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06/15/2012

U.S. Senator, top conservative group call on Tony Perkins to revoke Ron Baity's award

by Jeremy Hooper

Even more socially 6A00D8341C503453Ef016305D295C7970Dconservative groups are chastising the Family Research Council and its president, Tony Perkins, for giving an award to the uber-incendiary Ron Baity. This from Daily Beast:

[Focus on the Family's] vice president of communications, Gary Schneeberger, told me that [Jim] Daly believes FRC should never have given an award to a person like Baity, and “if it were Focus on the Family we would ask to have the award returned.” When I reached out to Sen. Tom Coburn’s office for his reaction as a leading social conservative, his communications director told me Coburn agreed that FRC should revoke the reward because Baity’s rhetoric about gay people was not consistent with biblical principles. Requests for comments from former senator Rick Santorum’s office and the Romney campaign were not answered.

Schneeberger said, “It’s heartbreaking to hear this kind of rhetoric, because it doesn’t reflect the heart or character of Christ. Focus believes … it is possible to believe that God’s design for human sexuality is one man and one woman in the context of lifelong marriage. At the same time, we have to be able to articulate that based on another truth … God’s design is ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ I don’t see a lot of love in those statements.”

FULL: Family Research Council’s Award to Antigay Pastor Ron Baity Rewards Hate Speech [Daily Beast]

Of course what Schneeberger says here sounds nice and steadfast. Only problem? Focus on the Family has direct ties back to Baity and his rhetoric! The head of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, Bill Brooks, has spoken at Baity rallies, where he feted Baity and his work. That would be the very same NCFPC that serves as Focus on the Family's state affiliate in the Tar Heel state.

Also, the Vote For Marriage NC campaign that *all* of the "pro-family" groups supported heavily promoted and pulled clips from Baity's rallies. And that campaign's head also praised Baity and his work at some of his earlier rallies.

Then there's Perkins. In the "pro-family" world, you get no bigger. Tony not only gave Ron Baity this recent award, but both promoted and spoke at those aforementioned Baity rallies. Baity has also been used in some FRC videos.

And the thing is, I've been pointing out Baity's nonsense for over a year now. All of the Baity clips that are out there—every single one of them—came directly from me, and I first posted the vast majority of them back in May of 2011. I know for a fact that Schneeberger reads me. I know many others do as well. So it's not like this should have been some big surprise to the "pro-family" movement. Baity wasn't hiding anything. It's just that last year, the "pro-family" movement was cocky, thinking these little bloggers were never going to be able to screw with their mojo. This year? They're leaning otherwise.

A U.S. Senator just responded to clips that would've been forever buried had I not scoured Baity's sermons and brought them to light. That's major.

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