The Family Research Council (FRC), a Christian Right activist organization in Washington, D.C., was founded in 1983 by a group of Christian evangelists, including James Dobson (who also founded Focus on the Family). FRC opposes and lobbies against access to pornography, embryonic stem-cell research, abortion, divorce, and LGBTQ rights (such as anti-discrimination laws, same-sex marriage or civil unions, adoption). The organization has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which states that its “real specialty is defaming LGBTQ people.”
FRC drew unwanted scrutiny in May 2015 when one of its lobbyists, Josh Duggar, was forced to resign over accusations of molestation and sexual abuse. He is the son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose family is the subject of the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. In confirming the resignation, FRC President Tony Perkins released a statement that read: “Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult to be effective in his current work.” Perkins also said he had been unaware of the allegations before then.
January 6, 2021
- FRC officials have criticized the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. In an article published on May 20, 2021 titled “The Sin of Commission: Dems Push One-Sided Jan. 6 Probe,” Perkins dismissed the effort as “another layer of expensive, partisan, government-sponsored fault-finding” and “just another DNC fundraising gimmick.”
- When interviewed by Perkins on his radio show, a pastor in California named Jack Hibbs blamed the insurrection on insufficient adherence to Christianity, saying: “This is what you get when you eject God from the courts and from the schools.”
The Big Lie
- In early December 2020, the FRC and several other right-wing religious groups signed a letter generated by the Council for National Policy (CNP) network’s Conservative Action Project (CAP) asserting that there is “no doubt” that Trump won the 2020 election. They claim that “the evidence overwhelmingly shows officials in key battleground states—as the result of a coordinated pressure campaign by Democrats and allied groups—violated the Constitution, state and federal law in changing mail-in voting rules that resulted in unlawful and invalid certifications of Biden victories.”
- Later that month, FRC officials signed another letter to Republican legislators urging them to reject certification of Biden electors from several key swing states. The letter claims there had been “substantial evidence” of voter fraud presented to courts and the public.
- The FRC has endorsed numerous congressmen who have promoted baseless allegations of election fraud, including Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.). The House Select Committee investigating the insurrection has focused on his efforts to pressure Arizona state officials to decertify Biden’s electoral win in the state.
- Ken Klukowski, the former director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, is a right-wing extremist lawyer and longtime associate of election conspiracy theorist Ken Blackwell, Ohio’s former secretary of state. According to the Jan. 6 committee, Blackwell attempted to organize a meeting with then-Vice President Pence, Klukowski, and fringe legal theorist John Eastman about ways to keep Trump in power.
- On Nov. 19, 2020, Perkins wrote an article in which he accused Democrats of acting “horribly” for their harassment of a Wayne County election official who was attempting to overturn the results of the Michigan election. Perkins went on to say it was an “outrage” that Michigan would not conduct a more extensive audit of all the votes cast in the state.