Josh Duggar, the oldest of the Dugger kids from the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting is aspiring to a career in the anti-gay industry. Josh announced that he is being considered for a job at the Family Research Council (FRC). FRC was listed as an anti-gay hate group in 2010 by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their continued lies and attacks on LGBT people, their friends, and family.
Duggar said earlier this week that he "will be working with a Christian organization to help promote 'family values and right to life.'" The family speak candidly on their show about their fundamentalist Christian ideals; they only watch television on DVD to avoid disagreeable advertisements, have filtered Internet access and all the Duggar children are homeschooled. The family's official website features a psalm and a prominent advertisement for "pro-life coalition" Life United.
However, working for such an anti-gay organization move moves Josh Duggar into the category of full-fledged anti-gay activist. FRC has distributed pamphlet that likens the logic behind same-sex marriage to the logic behind man-horse marriage (complete with horse graphic), claims gay men are more likely to molest children, supports "reorientation therapy" for gay people.
Several of the Family Research Council's current and former staff are included in GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project, which aims to bring attention to the outlandish and offensive claims made by the most extreme anti-gay activists.
Tony Perkins, the President of the Family Research Council is probably one of the most ubiquitous anti-gay activists in the media. Here's just a sampling of some of his statements:
- Says Republican Senator Rob Portman should not support his gay son's "choices that are both harmful to [him] and to society as a whole"
- Compared Mayor Bloomberg's proposed ban on supersized soft drinks to the "need" to ban homosexuality
- Lumps together Aurora shooting, kidnapping, and openly gay soldiers as three examples of a "nation gone under"
- Claims "blood of young marines" is on hands of legislators who voted to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell
- Compares gay people to terrorists
- Paid $82,500 to use the phone bank of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke for an election run-off
Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studieshas also had a track record of extreme and untrue statements about LGBT people.
- Stated, “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States, because we believe that homosexuality is destructive to society.”
- Says he wants to see being gay punished by law: “I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.”
- Equates being gay with smoking: “There is, for example, a single and simple solution for smoking-related illnesses, and we have all heard it—‘If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit.’ It’s long past time for public health authorities to say the same” about being gay
TLC was included among the 10 cable networks tracked in the sixth annual Network Responsibility Index released last summer. The report maps the quantity, quality and diversity of images of LGBT people on primetime broadcast and cable TV. The network received an "Adequate" score with 20% of the hours of original programming it aired in primetime including at least one LGBT impression, and GLAAD was pleasantly surprised to find these impressions included a wide range of LGBT people and stories.
If Josh does indeed work for FRC, then 19 Kids and Counting will be a mainstream outlet for which FRC's dangerous message will reach millions of Americans. The prospect that TLC may give Josh a platform to spread the Family Research Council's anti-LGBT lies is unacceptable.
"Family Research Council is without a doubt one of our country's most dangerous hate groups, led by the most anti-gay man in America, Tony Perkins," said GLAAD president Herndon Graddick. "Not only has Perkins compared gay people to terrorists, he also supports the ludicrous idea that gay youth should be subjected to harmful therapies that aim to make them straight."
Josh Duggar needs to reconsider his vocational choices and refrain from adding his voice to the chorus of anti-gay voices at the Family Research Council. We also demand that TLC refrain from giving a platform to FRC's hate speech. GLAAD is watching, and we will be prepared to take action.