Tony Perkins

FRC: Girl Scouts 'Encourage Promiscuity' & Engage In 'Child Abuse'

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and the group’s senior fellow Cathy Ruse dedicated a segment of Washington Watch on Friday to attacking the Girl Scouts over a Twitter “scandal.” In December, the Girl Scouts tweeted a link to a HuffPost Women article called, “These Incredible Ladies Should Be Women Of The Year For 2013.”

The article included a HuffPost Live video in which panelists mentioned Malala Yousafzai, Beyoncé Knowles and Wendy Davis as their picks for Woman of the Year. The mention of Davis, the Texas state senator and gubernatorial candidate who gained international attention for her filibuster of a bill curtailing abortion rights, infuriated anti-choice activists, who then attacked the Girl Scouts for linking to the post.

Such criticisms are nothing new from the Right. The FRC frequently lambasts and even prays against the Girl Scouts. In 2012, the group launched a boycott of Girl Scout cookies

Ruse alleged to Perkins that the leadership of the Girl Scouts is encouraging promiscuity and abortion and that the group’s decision to let a transgender girl join a Brownie troop amounted to “child abuse.”

To them abortion and sex-ed and promiscuity for very young girls is a good thing. They just have a very different mindset but they do not share the values of most American parents and the values of most people who are in the Girl Scouts. So when the Girl Scout membership begins to learn about this they find it scandalous. There’s a reason why membership is down in the Girl Scouts, there’s a reason why cookie sales are down, because all of these things are scandalous. You know, Girl Scouts now admit cross-dressing boys as little Brownie girls; it’s child abuse, frankly.



Look at what the organization at the head wants to do with your girls and where it’s taking the organization and then people can decide what they should do. You’ve got a cross-dresser in the front office, you’ve got little boys admitted as little girls and those poor little girls in those troops have to pretend this is a girl? That’s child abuse in some people’s estimation.

Perkins also revived the myth that the Girl Scouts circulated a Planned Parenthood pamphlet at an event in 2010. He argued that Planned Parenthood seeks to “encourage promiscuity and behavior that would lead [Girl Scouts] into Planned Parenthood clinics.”

Perkins: We’re talking about the agenda that’s really behind the Girl Scouts. I guess Cathy I can understand, it makes sense for Planned Parenthood to want to be teamed up with the Girl Scouts because that’s a client base for them if they can get this information into their hands to encourage promiscuity and behavior that would lead them into Planned Parenthood clinics.

Ruse: Absolutely, it’s logical isn’t it.

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/10/14

GOP Congressman Peddles DOMA 2.0: 'State Marriage Defense Act'

Less than a year after Supreme Court invalidated a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, a Republican Congressman is offering a bill that would make it more difficult for married same-sex couples to receive legal recognition.

Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) has introduced the “State Marriage Defense Act,” which would prohibit the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples who live in states that don’t acknowledge their union (for instance, a couple who gets married in Iowa and then moves to Alabama). The bill would undermine an Obama administration ruling that recognizes all legally married couples for federal tax purposes.

The anti-gay Family Research Council hailed the new bill in a statement released today.

The State Marriage Defense Act is a response to the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor. The Court struck down as unconstitutional Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage for all purposes under federal law as the union of one man and one woman. The plaintiff in Windsor had entered into a marriage with a person of the same sex that was recognized as legal by the state in which she lived, so the Court said that the federal government should also recognize the relationship as a marriage.

However, the Court was silent on the status of same-sex couples who may have obtained a civil marriage in one state, but who live in a state that recognizes only marriages of a man and a woman. The Obama administration has implemented guidance for some federal agencies that ignores the marriage laws of states that define marriage between a man and a woman. At the same time, other federal agencies defer to the laws of a person's state of legal residency to determine marital status for federal purposes. The State Marriage Defense Act would address this administrative chaos with a simple rule that tells the federal government to respect state determinations of the marital status of their residents when applying federal law.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins issued the following statement:

"In recent months, we have witnessed the growing serious consequences of redefining marriage. We've seen wedding florists, bakers, photographers who have been hauled into court, fined and even ordered to violate their religious beliefs by participating in same-sex weddings. And last month, a federal judge cited same-sex marriage in his decision striking down Utah's law against polygamy. Another consequence has been the Obama administration's chaotic actions through federal agencies that demonstrate total disregard for the 33 states that have not redefined marriage.

