that Machado had “gained a massive amount of weight.” Then, a few days later, Trump took to Twitter in the middle of the night to call Machado “disgusting” and urge Americans to “check out” her nonexistent “sex tape,” only for it to be revealed that Trump himself was featured in a 2000 pornographic film by Playboy.

It was between the debate and the “sex tape” tweet that Trump’s campaign announced the formation of a “pro-life advisory council” that would work to help solidify social conservative support for the GOP nominee. The council, as had previously been announced, would be led by Dannenfelser. Its members would include Nance and Stanek, both of whom signed the anti-Trump letter with Dannenfelser back in January.

Some of the signers of that January letter have held firm, notably Gallagher, who wrote in The National Review in May that it would be “just too degrading” to support Trump. “If you join Team Trump,” she wrote, “you have to swallow not just what Trump has done and said but the next thing he will say or do. Truthfully, I think he lost me in March, when all it took was just a little prodding from little Marco to get the man to discuss his genitals on national TV. I don’t know what insulting, immoral, gross thing he will say next.”

Gallagher’s observation has held true, as Trump’s supporters have, again and again, had to put up with “the next thing he will say or do.”

But for the core of Trump’s new anti-choice team, his new promises to nominate justices who would overturn Roe and to sign a bill defunding Planned Parenthood and his pick of anti-choice hero Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate seem to have erased any concerns about his “disgusting” treatment of women—even as he continues what they once called his “disparaging public comments.”

The anti-choice movement is increasingly attempting to portray itself as “pro-women” rather than just anti-abortion. The support of activists like Dannenfelser for Trump, even after he gets caught in sexist meltdown after sexist meltdown, shows that for much of the movement this “pro-women” rhetoric is just window dressing.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/30/16

  • Bryan Fischer calls upon Congress to impeach James Comey for not recommending the indictment of Hillary Clinton: "It is time for Congress to use this constitutional remedy to remove from the body politic the cancer that FBI Director James Comey has become."
  • Glenn Beck is really bothered by the fact that those receiving government assistance don't feel a deep sense of shame about it.
  • John Lowery says that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's "new transgendered policy is so irrational as to constitute treason. It’s up to Congress, which is supposed to provide the rules and regulations for the Armed Forces, to stop this ridiculous policy."
  • Um, huh? "How Evangelicals Should Be Like Hitler's Army on Election Day."
  • Concerned Women for American's Penny Nance is decidedly unconcerned about Donald Trump's attacks on Alicia Machado because "women who participate [in beauty pageants] voluntarily don a bikini and walk in front of judges to be, well, judged."

Trump Names 'Pro-Life Advisory Council' In Attempt To Reassure Anti-Choice Movement

Donald Trump’s campaign has given the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody a sneak peek at the members of a “pro-life advisory council” that the candidate is set to introduce today. Earlier this month, Trump sent a letter to “pro-life leaders” laying out a number of promises that he would make to their movement and announcing that Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the anti-choice electoral group Susan B. Anthony List, would spearhead the new anti-abortion coalition for his campaign.

Trump has given the anti-abortion movement some serious heartburn during his campaign as he’s continually reshaped his position on the issue and bungled their talking points, including at one point saying that women should face “some form of punishment” for abortion if the procedure is recriminalized. But since earning the Republican nomination, he’s started to win over many skeptical anti-abortion leaders with promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who share their views and to help them dismantle Planned Parenthood.

Brody writes that the full list released today “may indeed give comfort to those remaining evangelicals who are having a tough time making their way to the voting booth this Election Cycle.” Indeed, while Trump has attempted to say different things about abortion rights to different audiences, this new coalition shows that he is ready to go all-in with a movement that ultimately wants to ban the procedure without exception.

On the new list of Trump’s anti-choice allies are a number of legislators who have taken the lead on fighting abortion rights in Congress, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who led the House select committee investigating Planned Parenthood, Rep. Diane Black, Rep. Trent Franks and Rep. Chris Smith. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is on the list, as is Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.

Also joining the new coalition are Religious Right activists including Tony Perkins and Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council; Gary BauerRalph Reed; the American Principles Project’s Frank Cannon; Bill Dallas of United in Purpose; Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance; C-FAM’s Austin Ruse; and Ed Martin, head of the late Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, who is apparently sympathetic to many of Trump’s views.

The list also includes anti-abortion activists Day Gardner of the National Black Pro-Life Union, Kristan Hawkins of Students for LifeAlveda King and Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, and former Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest, who now works for Bauer’s American Values.

Dannenfelser has made no secret of the fact that she eventually wants to ban abortion without exception (except for a narrow exemption for saving a woman’s life) and her group opposes some common forms of birth control, claiming that they cause abortions. Many of the activists in Trump’s new coalition have similarly extreme views and are confident that Trump will let them have their way.

Ruse, who works at the United Nations to attempt to stop the adoption of language friendly to LGBT equality and reproductive rights, has declared, for instance, that “comprehensive sexuality education” is “a phrase created in the pits of hell by wicked individuals who wanted to undermine the family and ultimately destroy any institution that stands between the family and the state.” After meeting with Trump earlier this year, Ruse said that the GOP candidate “doesn’t care about” reproductive rights and therefore will “let our side do exactly what we want to do.”

