Category archives: Government

Poll Position

by Tony Perkins

March 6, 2007

At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), every GOP presidential candidate but Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tried to stake a claim for conservative support. The results of CPAC’s presidential straw poll indicate that voters are grappling to find candidates whose platform addresses both the crisis abroad and the dilemmas at home.

Of 1,705 registrants, 21 percent backed former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) for President. Rudy Giuliani, who was given a prime-time slot at the event, came in second-place with just 17 percent of the vote. Senator Sam Brownback received 15%. The poll also surveyed conservatives for their opinion on what the government’s priorities ought to be. Half responded that “their most important goal is to promote individual freedom by reducing the size of government.”

However, what voters considered the second biggest concern wasn’t national security or immigration, but “promoting traditional values by protecting marriage and the life of the unborn.” Although attendees deemed marriage and life priorities, CPAC organizers did not. Neither issue was highlighted during the three-day conference. These results are indicative of the greater divide in the GOP.

Contrary to what pundits said in the aftermath of the 2006 election, values voters are still a force to be reckoned with. This is even more evident in the CPAC split over the 2008 conservative frontrunner. Social conservatives are looking for a Commander-in-Chief who will provide bold leadership in tackling both the internal threats brought about by social decay and the external threats posed by radical Islamists.

In Hawaii, Coast Is Clear from Civil Union Threat

by Tony Perkins

March 1, 2007

After a grueling five hours of testimony, Hawaiian lawmakers refused even to vote on a bill in committee that would have allowed same-sex unions. Later, the state’s legislators refused to offer an explanation for the move, but we applaud the Hawaii Family Forum for motivating voters to voice their opposition to this dangerous measure. The vote in Hawaii is more evidence that legislatures are reluctant to change the public understanding of marriage when they are free to debate and vote in the absence of a judicial decree that puts a finger on the scales of justice.

Hawaii is a politically liberal state, but it was one of the first in the nation to grapple with a pro-homosexual judicial ruling upsetting the man-woman character of marriage. When Hawaii courts first ruled on the matter roughly a decade ago, voters amended the state constitution to require that any changes in state law on the nature of marriage could only be made by the elected branches of government, not judges.

This stands in sharp contrast to the judicially-driven outcomes in Vermont, Massachusetts, and now New Jersey. It also has the virtue of being more honest: elected officials must account for themselves, and not point to another branch of government and say, “They made me do it.” Whatever your position is on this issue, or any other controversial matter, voters should expect their elected officials to stand on the courage of their convictions, not the convenience of coercion.

Government Agencies Caught In The Act

by Tony Perkins

February 28, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

At the Sundance Film Festival, Americas government ensured that the show would go on. According to the American Family Association, two U.S. agencies helped to sponsor the eventand, until this week, they had managed to get away without publicizing it. Reports show that the National Endowment for the Arts and Public Broadcasting gave as much as $350,000 of your tax money to an event that featured graphic films on bestiality and child rape. The 2007 festival highlighted the documentary Zoo about sexual relationships between a man and his horse. The truth is, independent films should have independent support. You and I shouldnt have to pay for Hollywoods pet projects. Our money should be spent keeping Americas families safenot exposing them to radical ideas that harm society. They may be partnering with filmmakers, but when it comes to understanding right from wrong, its apparent our government doesnt get the big picture.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Parental Rights Should Reign ‘Supreme’

by Tony Perkins

February 23, 2007

On Wenesday, FRC filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief with our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund in the U.S. Supreme Court case Fausey v. Hiller. We are arguing that the Court should review the case, which would determine if parents can control “third-party visitation rights.” These cases pit a third party (often a grandparent) against a parent in determining whether visits with the parent’s children will be permitted, and on what terms.

Some states have sought to use a standard (“best interests of the child”) that was developed for mother-and-father disputes and to expand that standard to other relatives and parties. In today’s world these disputes can enmesh families where the grandparents are in fact loving in their intentions.

While recognizing this, FRC maintains that before the state intervenes in a decision made by what the law deems “a fit parent,” the only reasonable standard is to put the burden on the third party to show that the child would suffer harm if such visits were denied. Only such a standard can preserve the fundamental right of parents to supervise the upbringing of their children, a right long ago recognized by the Supreme Court as fundamental under the U.S. Constitution. Churches, counselors and other resources can and should employed to help families achieve reconciliation and enjoy the important cross-generational ties that strong families experience.

On Religious Freedom, Justice Is Served

by Tony Perkins

February 22, 2007

Stating that “nothing defines us more as Americans [than] our religious liberties,” Attorney General Alberto Gonzales unveiled the Justice Department’s “First Freedom Project” to the Southern Baptist Executive Committee in Nashville on Tuesday. His new Religious Freedom Task Force will step up enforcement of laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion and will educate churches on how to file complaints about violations of their rights. We applaud Attorney General Gonzales for recognizing the ongoing threat to religious freedom and for taking firm steps to defend our “first freedom.”

