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The Duggars: Seemingly nice people mixed up with a demonstrably gay-hostile movement

by Jeremy Hooper

The Values Voters Summit is a frequently eye-opening soiree. For those not familiar, here's a vid that Max Blumenthal did back in '07:

In subsequent years, people like Carrie Prejean have been feted at the event. Through it all, expressing a commitment to stopping "The Gay Agenda™" has remained the surest way to earn applause, even more so than invoking the words "socialism" or "Palin."

So why are we talking about the September event now, in June? Well, because at this year's Values Voter Summit, the organizers at Family Research Council -- the rabidly homo-hostile group whose leaders are on record calling for gay exportation, backing gay criminalization, and referring to gays as "being held captive by the enemy" -- have announced that they will honor Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar, along with the couple's 276 kids (and counting):

As cameras follow the family around for the smash hit reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, Jim Bob, Michelle, and the kids have been outspoken ambassadors for Christian values in a secular world. Together with parents from across the country, we want to pay tribute to their commitment to faith and family in an industry and culture that so desperately need it. The Duggars Star at Values Voter Summit! [FRC]

Not a surprising booking. For years the Duggars have linked to FRC, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and a whole host of anti-gay groups via their website. And the family's made no bones about being conservative Christians. In fact, the faith motivations behind the multiple births (which are guided by "Quiverfull" head Bill Gothard, another anti-gay figure) have led us to comment on how we just can't accept the Duggars' story as a fun, light, morning news "kicker." There's more going on with their movement. A "more" that seeks to give us less.

Then there's the time the Duggars went to D.C., where the family was led around town by intensely anti-gay figure David Barton, and where they just so happened to have a chance encounter with homo-hostile congresswoman Michele Bachmann (Very Far R-MN):

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So no, again: We're not surprised that TLC's favorite family is part of the "pro-family" movement. But still: This booking? At this event, the Values Voters Summit? Thrown by this group, FRC? It would seem to be a step up the ladder of anti-gay slighting. A ladder that, in our eyes, takes the Duggars' weekly show out of the realm of guilty pleasure TV and instead puts it into a world filled with figureheads like the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg, someone who thinks that we gays are the truly guilty ones:

We really don't wanna serve 19 years (and counting)! And that being the case: We really aren't sure we can, in good conscience, give the Duggars any more ratings points. Their brand of "family-friendly" TV is starting to seem waaaay too unfriendly to our own!

So Kate Gosselin, it looks like all of our fertile reality TV hopes will now have to rest with you. We'll probably even defend you when critics accuse you of using your "plus 8" as props -- just as long as "Prop" & "8" are not words associated with your political views!


**UPDATE: Oh, and look who else will be there: Bryan 'Homosexuals in the military gave us...six million dead Jews' Fischer: A 'values' voice?!

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