Others have presented different reasons for supporting Trump. Priests for Life’s Pavone, who has said that legal abortion is worse than terrorism, has been somewhat lukewarm about Trump but has argued that Trump’s promises on abortion overcome any other faults he might have.

In response to a caller to a Catholic radio program who said that Trump’s stances on things like nuclear warfare and going after the families of suspected terrorists aren’t exactly pro-life, Pavone said that the potential of Trump dropping an atomic bomb is less dangerous than the certainty of Hillary Clinton continuing the “raging holocaust” of legal abortion. On another radio program, Pavone argued that it is more important that a candidate be “right on abortion” than on “poverty, immigration, war and peace, homelessness [and] health care.”

Pavone, after Trump said he supported punishing women who have abortions, floated the possibility of legal punishments for abortion “accomplices,” such as the person who brings a woman to a clinic.

Pavone’s Priests for Life colleague, Alveda King, also has some extreme views on reproductive rights, including alleging that “chemicals and things” in birth control make women infertile and that Planned Parenthood gives women contraception in order to give them breast cancer.

Other activists in Trump’s coalition have been leaders of the effort to chip away at abortion access by attempting to regulate abortion providers out of existence. When Yoest was at Americans United for Life, she was at the forefront of what she called this “stealth strategy” of “trench warfare and gaining ground under the radar.”

Anti-Abortion Activists Begin To Fall In Line Behind Donald Trump


In January, as Iowans prepared to cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation caucuses, several women leaders in the anti-abortion movement wrote an open letter urging Republicans in the state to “support anyone but Donald Trump.”

The activists, including Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser and Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance, wrote that Trump “cannot be trusted” to advance their anti-abortion policy goals or to nominate Supreme Court justices who would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade. They went on to describe his record of “disparaging” remarks about women:

Moreover, as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular. He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly, he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women. Further, Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country.

America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either. Therefore we urge our fellow citizens to support an alternative candidate.

Trump further angered anti-choice leaders when he strayed far from the movement’s carefully scripted talking points and suggested that if abortion is outlawed, there would have to be “some sort of punishment” for women who seek the procedure illegally. It didn’t help when Trump proceeded to change his position on the matter several times over the following few days, including at one point saying that he doesn’t want to change abortion laws, and then declared a few weeks later that he wanted the GOP to change its platform to support abortion rights for women who have been raped or whose life is at risk.

Now, as Trump becomes the presumptive Republican nominee, the anti-choice movement has to decide whether to take its chances with him.

Nance, sounding distraught, told a radio interviewer this morning that a third party presidential candidacy was out of the question and that the choice was between Trump and a “devastating” Hillary Clinton presidency.

Dannenfelser, who once said that Trump “disqualified himself as the GOP nominee” when he said that the abortion laws “are set” and “we have to leave it that way,” signaled that she was ready to pivot her message yesterday when she wrote a blog post praising Trump for making “a huge pro-life hire” in John Mashburn, a former staffer to North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and someone whom Dannenfelser described as an ally to the anti-abortion movement.

“Congratulations on your new hire, Mr. Trump,” Dannenfelser wrote. “If elected, no doubt John Mashburn will serve you well as you fulfill your campaign promises to defund Planned Parenthood, advance and sign into law the popular Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and appoint Justices to the bench who will protect and defend the Constitution.”

Mashburn has previously worked for right-wing groups including the American Civil Rights Union and the Carleson Center for Public Policy.

In the end, the game for anti-choice groups comes down to the Supreme Court. A coalition of leading groups have unified behind a campaign pressuring Republican senators to keep up their blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. Just yesterday, the Susan B. Anthony List, CWA and Iowa Right to Life delivered a petition to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, urging him to continue to refuse to hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee until the next president is sworn in.

Their hope, it seems, is that a candidate they are “disgusted” by and “cannot trust” will win the presidency and at least give them a Supreme Court pick who will advance their agenda.

And while Trump is the candidate whom they have repeatedly painted as a worst-case scenario, these activists must be relieved that he has outsourced the duty of selecting future Supreme Court justices to the anti-choice Heritage Foundation.

UPDATE 5/5/16: The Washington Times reports that the Susan B. Anthony List and Priests for Life will both be supporting Trump. Priests for Life's Frank Pavone explained that when it comes to the Supreme Court, "the difference here is between doubt and certainty.”

Between Mr. Trump and likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — the only presidential candidate ever endorsed by Planned Parenthood — Father Frank Pavone says the decision is easy.

Fr. Pavone said his group will work to convince pro-life activists to support Mr. Trump in the general election.

“Withholding support [from Mr. Trump] at this point is in effect support for Hillary,” he said. “Sometimes people might feel like, ‘I feel better in my conscience because I didn’t cast a vote for him and I didn’t cast a vote for Hillary either.’ [But] you can influence the election by not voting.”

Mallory Quigley, director of communications for the Susan B. Anthony List, said her group will also support Mr. Trump, citing his campaign promise to defund Planned Parenthood and support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of fertilization.

“I think achieving these goals would be a huge accomplishment, bigger than any pro-life advancement that we’ve seen in our lifetime,” Ms. Quigley said, adding, “We’re expecting Trump to be a man of his word and follow through, just as he would on any issue.”

