04/12/2013 11:28 am ET | Updated Apr 12, 2013

Tony Perkins To Conservatives: Don't Donate To GOP Until It Grows 'Backbone' Against Gay Marriage

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins ratcheted up the pressure on Republicans on Thursday, emailing supporters to encourage them to starve the GOP of donations until its leaders confirmed they would maintain a rigid opposition to gay marriage.

"Until the RNC and the other national Republican organizations grow a backbone and start defending core principles, don’t send them a dime of your hard-earned money," Perkins in the message, first obtained by CNN. "If you want to invest in the political process, and I encourage you to do so, give directly to candidates who reflect your values and organizations you trust-like FRC Action."

The recommendation comes as the Republican National Committee is set to wrap up its spring meeting in Los Angeles on Friday, where members are expected to vote on a resolution reaffirming their opposition to gay marriage.

It's the second high-profile threat from social conservatives this week. Leaders from 13 groups wrote a letter to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus saying that they'd leave the party if he didn't guide the party to maintain its opposition.

The official GOP platform, approved at the Republican National Convention last summer, already states the party's official stance against marriage equality. But social conservatives have expressed frantic concern in the wake of an RNC autopsy that suggested the party could improve its outreach by exhibiting some flexibility on issues such as gay rights.

“For many younger voters, these [social] issues are a gateway into whether the party is a place they want to be,” the report read. “If our party is not welcoming and inclusive, young people and increasingly other voters will continue to tune us out.”

Those words have been more than enough to spook the anti-gay branch of the GOP. Influential figures such as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) have said that the party is risking mutiny from social conservatives if they waver on gay marriage. Last month, Perkins himself went as far as to say that he and the rest of the evangelical base were prepared to create a third party if the GOP accepted same-sex marriage rights.


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