"Family Research Council strongly supported the Defense of Marriage Act, and disagreed with the Court's decision in Windsor. However, if the federal government is required to defer to state determinations of which of their residents are 'married,' it must defer to those determinations in all fifty states - not just those that have redefined marriage.

FRC's 2014 Plan: Save Religious Liberty by Dumping 'Moderates'

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins has sent out a first installment of FRC Action’s political plan for 2014, which is not surprisingly filled with over-the-top rhetoric about catastrophe, socialism, the end of freedom in America, etc.  It is more than anything else a drumbeat for Religious Right leaders’ ongoing “religious liberty” strategy, in which liberals and the policies they support are portrayed as bent on the destruction of religious freedom.

The House of Representatives is where we have the greatest potential to make the greatest impact—to secure your religious liberties … and keep America from descending into a quagmire of self-destructive socialism.

This is urgently important because President Obama and his allies in Congress appear to be on a search-and-destroy mission when it comes to religious liberty. This administration has expressed its hostility to religious freedom at every turn: in the workplace, in the military, everywhere. They are fully engaged in what can only be described as a direct assault. They are in overdrive.

They’re essentially trying to quarantine Christians, to keep your religious convictions boxed up and hidden inside the four walls of your church.

We cannot, and we will not, allow this to happen.

It is clear that Perkins is getting ready for the brewing civil war between the more business-establishment wing of the GOP and the Religious Right-Tea Party wing.  He writes that the House of Representatives is the firewall, and that 2014 must be not only about keeping the House in Republican hands, but in the control of conservatives rather than “moderates.”

Make no mistake: the gentle-sounding moniker “moderate” is simply a mask for someone who is unwilling to challenge this President when he ignores the Constitution, violates the law, and rides roughshod over religious liberties.

We have the potential in this election to produce one of the most conservative Houses in history—with the balance of House leadership tipping toward the conservatives….

Let me be clear: our nation has lurched to the left in recent history not only because there are so many liberals in Washington, but because so many voters have settled for “the lesser of two evils.” The mess we’re dealing with today is what you get with such a compromise.

What we need in Washington, D.C., is solid conservatives who understand the meaning of transcendent truth—who understand the importance of our Constitution—who understand the value of freedom. This is why we carefully vet candidates for office and support only true conservatives for election.

Between now and elections, Perkins says, it’s crucial to fight for repeal of Obamacare and to prevent passage of the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA), which he calls “a dangerous bill that would destroy the religious liberties of Christian employers and employees.”

This law would mandate Christian businesses—including some ministries, and most Christian bookstores, radio stations, and more—to hire those openly engaged in immoral and unhealthy sexual behavior. and it would mandate “diverse” workplaces that would actually discriminate against religious employees who don’t “celebrate” sexual diversity.

Perkins says the House has kept ENDA “bottled up,” but more conservatives must be elected to strengthen Republicans who are under “tremendous pressure” to vote for the bill.

Everything, says Perkins, depends on convincing the American people that “religious liberty” is at risk. It’s especially important, he says, since the lame duck Obama “has less and less to lose” and as a result “he is desperate and even more dangerous.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/20/13

What Persecution Looks Like

Nothing like putting things in perspective.

At the end of a week in which Religious Right leaders, cable TV pundits, and conservative politicians acted as if freedom were being destroyed because a rich TV star was suspended for making offensive racist and anti-gay comments, the Parliament in Uganda passed a bill that threatens gay people with life in prison.

And with that vote, all the alarmist bluster about persecution from Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and every Religious Right leader who saw a chance to boost year-end fundraising by jumping on the martyrdom bandwagon was made to look ridiculous.

This week’s news gave us plenty of evidence about real persecution, and it had nothing to do with Duck Dynasty. The face of persecution is not Phil Robertson, but the terrified LGBT people in Uganda who fear that they are about to be hunted.  Persecution looks like gay teenagers in Russia being beaten by thugs, and by gay parents who have the ability to leave Russia fleeing because anti-gay political leaders are threatening to take their children from them. Persecution looks like LGBT people all over the globe whose lives and freedom are threatened by new laws that enshrine discrimination and define them as criminals. Persecution looks like LGBT teens in Jamaica facing vigilante violence.  And on and on.