Clarke Forsythe, acting president and senior counsel for Americans United for Life, would not commit to supporting Mr. Trump in the general election, but said supporting Mrs. Clinton — whose position on abortion he compared to the North Korea regime’s — is untenable.

Mr. Forsythe said in a statement that AUL “will be carefully and closely watching Donald Trump between now and election day, to see whether he lays out pro-life policies as well as to learn what his recommendations will be for the GOP party platform.”


But following the death of former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Fr. Pavone said Mr. Trump is now the pro-life movement’s last, best hope of retaining a majority on the bench.

When it comes to the Supreme Court, Donald Trump has mentioned Scalia as a model,” he said. “Well, that’s music to our ears, naturally. We know what we’re going to get with Hillary. Even if people have doubts about what kind of people Donald Trump would nominate, the difference here is between doubt and certainty.”

Fr. Pavone said Mr. Trump is not the ideal pro-life candidate, but added that a healthy dose of pragmatism is necessary in any election.

“You don’t compromise on your goals or your principles,” he said. “At the same time, you look at the situation and you say, ‘How far can we go in these circumstances?’ Well, either one or the other is going to be president, so we want the better of the two.”

“We know 100 percent where Hillary Clinton stands,” Ms. Quigley noted. “She supports abortion up until the moment of birth for any reason. She has yet to name a single instance in which she would stand in and protect the life of the child, even sex-selection abortions, abortions for disability, up until the very moment of birth.

“We’ve made the judgment that this is what we need to do.”

'Broken-Hearted' Penny Nance Tries To Come Around To Donald Trump

The mood was positively funereal when Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America, appeared on “Breitbart News Radio” this morning and tried to convince herself on air that conservatives should support Donald Trump.

Nance, like many Religious Right leaders, endorsed Trump’s Republican presidential rival Ted Cruz before he dropped out of the race last night. Back in January, she and several other leading women in the anti-abortion movement wrote an open letter urging Iowa caucus-goers to support “anyone but Trump,” saying that Trump “cannot be trusted” on the abortion issue and calling themselves “disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular.”

Nance told Breitbart host Stephen Bannon that she was appearing on his program despite having “promised herself a media blackout today” to “lick my wounds and try to recover.”

She told Bannon that she was “broken-hearted for the direction of our country” but that “we’ve got to come together.”

“We are at a tipping point in this nation, and Hillary is not the answer,” she said.

“There’s been a number of people in this race who I really had a heart for and really felt like would be fantastic leaders and Donald Trump was not one of them,” she said. “But I have no problem — because here’s the reality, folks, we only have two choices now. And it’s either going to be — and maybe it will be Bernie but I think it will be Hillary — but it’s Donald Trump and it’s one or the other. And you can’t write in the third party.”

A Clinton presidency, she said would be “devastating” and would create “lasting damage.”

'This Is The Most Important Battle Of Our Lives'

Today on “Breitbart News Daily,” Penny Nance of the right-wing group Concerned Women for America told activists to prepare for “the fight of our lives” over the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

Nance said that President Obama is “out of control” and urged conservatives to support the Senate Republicans’ refusal to even grant a hearing to his nominee. “It is going to be a blood match,” she said. “It is going to be a cage match…. This is the most important battle of our lives.”

“I’ve never said that before,” she said. “What hangs in the balance is any issue any one of your listeners care about.” Nance said that with Garland on the bench, laws curbing abortion access will fall because jurists like Garland will “legislate from the bench.”

“The key to this is Chuck Grassley and Sen. McConnell,” she said, referring to the Judiciary Committee chairman and the majority leader. “Let them feel the love. They are standing firm. I have spoken personally and met with Chuck Grassley. I have prayed with him. I have talked with him about this. He has assured me that he is on point on this. [Unintelligible] He 100 percent agrees with everything I’m saying. What’s coming at him, even in all the years he’s been at this, I don’t know he’s ready for.”

She added: “In over 80 years, there hasn’t been a Supreme Court nominee confirmed in the last year of a president’s administration. We’re not going to change that now just because the Democrats want their way.” Nance’s claim is flat-out false, as the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court nominee in the last year of President Reagan’s term in 1988.

Anti-Choice Groups Lobbying To Keep Renee Ellmers Off Planned Parenthood Committee

Roll Call reported yesterday on some interesting behind-the-scenes wrangling that’s going on as House leaders convene a panel to investigate Planned Parenthood. The staunchly anti-abortion Rep. Trent Franks, Roll Call reports, is “serving as an informal liaison” between GOP leaders and outside anti-choice groups that are seeking to influence which members are picked for the select subcommittee.

There’s also one GOP congresswoman whom the anti-abortion movement really does not want the Planned Parenthood committee: Rep. Renee Ellmers.

Ellmers, who opposes abortion rights and wants to defund Planned Parenthood, has reportedly been trying to get on the investigative committee, which was created under the guise of investigating the organization’s fetal tissue donation practices.

