FRC’s Response To Ugandan Resolution Lobbying Efforts Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Jim Burroway

June 4th, 2010

As Joe Jervis uncovered last night, the Family Research Council lobbied against a bipartisan House Resolution which expressed “unequivocal United States opposition to the ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009’ introduced in the Ugandan Parliament.” It appears that the FRC’s position on Uganda’s proposal to impose the death penalty for gay people under certain circumstances was considerably more equivocal.

Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton contacted Tom McClusky, who was listed as one of the two lobbyists, in the FRC’s Lobbying Disclosure Report, and asked about their lobbying efforts:

While he declined to say which members were lobbied, he said, “We didn’t necessarily lobby against or for the resolution but tried to work with offices to make the language more neutral on homosexuality.” He added his recollection was that “the original language was incorrect on what Uganda was doing as well.” McClusky said the lobbying took place before the resolution was introduced but did not say what, if anything, was altered as the result of their efforts. As for the Ugandan bill, he said that the FRC has never taken a position on the death penalty. Regarding H.Res. 1064, he added, “We have not taken a public position on the current resolution.”

This opens far more questions than it answers. Here is what we still don’t know:

What “errrors” did the FRC seek to correct. As I read the current resolution, I see none. Were there, in fact, errors? This is important because we know very well that supporters of the bill have been disseminating false information about it. Was the FRC doing the same thing as well?

Now that we have a resolution that the FRC appears to have been concerned about, what is their position on it now? Do they still oppose its passage? Are they behind the reasons for resolution’s being stalled in the House?

And what is the FRC’s position on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill itself? Do they support the death penalty or life imprisonment? Do they still support criminalization? Do they support the provisions which target friends, families, co-workers, and healthcare providers of gay people? Do they support state-sanctioned censorship against speaking out on the behalf of gay people?

The FRC opened this can of worms by lobbying on this issue. They clearly have an opinion about it and cared enough to spend thousands of dollars on it. With Ugandan lives at stake, it’s time for the FRC to fess up. Otherwise, based on past experience with this outfit, it is not at all unreasonable to assume the worst.

Timothy Kincaid

June 4th, 2010

As for the Ugandan bill, he said that the FRC has never taken a position on the death penalty.

OK. Sure, you’ve never said, “yes the death penalty is an effective deterrent” or “it is morally incorrect to take life as punishment”.

But, and it is the all important but, that is a very different question than whether executing gay people for being gay is vile. You can support the death penalty for mass murderers and those who molest, torture and kill little children and still find the idea of executing people for their sexual orientation to be downright evil.

FRC doesn’t see it as evil. They have “no position”.

To slightly adjust what Jim said earlier:

Nonetheless, we now know that Tony Perkins, Peter Sprigg, Kenneth Blackwell, McClusky, Christensen and the rest of that ilk won’t object to those who kill you dead.

Dead, dead, dead.

Scott

June 4th, 2010

Apparently they’re accusing everyone else of lying about what they’re doing.

http://www.frcblog.com/2010/06/frc-statement-on-h-res-1064/

Priya Lynn

June 4th, 2010

While they’re willing to state that they don’t support the Ugandan bill, they’re still unwilling to say they oppose it – that doesn’t reflect a whole lot better on them then outright support for the bill would. When you won’t come out and say you oppose the killing of innocents that is its own form of implicit support for, or at least indifference to, the action.

David C.

June 4th, 2010

The most important, unanswered question is which members of congress were lobbied, and why was FRC chosen to supply guidance of any kind.

The ineluctable conclusion is that one or more of the known anti-gay representatives in the house are close enough with FRC to seek out or admit language that would further their own anti-gay stance. That such cozy relationships exist is not surprising, but it would be very interesting to know whom those representatives are.

The plot would considerably thicken if one or more democrats were at all involved, or some silly little procedural ploy or policy process were used to get FRC involved as a consultant in lieu of a more gay knowledgeable organization such as HRC.

Lynn David

June 4th, 2010

Well, when you use wording like:

Ugandan Resolution Pro-homosexual promotion

In your paperwork, you are just opening yourself up for the expected interpretation.

But then again, the real use of the lobby without bringing undo attention to oneself is to lobby for the least action that brings you the desired outcome. In this case it may have been the change in wording in the House document which brought about the desired outcome for the FRC, that is no passage by the House. No doubt the FRC is most happy that a unified resolution was not passed by both houses of Congress.

Lynn David

June 4th, 2010

As I read the Congressional Resolution in your other post, Jim, I think this statement might be only statement that could be considered to be wrong by the FRC.

….threatens the protection of fundamental human rights….

Well, gee… that fits right in with what they classed their purpose as:

Ugandan Resolution Pro-homosexual promotion

Yep!

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