Newsweek reported a week ago that Ethiopia had declared war on gay men this year, noting, “A representative from the Ethiopian Inter-Religious Council Against Homosexuality announced that the council was making ‘promising’ progress in convincing the government to introduce the death penalty to punish ‘homosexual acts.’”

How do American conservative religious and political figures respond to this kind of persecution? Not with shouts of outrage but with enthusiastic cheering. It is no small irony that many of those most loudly screaming "persecution" over Robertson's suspension have been equally vocal supporters of international efforts to literally criminalize homosexuality. 

Brian Brown, Pat Buchanan, Matt Barber, and a sad parade of other religious conservatives fawn over Russia’s violently anti-democratic strongman Vladimir Putin as if he were Christendom’s new Defender of the Faith. Putin, in Barber’s words, is being allowed to “out-Christian our once-Christian nation.” (Of course many American Christians want nothing to do with Barber or his interpretation of the faith.)

And to their lasting shame, American Religious Right leaders’ financial and political support have been inflaming anti-gay passions in Uganda for years.  Lou Engle and Scott Lively actually traveled to Uganda and helped rally support for the bill. The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who takes such umbrage at FRC’s designation as a hate group, dismissed criticism of the Uganda law in its earlier and more sinister incarnation, calling the proposed law an effort to “uphold moral conduct.”

There’s no indication that the Uganda bill’s passage is causing any noticeable soul-searching among the far right.  Far from it. The American Family Association’s always-repellant Bryan Fischer invoked the Duck Dynasty flap in celebrating the passage of the anti-gay law in Uganda: “Uganda stands with Phil. Makes homosexuality contrary to public policy. It can be done.”

Actually, as offensive as Phil Robertson’s statements were, they pale in comparison to Fischer’s. Robertson hasn’t suggested, as far as I know, that gay people should be arrested and put in prison for life. And I seriously doubt that Robertson has ever traveled to Russia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, or Australia to promote legal discrimination against and criminalization of LGBT people or anyone who advocates for equality, the way right-wing figures like Engle, Lively, Brown, Mat Staver, Peter LaBarbera, Paul Cameron, and others have.

No worries about the Olympics on the American Right.  In fact the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society is excited about having its 2014 “World Congress of Families” summit in Moscow, which they see as a new stronghold for “traditional values” against the secular moral squalor of Western Europe.

Conservative activists were prepared to see Phil Robertson as a victim of religious persecution because they’ve been primed for years with the “religious liberty” narrative being pushed by Religious Right leaders and their conservative Catholic allies. They portray criticism as persecution. They equate being on the losing side of policy debates with being under the heel of oppression. And when courts and legislatures struggle with the challenge of balancing religious liberty with other constitutional values like equality under the law, they see only black-and-white battles between good and evil.

Their rhetoric cheapens and distorts the meaning of terms like tyranny. Anti-religious persecution is a violent, heartbreaking reality for Christians in many parts of the world. But not for the privileged and powerful figures in the United States who wrap themselves in the mantle of martyrdom.

The next time you hear some talking head on Fox talk about persecution, think about people in the Central African Republic who are caught in sectarian violence verging on genocide. Or think about LGBT people whose lives and freedom are threatened every day in the name of Christian values.  

Uganda Passes Anti-Gay Bill Cheered By US Conservatives

An anti-gay law championed by evangelical Christians in Uganda with the enthusiastic backing of Religious Right leaders in the U.S. has passed parliament and is awaiting the president’s decision on whether to sign it.  The bill as passed apparently no longer includes the death penalty provision but makes homosexuality a crime punishable by life in prison. LGBT activist Frank Mugisha says his colleagues are panicking, fearing that “there is going to be a hunt.”

Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan minister who has pushed the bill for years, and has been praised by Religious Right leaders like Matt Barber for his strident anti-gay stance, tweeted “Let Freedom Ring!” and posted a celebratory picture of himself with David Bahati, the bill’s sponsor.