But Ellmers got on the wrong side of the anti-choice movement earlier this year when she led a group of Republicans who objected to a 20-week abortion ban because its rape exception was too harsh on rape survivors, which she warned could turn off young voters. The House had planned to vote on the bill during the annual March for Life on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. When Ellmers’ objections led the vote to be cancelled at the last minute, anti-choice leaders were furious, and Sen. Lindsey Graham memorably pleaded that he needed “help to find a way out of this definitional problem with rape.”

It later came out that anti-choice groups including the Susan B. Anthony List and Concerned Women for America had lobbied for the tightened rape exception, which would have only exempted rape survivors if they first filed a report with law enforcement. After the 20-week-ban debacle, the National Right to Life Committee threatened to go after Ellmers “at the polls.”

In the end, House Republicans settled on a rape exception that was only slightly less severe, omitting the reporting requirement but adding a waiting period for rape survivors.

Now, CWA’s Penny Nance is saying that Ellmers “could potentially distract from the overall mission” of the Planned Parenthood committee and Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee is saying that to “reward her with a seat on the special panel would be inappropriate, to put it mildly.”

As we noted earlier this week, the House GOP’s supposed “investigations” of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue donation program — the ostensible target of a series of anti-choice smear videos — have quickly turned into an all-out assault on Planned Parenthood and legal abortion in general. The fact that Ellmers — who committed one minor infraction against anti-choice orthodoxy — is now deemed to moderate to be in the panel just underscores that point.

CWA: Gay Leaders Will 'Dismantle' Boy Scouts And 'Put Our Young Sons At Risk'

Concerned Women for America is joining the right-wing freakout over Boy Scouts head Robert Gates’ suggestion that the organization lift its ban on gay troop leaders. In a fundraising email today, CWA president Penny Nance declares that the Boy Scouts “have taken a radical turn” and that allowing gay leaders will “dismantle one of the last remaining traditional institutions that make America great” while putting “our young sons at risk.”

Dear ____,

The Boy Scouts of America have taken a radical turn.

Last week, Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts, called for an end to the ban on homosexual leaders ... effectively caving to the forces of political correctness ...

• Betraying parents

• Betraying young scouts

• Betraying the Scout Oath to remain "morally straight"

• And betraying the Boy Scouts' decades-old record of courage and leadership.

I will not stand by while activist groups dismantle one of the last remaining traditional institutions that make America great - and put our young sons at risk.

Sex and politics don't belong in the Boy Scouts.

Please sign CWA's Open Letter to Robert Gates - to protect America's children from becoming caught up in a cultural fight started by radical proponents.

Homosexual activists long ago declared war on the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and have for years delivered blow after blow against them for their stand against open homosexuality within their leadership.

The Scouts have stood with dignity and valor through every attempt, but that's about to change ...

Homosexual activists are on the brink of finally bullying them into submission. and BSA President Gates needs to know just where you stand regarding his lack of courage.

Sign our Open Letter right now and demand moral leadership from Robert Gates: Do not lift the ban on "gay" Scout leaders, destroy the Scouts' reputation, and put our sons' safety at risk.

Don't let the Scouts become just one more institution where Christians will be forced to compromise their convictions. .

Join us as we call on the Boy Scouts of America to remain faithful to their founding and to, above all, be courageous in pursuing their core principle of "Duty to God."


Penny Nance
Chief Executive Officer and President
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee

CWA Goes After 'Ruth Traitor Ginsburg' For Officiating Gay Couple's Wedding

We can now count Concerned Women for America among the groups that wants Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself from the marriage cases at the Supreme Court because she has officiated weddings for gay couples.

CWA's president, Penny Nance, sent out a fundraising email this morning with the subject line “Ruth Traitor Ginsburg,” the treason in question apparently being Ginsburg’s officiating at a gay couple’s wedding this weekend.

Penny Nance: Girl Scout Transgender Policy A 'Slap In The Face To Christian Parents'

Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance joined the American Family Radio program “Today’s Issues” yesterday to discuss the Girl Scouts of America’s policy to accept transgender young people “on a case-by-case basis,” which she called “just one more slap in the face to Christian parents.”

When AFA President Tim Wildmon asked Nance about the Girl Scouts’ “venture into sexual anarchy,” Nance responded that since the 1970s, the Girl Scouts has been “starting to lurch to the left,” falsely claiming that “they took God out of the pledge” and citing a right-wing meme about the group tweeting an article that mentioned pro-choice proponent Wendy Davis.

“And now this latest thing is just one more slap in the face to Christian parents,” she said, “which is now you don’t have to be a girl to be a member of Girl Scouts. You can just be questioning your gender or a boy who would like to be a girl.”

“I think this is a place, frankly, for the church to be the church and for people that are marginalized in society, for us to love them,” she added, “but we also can’t lose our minds.”

Nance made some of the same points in an interview with Fox News’ Elizabeth Hasselbeck earlier this week:

Concerned Women For America: Gay Marriage Persecutes Christians

The conservative activists of Concerned Women for America are using familiar right-wing talking points to criticize same-sex marriage rights.