Congress Blocks Funding of Baby AIDS Program (Update)

by Family Research Council

February 21, 2007

Last week I wrote about Congress’ de-funding of the Baby AIDS program Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) believed the move was retribution by appropriators for his militant stance on spending, as well as for his criticism of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while others claimed the initiative was simply an unfortunate casualty of earmark reform.

The new House appropriations chief David Obey (D-WI) even attempted to use this line of reasoning, claiming “Many worthwhile earmarks are not funded in this measure, but we had to take this step to clear the decks, clean up the process and start over.”

But notes Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal, The key language here is not funded in this measure,…

Congressional members, led by appropriators and an army of staff, have already figured out a new way to keep their favors in the money, and it might as well be called 1-800-EARMARKS (which unfortunately is already taken). All across Washington, members are at this moment phoning budget officers at federal agencies—Interior, Defense, HUD, you name it—privately demanding that earmarks in previous legislation be fully renewed again this year.

To ensure this back door option wouldnt be available to Coburn, language was included in the bill that explicitly stated that None of the funds appropriated by this division may be used for the infant AIDS program. Someone at the CDC was apparently still upset over another one of the Senators amendment to move $60 million from the CDC construction program to another AIDS reduction program.

Although the language will try to be overridden, Coburns staff is unsure that the money would actually be used for HIV/AIDS testing and prevention. In a memo to the CDC they wrote:

The $30 million will instead revert to other CDC HIV/AIDS prevention activities, which in recent years have included beachside conferences, flirting classes, erotic writing seminars, zoo trips and other dubious initiatives that do not have the same impact as HIV diagnosis and treatment,” the memo states.

So what would the CDC do with the money? Previous earmarks may offer a clue to what would happen to the funding. Here are just a handful of the activities that the CDC has paid for through the STOP AIDS Project. [Note: I started to post it here but even using asterisks to indicate edits for decency, it was still too filthy and disgusting to put on on this blog. Instead Ill refer you to the Abstinence Clearinghouse website. (Scroll down halfway down the page)]

Keep in mind that these are programs that are being funded with your tax dollars. These are the types of prevention programs that the CDC believes are more worthy of funding than one that protects babies from acquiring HIV.

Elderly Homosexual Atheists Need Not Apply

by Family Research Council

February 20, 2007

If you’re a 72 year-old homosexual who doesn’t believe in God your chances of being elected POTUS are rather slim.That’s one of the conclusions that could be gleaned from a recent Gallup poll on presidential candidates. The poll asked Americans whether they would vote for “a generally well-qualified” presidential candidate nominated by their party with each of the following characteristics: Jewish, Catholic, Mormon, an atheist, a woman, black, Hispanic, homosexual, 72 years of age, and someone married for the third time. The results:


According to Gallup, only about one in five Americans said they would vote for an atheist when the item was first asked in the late 1950s, compared with 45% today. Just 26% said they would support a homosexual presidential candidate in 1978, compared with the current 55%.

(HT: Outside the Beltway)

Pro-Life Members Work to Make “Amends” on GINA

by Tony Perkins

February 16, 2007

Despite support by pro-life Republicans and Reps. Dale Kildee (D-MI) and Jason Altmire (D-PA) an amendment to expand the definition of “family member” to include the unborn and adoptive children in the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act failed in the House Education and Labor Committee. Chairman George Miller (D-CA) did offer a provision that would include “fetuses” in the bill. However, this does not address children in the process of being adopted and unborn children younger than nine weeks’ gestation. Also, it does not remedy the dilemma for IVF embryos. FRC will continue to urge House members to close this devastating loophole.

Congress Blocks Funding of Baby AIDS Program

by Family Research Council

February 14, 2007

Every year thousands of babies, predominately from poor African-American families, are born at risk of developing HIV. Many of these children develop HIV related infections that could have easily been prevented by prenatal testing and treatment. States that have implemented HIV testing for infants have seen their infections rates drop dramatically. Such success even inspired Congress to pass the Ryan White Early Diagnosis Grant Program. The program authorized $30 million in funding to states with infant HIV testing in order to ensure that these vulnerable children are protected.

The program was created just two months ago yet someone has already included language in the appropriations bill to prohibit funding for the Baby Aids program. Section 20613(b) of H.J.Res. 20 states:

(b) None of the funds appropriated by this division may be used to: (1) implement section 2625 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300ff-33; relating to the Ryan White early diagnosis grant program)…

This provision does not save any money but simply prohibits funds to help identify these toddlers. In fact, the funding was already included in President Bushs FY08 budget request. So why would anyone insert this language into the bill?

Earlier this week, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) attempted to add an amendment to restore the funding. Unfortunately, Democratic Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) never allowed the amendment to be included before the bill reached the Senate floor for a vote.

One would think that protecting sick babies is an issue that both Democrats and Republicans would fully endorse. So who inserted this language? And why wasnt Sen. Coburn’s amendment added? Every American who cares about children should be asking that question and demanding that Congress give us an answer.

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