Ssempa got plenty of help from American Religious Right figures like Lou Engle and Scott Lively, who is facing a human rights lawsuit brought by Sexual Minorities of Uganda. “This human rights crisis was made here in the United States,” says Tarso Luís Ramos, Executive Director at Political Research Associates.

Given that American Religious Right figures had praised the bill in its even more draconian form – Tony Perkins called it an effort to “uphold moral conduct” – it is sadly unsurprising to see some of them cheering.  American Family Association hatemonger Bryan Fischer connected the law’s passage to the controversy in America over Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson. Fischer tweeted:

So much for “live and let live.” 

PFAW Foundation Condemns U.S. Right-Wing Leaders’ Connection to Ugandan Anti-Gay Bill

WASHINGTON – People For the American Way Foundation is deeply saddened to learn of the reported passage of the infamous anti-gay bill in Uganda. The draconian bill would make so-called “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by life in prison.

A number of far-right leaders in the United States are connected to this bill. Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, called an older version of the bill an effort to “uphold moral conduct.” The anti-gay activism of Abiding Truth Ministries’ Scott Lively in Uganda has helped foment anti-gay sentiment there, and a lawsuit brought by gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda alleges that Lively’s activities in Uganda led to the torture and deaths of gay and lesbian Ugandans. Lively has explicitly come out in favor of a version of the bill that included life in prison as a punishment for homosexuality.

“American far-right groups have long embraced bigotry and discrimination when it comes to LGBT communities in this country. In recent years, they’ve also worked hard to export their hatred,” said People For the American Way Foundation President Michael Keegan. “Their help in facilitating a clear violation of human rights is abhorrent. These far-right U.S. leaders must take responsibility for the human suffering caused by their role in its development.”

The far-right’s work in Uganda is part of an ongoing effort by American anti-gay activists to spread their bigotry abroad, including support for suppressive anti-gay laws in Russia, Jamaica, and Peru. Right Wing Watch will continue to monitor and expose these efforts to export homophobia.

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FRC Upset That Gay And Transgender People Are Signing Up For Health Insurance

The Family Research Council is upset that Obama administration allies are working to enroll LGBT people – who are disproportionately uninsured -- in health care plans because they are “a high risk pool fed by even higher risk behavior.”

Religious Right Activists Suddenly Against Biblical Definition of Marriage

The same activists who support a wide definition of religious liberty that entails sweeping legal exemptions for Christians and who believe that US laws must closely follow biblical dictates, are now upset that a religious family has successfully challenged Utah’s anti-polygamy statute.

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/16/13

Andrew Kaczynski @ BuzzFeed: Rick Santorum Drops Strange, Death-Filled Description Of Nationalized Health Care. Joe.My.God: Pope Francis Vs Rush Limbaugh.

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/6/13

Perkins: Democrats Are Waging A 'War On Women' Through The Contraception Mandate

Recently it was reported that Republicans in Congress have been receiving training on how to communicate with female voters and, more importantly, learning what not to do when running against a female opponent.

The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins was asked about this effort by Newsmax's Steve Malzberg yesterday and it made us wish that the GOP would bring Perkins in to help them with their talking points because, as he sees it, the entire thing is utterly unnecessary since it is the Democrats who are really waging the "war on women" ... through the contraception mandate:

Let me tell you where the war on women is being waged. It is the Democratic Party that is putting an ideological emphasis on, let's take the contraception mandate that they're pushing, which is going to cost jobs, going to cost women the ability to provide for their families, it's going to take away their health care because they're putting organizations and businesses in a position of having to choose between their religious freedoms, their conscience, and providing healthcare for their workers. Look, who needs to apologize for that are not Republicans, it's the Democrats, it's the President that's pushing this failed policy that's kicking families off of coverage from health care and potentially ending their jobs. Now, what do Republicans have to apologize for because they've been fighting that?  I don't think they have anything to apologize for.

Perkins: Tide Turning Against Marriage Equality

Back in June, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins pointed to the marriage equality fight in Illinois to argue that marriage equality is not inevitable:

Today, Pew Research Center did its part to dispirit supporters of natural marriage by insisting that 72% of Americans believe same-sex "marriage" is inevitable (including 85% of same-sex "marriage" supporters and 59% of natural marriage proponents). Apparently, the folks at Pew didn't survey anyone in Illinois. Advocates of same-sex "marriage" thought victory in the President's home state was "inevitable" too -- until the churches got involved.

