Anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council (FRC) has found an extraordinary level of support in Donald Trump’s White House transition team.
Despite the group’s record of anti-gay hate it is still a tax exempt charity which in 2014 had a revenue of close to $15 million.
Reporting on Trump’s connections with the FRC, Wired notes:
Ken Blackwell [right], Trump’s transition team’s domestic policy chair, is an FRC senior fellow. Kay Cole James, who co-leads the transition team in management and budget affairs, is a former FRC vice president. James’ co-lead, Ed Meese, has written for FRC. Brietbart’s Ken Klukowski, head of the team’s “Constitutional rights” policy, served as director of FRC’s Center of Religious Liberty. Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, comes from a family of FRC donors.
That’s not to mention the many cabinet appointees and soon-to-be staffers who have spoken at FRC’s annual Values Voter Summit, from Reince Priebus to Tom Price to Jeff Sessions to Mike Pompeo. Pence and Trump themselves have met with FRC President Tony Perkins, and they were the first-ever Republican presidential ticket to speak at the summit.
Part of the danger in Trump‘s granting favor to FRC backers is that FRC peddles dangerous (and wrong) pseudoscience about homosexuality “to give its homophobia a flimsy veneer of objectivity.”
Wired points out that FRC mis-contextualizes data in order to link homosexuality to, among other things, pedophilia and shortened lifespans while citing such organizations as the American College of Pediatricians, a far-right American Academy of Pediatrics breakaway group with only 200 members.
However, reports Wired, “FRC members perspectives are treated as reasonable by many in Congress…and now it appears they’ll enjoy similar esteem from the Trump administration.”
Wired concludes that the FRC “seems as well positioned as ever to propagate its ideology”:
“Perhaps most importantly—and least conspicuously—it may find a way to accomplish its goals through lower level government officials who buy into the FRC’s beliefs. ‘The headlines are about who is the secretary of this or that, but they deal with broad policy,’ says David Himmelstein, a professor of public health policy at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. But the lower level political hires the transition team has the authority to make—the undersecretaries, the assistant undersecretaries—have the power to overrule scientific advisory committees, Himmelstein says, and have done so even under the relatively pro-science Obama administration. Such actions by a presidential administration can also provide political cover for more radical policy shifts at the state level.”
— GetEQUAL (@GetEQUAL) June 21, 2016