Jewish Journal

Family Research Council’s lobbying against gay rights in Africa

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 6, 2010 | 4:47 pm

Talk about a sticky situation.

Family Research Council has spent years fighting the gay rights movement. And when Congress moved to pass a resolution condemning a Uganda law authorizing capital punishment for homosexual acts, the resolution included sweeping language about homosexuality being an internationally recognized human right. So what was FRC to do?

Lobby against the language of the resolution—though there was unquestionably a problem with the optics of such an action. This resulted in some strong condemnations from gay media organizations and bloggers like Joe My God:

It’s time for the Southern Poverty Law Center to reclassify the Family Research Council as an official hate group, not merely anti-gay as they are now listed. According to the FRC’s official lobbying report for the first quarter of 2010, they paid two of their henchmen $25,000 to lobby Congress against approving a resolution denouncing Uganda’s plan to execute homosexuals. The resolution passed in the Senate on April 13th, but remains languishing in the House almost four months after being referred to the Foreign Affairs Committee. Did the FRC’s lobbying kill it? As we learned last week with Malawi, international pressure CAN sway even the most virulently anti-gay government.

After seeing this post, I was a bit shocked too. So was the Washington Post’s David Weigel. But FRC’s explanation, whether or not you support their position, makes a lot of sense.

Spokesman J.P. Duffy released this statement:

Inaccurate internet reports have been circulating indicating that the Family Research Council lobbied “against” a congressional resolution condemning a bill proposed in Uganda. The Uganda bill would have provided for the death penalty for something called “aggravated homosexuality.” Unfortunately, those spreading these false rumors deliberately failed to obtain the facts first.

FRC did not lobby against or oppose passage of the congressional resolution. FRC’s efforts, at the request of Congressional offices, were limited to seeking changes in the language of proposed drafts of the resolution, in order to make it more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill, and to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.

FRC does not support the Uganda bill, and does not support the death penalty for homosexuality—nor any other penalty which would have the effect of inhibiting compassionate pastoral, psychological and medical care and treatment for those who experience same-sex attractions or who engage in homosexual conduct.

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