The reality is, same-sex "marriage" is only as inevitable as we make it. If Christians play into the media's hands and adopt this defeatist attitude, then the Left is right: It is helpless. But if believers rediscover the power of the truth, they can do more than stop the dissolution of marriage (like they did in Illinois), they can "turn the world upside down" (Acts 17:6).

Of course, Illinois eventually did in fact legalize same-sex marriage. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia now have marriage equality laws, which are favored by 58 percent of Americans and a huge majority of young people.

But undeterred by the facts, Perkins said in his radio address today that “the tide may already be turning” against equality:

Plenty of states have been processing down the same-sex marriage aisle. But according to pundits, that's all about to change. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. Homosexual activists like to say that momentum is on their side. And until recently, they might have been right. Sixteen U.S. states now recognize a right to same-sex marriage. And unfortunately, the Left's success in places like Hawaii and Illinois have helped feed the lie in America that homosexual marriage is inevitable. But don't believe it, say experts. All we've witnessed lately is the Left taking advantage of easy targets. With the exception of West Virginia, none of the other 34 states are under Democratic control. That means the Left's toughest battles are yet to come. And in places like Indiana, the tide may already be turning. State liberals are rushing to play defense while a marriage protection amendment works its way to the statewide ballot. So be encouraged. Not all same-sex wedding bills are leading to wedding bells.

Indiana will vote on an amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2014, but Indiana GOP leaders are already distancing themselves from or even opposing the discriminatory initiative. While the vote is a year away, the latest polling found that most Hoosiers oppose the amendment.

Marriage equality may also soon arrive in Oregon and New Mexico (where it is already legal in some counties), which may disappoint Perkins as he tries to pretend anti-gay activists are somehow winning the fight on marriage rights.

Tony Perkins Claims Obama Judicial Picks Are 'To the Left of Hugo Chavez'

Last month, Senate Democrats were forced to change the rules of the filibuster after Republicans vowed to block all three of President Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals despite the fact that they had no problem with the nominees themselves.

But in the alternate universe of the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins,  when it comes to judicial nominations, “Senate Republicans have rarely displayed political courage stopping only a handful of nominees – nominees that ideologically would have been to the left of Hugo Chavez.”

Perkins said in his radio address today that the president’s nominations have in fact violated God’s “specific guidance on the selection of judges.”

The now majority leader pushed the nuclear option button effectively silencing the Senate minority and all but guaranteeing the president's nominees will be confirmed. Trust me; Senate Republicans have rarely displayed political courage, stopping only a handful of nominees -- nominees that ideologically would have been to the left of Hugo Chavez. The President is now free to pack the courts with ideologues that will both advance and protect his socialist policies. There is a reason that God gave specific guidance in the selection of judges. Few things will ruin a society quicker than unqualified, activist judges.

Looking through a list of Obama judicial nominees delayed or blocked by the GOP, it’s hard to find any who resemble the late Venezuelan president, but the FRC’s perception of these things tends to be skewed. After all, the group attacked both of the women in President Obama’s slate of nominees to the DC Circuit for being too “feminist,” one because she successfully fought for the Family and Medical Leave Act, and one because she supports having more than one woman on the Supreme Court.
 

Why It's Best Not To Cite The Pilgrims While Defending Hobby Lobby

Like fellow Religious Right activist Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Nate Kellum is citing the Pilgrims as a reason to oppose the contraceptive coverage mandate for employers:

As we sat down and enjoyed our traditional Thanksgiving meals, many of us remembered the Pilgrims' quest for religious liberty. We considered how they came to this new country at great sacrifice, seeking the freedom to practice their religion.

But this noble quest is not just part of our history. The freedom to live according to faith is still being pursued today.

This quest is reflected in recent legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate, which forces Christian employers to supply insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs or face enormous and business-killing fines and penalties. Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear and resolve this vitally important issue.