The group’s legal analyst Mario Diaz took to Breitbart yesterday to warn of the possible “criminalization of Christianity” and “the persecution of Christians”:

All the evidence to the contrary, if the Justices still insist on imposing same-sex “marriage” on the nation by judicial fiat, they should also consider the ramifications of such a reckless decision. They will be effectively opening the door to the criminalization of Christianity. At the very least, they will be kicking the door wide open to the persecution of Christians (and other religious groups) who believe marriage to be an institution created by God, which they cannot re-define of their own accord. Christians simply have no choice in the matter.

Therefore, if the Supreme Court magically produces a requirement on the states to support a policy in direct conflict with people of faith, the question is how much pressure is the state going to put on those people to comply with the Constitutional requirement it must now uphold.

As “evidence” of the supposed threat to liberty posed by marriage equality, Diaz cites the termination of Atlanta’s fire chief for distributing to employees as self-published book that included condemnations of homosexuality. He neglects to mention that in Georgia, where this took place, gay marriage is still illegal.

Diaz also cites cases in Oregon and New Mexico involving bakery owners and a photographer who were found to have violated their states’ non-discrimination laws in turning away gay and lesbian couples. Both of those cases also took place before the states legalized gay marriage. 

Penny Nance, the group’s CEO, similarly warned in a press release this morning that if the Supreme Court issues a pro-equality ruling, people of faith will be “forced into submission”:

The issue of marriage is at least as controversial as abortion because, aside from taxpayer funding, which is an entanglement, no one is advocating that people of faith participate unwillingly in someone else’s abortion. If advocates for the redefinition of marriage have their way, people of faith will not only be forced to actively participate — at least via commerce — they will also be penalized by loss of job or other sanctions if they don’t. You see, it’s not enough for them that I tolerate their position. Christians, Muslims, Orthodox Jews, and others are to be forced into submission and complicity. And this is the one thing we can never give you. James Madison said, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.” We can love you. We can support you as you navigate life. But we cannot — and will not — ever betray our consciences on this or any other matter.

Penny Nance: LGBT Activists 'Going Around You To Get To Your Children'

In a column today for Brietbart News, Concerned Women for American President Penny Nance joins the right-wing detractors of the anti-bullying Day of Silence, telling parents that the event sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is in fact a tool for LGBT activists who “are going around you to get to your children.”

Nance insists that GLSEN is “working tirelessly to infiltrate schools and influence children across the country” and “taunting and bullying kids in public school and shaming them regarding their religious beliefs that favor traditional marriage.”

What if I told you that pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) activists are working tirelessly to infiltrate schools and influence children across the country? What if I said activists were taunting and bullying kids in public school and shaming them regarding their religious beliefs that favor traditional marriage? Most parents do not want to hear this, but it is a reality they must face. Gay activist are going around you to get to your children, and schools are complicit.

The “Day of Silence,” to be held next Friday, April 17, is part of that effort. It is a project of the radical Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which is the leading pro-LGBT national education organization working inside schools in all 50 states.

Here’s an idea: how about GLSEN doing an effort against bullying, period? We could all get behind that. I despise children being bullied for being “gay” just as much as for being obese or for being from another country, or simply being different or for whatever reason. How about we teach our kids, “Be ye kind one to another.”

But these activists are not interested in stopping bullying — they actually want to bully anyone who dares oppose their opinion, as we have seen. The Day of Silence is an opportunity to make sure any other view is completely silenced.

They would use different language, to be sure. They would say they are combating “homophobia.” But they consider traditional Christian teaching to be homophobic, and, therefore, if your child is a Christian, they will be under enormous pressure to ignore their faith in this area or risk intense ridicule and contempt (or, dare we say, hatred).

The most dangerous thing about all this is that schools are complicit in disallowing debate. This is why no parent will be notified of this day or most other pro-LGBT activities in advance. The educational institutions are so politicized that they will and must abide by political correctness at all times.

That is one of the many reasons why parents must stay informed and involved in their children’s education. There is an effort to combat the Day of Silence called the “‘Day of Silence’ Walk Out” where parents are encouraged to keep their children home. Most parents don’t know about it, so we must spread the word. Only by staying involved will we be able to combat these efforts and train our kids to navigate the turbulent waters of today’s increasingly secularized, hostile culture.

Anti-Gay Activists Urge Parents To Keep Kids Home On Anti-Bullying 'Day Of Silence'

A coalition of anti-gay groups is once again urging parents to keep their children out of school on the annual anti-bullying “Day of Silence.” The Illinois Family Institute published the call to action on its website today, signed by activists including Matt Barber, Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera, Scott Lively, Linda Harvey, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, and MassResistance’s Brian Camenker.

Calling the GLSEN-sponsored event “the queen of all the numerous homosexuality-affirming activities that take place in public schools,” the activists allege that it is meant to “indoctrinate 16-year-olds.”

“We must demonstrate the boldness and perseverance of the Left if we hope to stop the relentless appropriation of public education for the promotion of homosexuality,” they exhort.

The Day of Silence has long been a target of anti-gay group’ efforts to crack down on anti-bullying efforts in schools.

The Day of Silence is the queen of all the numerous homosexuality-affirming activities that take place in public schools. It started in one university and then like a cancer metastasized to thousands of high schools, and then into middle schools. Before long it will take place in elementary schools. Leftists know that it’s easier to indoctrinate 16-year-olds than 36-year-olds and easier still to indoctrinate 6-year-olds.

