Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
Although the Family Research Council – the anti-gay organization that has earned “Hate Group” status from The Southern Poverty Law Center – apparently receives federal funding, a handful of their state affiliates do. Because tracking federal faith-based funding is difficult, the following FRC Chapters are listed on Department of Health and Human Services tracking site “TAGGS” as having received direct federal funding (from my Washington Independent article on lack of oversight of faith-based funding):
In South Carolina, the Palmetto Family Council, a local affiliate of the Family Research Council (FRC), was awarded $1.2 million through Healthy Marriage and Abstinence Only grants from 2004 to 2009. According to its blog, the “top priority” for the group in 2006 was South Carolina’s anti-gay marriage amendment. Earlier this month, Palmetto’s president, Oran Smith, condemned public funding of a gay and lesbian group’s annual statewide festival, citing concerns about using “public funds for a festival that is political or indecent or both.”
The Indiana Family Institute, another local FRC affiliate, received $50,000 in direct federal funding and is listed as a third-party contractor for the Abstinence Singles/Lake County Marriage Coalition. The Abstinence Singles grant award is $941,000 per year through 2011. Also known as Hoosier Family, the Indiana Family Institute is advocating for an anti-gay marriage amendment in 2010.
The Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC) received more than $3 million in federal funds to pay for a marriage-mentoring program. The program, called Marriage Matters, was found not to be a third-party contractor but rather a trademark of the outspoken anti-gay group. IFPC has garnered headlines for its opposition to same-sex marriage, including public allegations that homosexuality poses a greater public health risk than second-hand smoke. The IFPC is perhaps the grandaddy of them all – millions in federal funding, first in the nation caucuses, headed up by former Huckabee state chairman, Bob VanderPlaats…. The organization recently changed their name to “The Family Leader” who are leading the charge in Iowa for anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion and “personhood” legislation.
New Jersey Family Policy Council - received $92,000 from a 2001 CBAE (Abstinence) grant
Other FRC Chapters have received indirect federal funding through larger pass through organizations:
Rocky Mountain Family Policy Council received at least $55,000 for services through federally funded abstinence education program WAIT Training in Colorado. WAIT recently changed its name to The Center for Relationship Education. WAIT had its share of problems when it became known they had endorsed and assisted Ugandan Pastor Martin Ssempa of the disgusting “Kill The Gays” bill – here and here.
The Georgia Family Council is listed as recipient of the Georgia Department of Human Resources $960,000 Healthy Marriage waiver. However, when I called the state of Georgia they claim to have no record of this.
There are approximately 40 state FRC affiliates. The research is time-consuming but goes on.