While saying that for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby have First Amendment-protected religious beliefs is one thing, the legend of the Pilgrims going to the New World to search for religious freedom is a myth, especially considering that the Pilgrims helped establish a virtual theocracy that persecuted dissenters.

Historian Kenneth C. Davis writes in Smithsonian:

From the earliest arrival of Europeans on America’s shores, religion has often been a cudgel, used to discriminate, suppress and even kill the foreign, the “heretic” and the “unbeliever”—including the “heathen” natives already here. Moreover, while it is true that the vast majority of early-generation Americans were Christian, the pitched battles between various Protestant sects and, more explosively, between Protestants and Catholics, present an unavoidable contradiction to the widely held notion that America is a “Christian nation.”



The much-ballyhooed arrival of the Pilgrims and Puritans in New England in the early 1600s was indeed a response to persecution that these religious dissenters had experienced in England. But the Puritan fathers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony did not countenance tolerance of opposing religious views. Their “city upon a hill” was a theocracy that brooked no dissent, religious or political.

The most famous dissidents within the Puritan community, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, were banished following disagreements over theology and policy. From Puritan Boston’s earliest days, Catholics (“Papists”) were anathema and were banned from the colonies, along with other non-Puritans. Four Quakers were hanged in Boston between 1659 and 1661 for persistently returning to the city to stand up for their beliefs.

Right Wing Leftovers - 12/2/13

  • The Christian Post reports that "Family Research Council President Tony Perkins led seven members of Congress known for their strong ties to evangelical Christians on a nine-day swing through Israel's Holy Land earlier this month, touring the country's most important religious sites and meeting with top-level Israeli officials."
  • Larry Pratt says people are buying weapons this time of year because they’re scared of Obama.
  • Glenn Beck is "convinced that Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s are put together through divine providence, that when we are humble enough, we will see the meaning of Christmas and we’ll be able to change our life in the new year." 
  • Mike Huckabee's audience is smaller than it appears.
  • Finally, Allen West claims that Obama administration has issued new air-quality restrictions in order to make in impossible to produce bullets as a form of "backdoor gun control." It's not true, of course.

FRC Attacks Judicial Nominee For Saying There Should Be Women On The Supreme Court

The Family Research Council’s attempts to paint President Obama’s female nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals as “radical feminists” aren’t going so well.

First, the FRC attacked Nina Pillard for quoting something the late Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote about the importance of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Now, the FRC seems to think it’s found a winning argument against Patricia Millett, the other woman in the slate of three D.C. Circuit nominees: She thinks there should be women on the Supreme Court.

In his daily email on Friday, FRC’s Tony Perkins wrote:

As it stands right now, the D.C. Circuit is evenly divided between Democrat and Republican appointed judges -- but that's about to change. Using the nuclear option, the Senate moved forward with reconsidering Patricia Millett, the first of three previously blocked nominees the President will be employing to pack the court in his favor. Millett has shown an activist tendency in how she views the court, believing it's more important it look a certain way than judge a certain way.

When President Bush nominated Samuel Alito to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Millett bemoaned that O'Connor wasn't being replaced by another woman, as if gender impacts who's most qualified to apply the Constitution to the facts in a case or that our highest court should be seen as a representative body. She sees the redefinition of marriage turning on her own definition of fairness and not the law.

FRC seems to have picked up this line of attack from a talking points document put together by the right-wing Judicial Action Group, which claims that Millett's comment in a 2009 interview that “there was a lot of upset over the failure to put a woman on to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor” shows that she would have a poor "judicial temperament.”

Yes, this is actually the argument that FRC is using against an accomplished woman’s judicial nomination in 2013.

Here’s what Millett actually said, in a 2009 interview about whom President Obama might choose to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. At the time, there was just one woman on the court and Millett stressed that there were “many qualified women” who would make President Obama’s short-list, even if gender was not considered:

There was a lot of upset over the failure to put a woman on to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and…it would be extraordinary to have no women on the Supreme Court in this day and age. But even to only have one is, I think, a sorry statement about the appointment process thus far, and where it’s gotten in the last eight years.