GLSEN promotes the Day of Silence as an “anti-bullying” effort. If it were solely about eradicating bullying, everyone—liberals and conservatives alike—would support it. But it’s not.

The Day of Silence exploits government schools, captive audiences, and anti-bullying sentiment to advance the Left’s social, moral, and political beliefs and goals. GLSEN seeks to advance the belief that all public expressions of moral disapproval of homosexual activity are bullying.

A coalition of pro-family organizations is once again urging parents to keep their children home from school on the Day of Silence if their school administrations will be allowing students to politicize instructional time by refusing to speak. This is the only organized national effort to oppose any pro-homosexual activity or event in public schools.

The absence of conservative influence within the culture on issues related to homosexuality is to some extent the fault of conservatives. Ignorance, fear, and an astounding lack of perseverance on the parts of conservatives have turned our cultural institutions—including public education—into the playground of “progressives.” Our passivity has enabled homosexual activists and their ideological allies to become social, political, and pedagogical bullies. Evidence of that is everywhere, including in schools on the GLSEN’s annual April school event, the Day of Silence.

We must demonstrate the boldness and perseverance of the Left if we hope to stop the relentless appropriation of public education for the promotion of homosexuality.

Matt Barber , Founder and Editor-in-Chief, BarbWire

Dr. Michael Brown , Director, Coalition of Conscience

Brian Camenker , President, MassResistance

Linda Harvey , Founder and President, Mission America

Laurie Higgins , Cultural Analyst, Illinois Family Institute

Peter LaBarbera , President, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality

Diane Gramley , President, American Family Association of Pennsylvania

Matt Staver , President, Liberty Counsel

Debra Smith , Founder, Informing Christians

Tom Rasmussen , Executive Director, Montana Family Foundation

Pastor Scott Lively , President, Abiding Truth Ministries

Penny Nance , President, CWA

Debbie Leininger , State Director, CWA of Illinois

Beverly Uhlmer Roberts , State Director, CWA of Texas South

Linda Wall , VA Mass Resistance

Nolan Clayton , Faith and Freedom Family Ministries

Pastor Christopher Clegg , Operation Save America

Paranoia-Rama: Gay Destruction Imminent, Obama's Gay Affair & Frozen's Misandrist Agenda

While gay rights advocates plot to destroy the Constitution and President Obama surreptitiously pushes the country into civil war, only conservative reporter Chuck C. Johnson can stop them. And he will do so by paying anyone with pertinent information to come forward with details about the president’s secret gay affair.

Conservative Groups Making Last-Ditch Attempt To Stop National Women's History Museum

A group of Religious Right organizations have taken a sudden interest in curbing government spending on national parks and public lands…all in the interest of stopping the creation of a museum dedicated to American women’s history.

Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is currently holding up a defense authorization bill that was passed last week in the House, contending that a public lands package attached to it is too pricey and doesn’t belong in a defense bill. While Coburn and Sen. Ted Cruz have objected to provisions in the bill designating new national wilderness areas, which Cruz calls an “extreme land grab,” they have garnered allies in the Religious Right who object to quite a different provision: the establishment of a bipartisan commission to start planning a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall.

In a letter to members of the House last week, representatives of Concerned Women for America (CWA), Heritage Action, Eagle Forum, March for Life, and the American Family Association signed on to a letter with a handful of “small government” groups that oppose the creation of more public lands, urging lawmakers to strip the lands package from the defense bill.

Although the letter makes a generic nod to preventing the government from gaining “more ownership over America’s lands,” it goes on to object specifically to the women’s history museum provision, using language copied and pasted out of a recent CWA press release.

CWA and its allies have been trying for months to stop Congress from authorizing a planning committee for the women’s history museum, claiming that the museum would end up being a “shrine to liberal ideology, abortion and liberal advocates” and complaining that the museum’s website doesn’t mention CWA founder Beverly LaHaye.

Back in May, the groups failed to stop the House from passing a bill authorizing the planning committee, in part thanks to the efforts of the bill’s main Republican sponsor, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who called their arguments “convoluted.” Heritage Action’s threat to score the women’s history vote against members of Congress ultimately only scared 33 Republicans into voting against it. 

CWA Renews Fight Against Women's History Museum, Claims It Would Be 'Offensive To Military Members'

Earlier this year, conservative groups led by Concerned Women for America tried unsuccessfully to stop the House from approving a plan to move forward on the building of the National Women’s History Museum, claiming that the museum would be a “shrine to liberal ideology, abortion, and liberal advocates." Since then, that bill has been held up in the Senate by Republicans Tom Coburn and Mike Lee.

Now the coalition is resuming the fight after hearing that the new museum might be included in a public lands section of an upcoming defense budget. In a press release yesterday, CWA President Penny Nance claimed that the museum would “promote a skewed view of women on key issues like abortion, the free market, and feminism.” Nance also declared that the museum “would in fact be offensive to military members” by including exhibits mentioning people like feminist Bella Abzug, who advocated cuts in military spending.

In an op-ed for Brietbart News, Nance writes that she is against the “identity politics” of the museum in the first place, opposes it especially because she suspects (with no apparent evidence) that it would glorify “whiny” feminists instead of people like a female Peshmerga fighter who died fighting ISIS last month.

