07/13/2012 12:13 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Family Research Council Distorts Obama's Record on LGBT Rights

The above document is from the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg, and it calls out the Obama administration for supposedly "promoting the homosexual agenda." Once you get rid of the semantic-garbage code words (e.g., the phrase "promoting the homosexual agenda"), you see that the Obama administration has done a lot of good things for LGBTQ equality. But then you have to get rid of the lies that Sprigg tells in this document. For example:

Appointment of a Homosexual Activist with Notorious Past: May 19, 2009 -- Kevin Jennings, notorious founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), who once all but admitted that he covered up a case of child sexual abuse when working as a teacher -- to the Department of Education.

That claim is a lie. Sprigg is talking about how religious-right organizations accused Obama appointee Kevin Jennings of covering up the allegation that one of his students had sex with an adult male. According to Media Matters, the student in question ("Brewster") spoke out defending Jennings. He says that not only was he legally of age at the time of the alleged encounter, but there was no sexual activity at all: "In 1988, I had taken a bus home for the weekend, and on the return trip met someone who was also gay. The next day, I had a conversation with Mr. Jennings about it. I had no sexual contact with anybody at the time, though I was entirely legally free to do so."

Then Sprigg tells another lie about another Obama appointee:

Appointment of a Pro-Polygamy Law Professor: September 14, 2009 -- Chai Feldblum, law professor who once signed a statement endorsing polygamy and said when "sexual liberty" clashed with religious liberty, "Gays win, Christians lose" -- to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Again, according to Media Matters, the statement Feldblum signed had nothing to do with polygamy, and it also had nothing to do with her duties at the EEOC:

Right-wing media have attacked Feldblum for being a signatory to a July 26, 2006, statement titled, "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage," which states that "marriage is not the only worthy form of family or relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others," and cites "Households in which there is more than one conjugal partner" along with "Single parent households" and "Adult children living with and caring for their parents," among others, as people that "stand to gain from alternative forms of household recognition beyond one-size-fits-all marriage." The statement is entirely unrelated to the duties Feldblum would have as an EEOC commissioner, which include enforcement of existing federal laws involving job discrimination and providing oversight of federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies.

Also, the claim that Feldblum said "Gays win, Christians lose" is another lie:

There is absolutely no factual account of Chai Feldblum making such a statement.

The rumor started in an opinion blog post, NOT a news story, at the Christian Post on October 26, 2009. The author, Penna Dexter, writes:

When asked about the rights of employers to follow their religious beliefs in hiring people, she replied, "Gays win; Christians lose."

A factual news report would include when and where Feldblum made such a statement, but Dexter neglected to include important details that could be used to validate her claims. Our attempts to trace the rumor further back did not turn up any results.

From there, the line was picked up by the American Principles Project, which quoted Penna Dexter's opinion piece and reported it as fact.

From a Twitter conversation I had with Feldblum earlier this year, the false claim that she made the statement "Gays win, Christians lose" may have come from another religious-right spokesman, Robert Knight, who at the time was working with the Family Research Council:

I said to him -- just like the govt correctly requires religious people in commerce to serve black people, the govt can require religious people not to discriminate against gay people. HE transformed that into "Gays win, Christian lose."

Apparently Sprigg liked those lies so much that he continued to tell others:

Signing of the first federal "Hate Crimes" law: October 28, 2009 -- This act punishes thoughts as well as actions, treats sexual ethics as "hate," and creates inequality in protections against violent crime.

The act does not punish thoughts. It punishes violent actions. In addition, the new hate crimes law adds orientation and gender identity to other classifications already in hate-crimes legislation, such as race and religion. Religious-right spokespeople like Sprigg claimed that this would lead to pastors being arrested for merely stating that homosexuality is a sin. However, since the new hate-crimes law was passed, no pastors or anyone else verbally criticizing homosexuality have been placed under arrest or investigated for hate crimes.

Here is another false claim in Sprigg's piece:

Drastically Changed the Military's Traditional Policies: December 22, 2010 -- President Obama reversed a 200 year-old policy that protected soldiers against homosexual conduct in the armed forces, and the risk of increasing sexual tension, harassment, and assault.

Since the military policy has been changed, there have been no report of any increase in harassment or assault. To the contrary, policy has been so successful that the Pentagon held its first Pride month celebration in June.

The sad thing is that Sprigg is not only an employee of FRC but a pastor, yet he feels no problem with bearing false witness in the name of his definition of God. Apparently, Sprigg (and the Family Research Council) must follow a different Bible that approves of lying about the LGBT community.