So, I think the pressure to have a Supreme Court that looks in many ways – and gender is just one way – that is reflective of the public it serves, would require that a woman gets serious consideration. And there’s no doubt that there are many, many qualified women who – entirely apart from their gender, if nobody even considers about their gender –would be short-listed for the Supreme Court in any event, so it makes that easy.

By the way, in case you were wondering about FRC’s claim that Millett “sees the redefinition of marriage turning on her own definition of fairness and not the law,” that also comes from JAG's talking points. JAG points to an interview Millett gave previewing the Supreme Court’s hearing of the DOMA case, in which she referred to the question before the Court – whether DOMA’s unequal treatment of same-sex and opposite-sex marriage’s violated the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause – as the “fundamental fairness question before the Court.” That is, she was accurately describing the issue the Court was asked to consider; she never implies that the issue is “turning on her own definition of fairness and not the law.”

Religious Right Piles On To Defend Proponent Of Russia Anti-Gay Laws

A couple of weeks ago, the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society -- an Illinois-based group that through its World Congress of Families helped promote Russia’s new anti-gay laws -- was forced to relocate a Capitol Hill symposium on “family policy lessons from foreign lands” when Sen. Mark Kirk learned what it was up to and pulled the plug on its meeting room.

The group got a last-minute helping hand from House Speaker John Boehner , but the symposium’s speakers – World Congress of Families (WCF) founder Allan Carlson, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute president Austin Ruse, and Concerned Women For America senior fellow/WCF board member Janice Shaw Crouse – still spent much of the event bashing Kirk over the scheduling snafu .

Now, Religious Right groups including the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, and the American Family Association are coming to WCF’s defense.

The National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown – who WCF arranged to testify before the Russian parliament in favor of its broad ban on adoption by gay people – told the American Family Association’s One News Now that Kirk decided to “discriminate against a group that stands for traditional marriage” and that by doing so he was “undermining the party platform” because “it’s part of the Republican Party platform to stand up for traditional marriage.”

The Family Research Council piled on with a press release accusing the senator of “true discrimination” and “silencing anyone who doesn’t adhere to a politically correct view of sexuality.”

"Holding a different view of marriage and sexuality is not discriminatory - especially when all the social science research demonstrates the benefits of the natural family,” added FRC’s Tony Perkins.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Family Institute, the state affiliate of the American Family Association, published an article accusing Sen. Kirk of wanting to “normalize sexual deviance while trampling the conscience rights of untold numbers of people” and followed it up with an email urging its members to call Kirk’s office and express their displeasure.

Despite what all three groups said, the Howard Center and the World Congress of Families don’t merely hold “a different view of marriage and sexuality.” WCF actively works to push oppressive anti-gay laws throughout the world, including actively working toward Russia’s ban on pro-gay-rights speech. Indeed, the speakers at the Capitol Hill symposium enthusiastically defended Russia's anti-gay laws and denyied that the laws actually harm gay people.

It maybe shouldn’t come as a surprise that three of the largest anti-gay groups in the US have jumped to the defense of WCF: Brown has close ties with WCF and has signed fundraising emails for the group, and FRC and AFA are both official “partners” of the organization.

Tony Perkins Attacks Obama For Quoting Lincoln

To commemorate the 150thanniversary of the Gettysburg Address on Wednesday, famed filmmaker Ken Burns asked President Obama read aloud Abraham Lincoln’s first draft of the speech. But things aren’t always as they seem! Immediately after Burns’ video was released, we learned from the right-wing media that because Lincoln’s initial speech — the one that Burns asked Obama to read — did not contain the word “God,” that Obama must have somehow traveled back in time to edit the word out of the speech himself.

Count the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and Ken Blackwell among the right-wing activists who have become apoplectic over Obama’s reading of Lincoln’s speech and are badly misreporting the non-omission.

On Wednesday’s edition of Washington Watch, Blackwell said that Obama’s reading was all part of a plan to expand government. Perkins accused Obama of “editing historical texts to remove God” and even cited the bogus claim that Obama consistently removes “endowed by their Creator” out of the Declaration of Independence.

Later in the program, Perkins said, “It really reminds me of the Old Testament Israel. What really brought Judea down, they were the remaining portion of the Jewish people: their failure to acknowledge God. They forgot Him and that is what I think we see happening before our very eyes.”

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