On October 11, Rengin Yusuf died.

She was a mom, a warrior and a young Peshmergan fighter who died in battle against ISIS. According to Sandor Jaszberenyi’s piece in the Wall Street Journal, she was part of a brave group of women who are particularly successful in combat, due in part to ISIS’s belief that being killed by a woman fighter excludes one from the complimentary 72 virgins in Paradise.

Rengin should be a feminist icon, but she won’t be. American feminists won’t like her brand of feminism.

Besides taking a firm stand against Jihadists, she also didn’t buy into gender politics, asking before her death — along with her fellow fighters — to not be identified as “women Peshmergas” because as Jaszberenyi puts it, “a Peshmerga is a Peshmerga, or in Kurdish, ‘someone who confronts death.’”

Contrast her idea of true feminist empowerment with the whiny “#banbossy” campaign and other phony feminist “battles” of the American left.

Women warriors do not serve in this nation to be viewed as a minority interest group. We are fifty-one percent of the population and won’t settle for a pat on the head. We are Americans and deserve to be fairly represented in every museum.

But if we are wrong and the majority of American women want gender division, then at the very least the museum must fairly portray the philosophical diversity of American women on hot button issues like abortion and marriage. Unless the safeguards are added to the current bill language, the museum will predictably become a shrine to the Left’s view of feminism on our National Mall. It will serve to indoctrinate future generations in the Bella Abzug brand of feminism, not the Rengin Yusuf kind.

Congress needs to stop playing identity politics.

Nance, as it happens, was offered a seat on the commission planning the museum but refused it unless she was allowed to be the commission's chairwoman.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 11/7/14

  • What a surprise: “[O]n average, states with a photo ID law had 4.4 percentage points lower turnout than those that did not.”
  • Allen West has been tapped to lead the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis.
  • We wonder how Religious Right activists will react if Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican who supports marriage equality, decides to run for president.
  • Bradlee Dean warns that “Obama’s allies are America’s enemies! His support comes from communist nations, as well as the enemies Americans tolerate within.”
  • Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is not happy with New York Times reporter Josh Barro.
  • Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance praises the Bush appointees on the Sixth Circuit Court who upheld four states’ bans on same-sex marriage: “If there is any hope of a limited consensus on this issue, it stems from this decision.”

Marco Rubio Is The Real Victim Of The Gay Rights Movement

In an attempt to woo social conservatives in advance of a possible presidential bid, Sen. Marco Rubio delivered a speech at Catholic University today, where he attempted to come across as a uniter on social issues like marriage equality and abortion rights while assuring his party’s right flank that he agrees with their hardline policy positions.

The Florida Republican drew heavily from the Religious Right’s persecution narrative to claim that while LGBT people have faced discrimination in the past, he and fellow opponents of marriage equality are now the victims of widespread “intolerance.”

“We should acknowledge that our nation is marred by a history of discrimination against gays and lesbians,” he said. “There was once a time when our federal government not only banned the hiring of gay employees, it required federal contractors to identify and fire them. Some laws prohibited gays from being served in bars and restaurants, and many states carried out law enforcement efforts targeting gay marriages.”

“Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since then,” he continued. “Many committed gay and lesbian couples feel humiliated by the law’s failure to recognize their relationship as a marriage, and supporters of same-sex marriage argue that laws banning same-sex marriage are discrimination. I respect their arguments, and I would concede that they pose a legitimate question for lawmakers and society.”

But now, according to Rubio, it is gay-rights opponents whose rights are under attack.

He criticized judges who are “redefining marriage from the bench,” claiming that pro-marriage-equality decisions take away the rights of “Americans like myself” who oppose same-sex marriage: “Those who support same-sex marriage have a right to lobby their state legislature to change its laws. But Americans like myself who support keeping the traditional definition of marriage also have the right to work to keep the traditional definition of marriage in our laws without seeing them overturned by a judge.”

Calling tolerance a “two-way street,” he lamented that “today there is a growing intolerance on this issue, intolerance towards those who continue to support traditional marriage.”

“I promise you that even before this speech is over, I’ll be attacked as a hater or a bigot or someone who’s anti-gay,” he said. “This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy. Supporting the definition of marriage as one man and one woman is not anti-gay. It is pro-traditional marriage.”

The theme was repeated by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, and Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance, who joined a panel discussion after Rubio’s speech.

“I think the myth of somehow those who are concerned about these issues from a more conservative standpoint are simply going to evaporate, I think that that is actually fueling some of the things that Sen. Rubio talked about right now, when he did talk about this growing intolerance of those who would define marriage as a conjugal union of a man and a woman,” Moore said.

Nance praised Rubio for his “unifying” message, as opposed to the “divisive” tone of President Obama whom she said “has pitted gays against straights”:

“I believe that this president has been so divisive for this nation. He has pitted men against women, he has pitted wealthy against poor, he has pitted gays against straights, and I was so happy and encouraged by the tone that Sen. Rubio took. It was a unifying message that he gave us today, and I think it was a winning message.”

Sen. Rubio’s office has posted video of his remarks. His comments on LGBT equality and abortion rights begin about 13 minutes in:

Concerned Women For America Lauds Closure Of School's Women Studies Department

The University of South Carolina-Upstate recently announced the closure of its Center for Women’s and Gender Studies following several attacks from Republican politicians who threatened to cut funding from the school over an LGBT comedy event.

Naturally, Concerned Women for America head Penny Nance applauded the move:

“Congratulations to the University of South Carolina Upstate for having the courage and good sense to eliminate a course of study whose sole purpose is to indoctrinate young women in leftist ideology.

“We applaud the University of South Carolina Upstate (USCU) for closing the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (CWGS) and allocating those funds to teach America’s founding documents. The decision puts the South Carolina college in compliance with state law requiring those documents be taught and also gives these women a chance at actual employment upon graduation.

“As American women, we strongly support equal opportunity and are glad USCU will instead concentrate on courses that will prepare its young women for jobs instead of joining their other women’s studies sisters in the unemployment line.

“It is surely more beneficial to learn the history of our country then to take part in pointless gender “victimology” lessons. Clearly, they will miss the “I Need Feminism” campaign and CWGS’s 2014 Bodies of Knowledge Symposium that included “Trans, but Not Like You Think”, and planned to include the play How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less. We think they’ll be fine.

Leftist feminists love to make fun of home economics, which none of us in the CWA national office actually majored in, but we can’t argue with Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler that it teaches useful life skills. In fact, it’s far more useful than studying Passages of Appearing: Arendt and the Existential Politics of Transgender Liminality.

“In researching this issue we looked to see how many of the women who have degrees in these women’s studies programs are actually employed. Let’s say they weren’t bragging on their post-graduate employment numbers.

“Of those who are actually employed, we surmise most of those jobs would result in other women’s studies professors. Good news for those jobless feminists though, there may bea chance at employment on the horizon if the Senate joins the Republican establishment in the House of Representatives to push for the Left’s hopeful shrine to abortion, the National Women’s History Museum. (emphasis ours)

“But back to the point. Well done USC Upstate! Women’s studies majors may in fact more clearly understand their “rights” and whether they are actually being violated after a thorough reading of the Constitution. We encourage other universities to follow suit and hope other states will adopt similar policies.”

After Complaining Women's Museum Will 'Indoctrinate' Visitors Into Feminism, CWA's Nance Demands To Chair Museum's Board

The House voted 383-33 last night to move forward with a plan to build a National Women’s History Museum on the Mall, despite an effort by Religious Right groups to prevent the museum from going forward.

Now, we learn that Concerned Women for America's Penny Nance, the activist leading the fight against the museum, was offered a spot on its planning board but refused to participate unless an anti-feminist activist like herself was allowed to head the planning effort.

The Daily Caller reports that in an effort to shore up support for a bill authorizing a planning study for the museum, the museum’s chief Republican supporter, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, offered Nance a spot on the museum’s board. Nance refused, saying that she would only accept an offer to lead the museum as the board’s chair or to pick another right-wing activist for the job.

“Regardless of that effort some critics of this legislation have, incorrectly, said that the bill would create a museum that would portray women as monolithic in their views on abortion as well as other issues of concern to women,” said Blackburn, adding that she asked Nance to serve as a member of the commission.

Nance said that the offer — sent by Blackburn’s chief of staff on Tuesday night — is “an exercise in futility and frustration without the chairman being someone who at least is impartial on our views.”

“One seat would not change anything,” said Nance, adding “I am happy to either serve or find someone else to serve as chairman.”

Religious Right groups came out against the plan because, they said, it would place too much emphases on women who had fought for women’s rights. CWA complained that the museum would “indoctrinate” visitors into “a jaundiced view of women’s history” because the museum’s website mentioned pioneering abortion rights advocates but didn’t mention CWA’s founder Beverly LaHaye or fringe right-wing activist Star Parker.

Eagle Forum urged its members to oppose the creation of the museum, saying, “Long sought by feminists, this project would enshrine their warped view of American history on the National Mall” and added that the museum wasn’t needed anyway: “Women's history is American history, and there is already a National Museum of American History on the Mall.”

The Family Research Council warned that the museum would become “a permanent monument to radical feminism and abortion.”

Writing for RedState, David Horowitz called the museum proposal an “interesting endeavor,” but warned that it would “promote leftwing propaganda”:

One of the biggest obstacles to restoring our constitutional Republic is the inherent advantage the progressives enjoy inside of our culture. Their monopoly on media, entertainment, and education has given radicals the opportunity to slowly, yet relentlessly, introduce extreme ideas into the mainstream with a high degree of success. The least we can do as conservatives is not use our majority to gratuitously grant the feminist movement more leverage to promote leftwing propaganda in our nation’s capitol under the guise of celebrating famous women.

In the end, yesterday, activists were only able to persuade 33 Republican House members to vote against a bill that “authorizes a study to find a location for the museum and establish its mission.” Only two of the eighteen Republican women in the House voted against the bill – Rep. Michele Bachmann, who said it would “enshrine the radical feminist movement” and Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

But despite her attempted concession to Nance, Blackburn told National Journal that she could not figure out what all the fuss was about: "Look, I'm a pretty conservative person. I can't even follow that train of thought. It's too convoluted for me."

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