Focus on the Family funds anti-gay referendum, loses

Supporters of Referendum 71 Vanessa Carr, right, and Pete-e Petersen cheer with others at an Election Night party (Image from CBS)

Supporters of Referendum 71 Vanessa Carr, right, and Pete-e Petersen cheer with others at an Election Night party (Image from CBS)

While much of the nation’s attention has been focused on the sad story of Prop 1 in Maine, another much happier story has been unfolding in Washington where the gay and lesbian community took another step toward equality with the approval of Referendum 71.

R-71 expands domestic-partnership rights, and has been called the “everything but marriage” bill. The referendum expands the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of registered domestic partners and their families to include all rights, responsibilities, and obligations granted by or imposed by state law on married couples and their families.

So while it may rightfully frustrate same-sex marriage supporters that the state still insists upon treating gays as a specialized class unworthy of the “marriage” title, R-71′s passage is still a sign of a broader move toward equality. Simply, it means Washington is becoming more pro-gay, and that full rights are within reach.

During the lead-up to the vote on R-71, a new group named the “Youth Revolution” emerged in Washington. Though the organization claims to represent “teens” and “20-somethings,” the group has ties to the Family Policy Institute of Washington, which funneled around $200,000 into a campaign PAC in an effort to defeat R-71. The connection between Youth Revolution and FPIW is Russell Johnson, the Executive Director of Youth Revolution, and Director of Governmental Affairs for James Dobson’s Focus on the Family/Family Research Council, an affiliate of FPIW.

But wait! You’re thinking that young people are totally more pro-gay than old people, and YR is wasting a lot of time and money trying to curb a national movement toward egalitarianism. Just look at this helpful illustration of the majestic way mother nature kills bigots:

age1

Looks to me like the nation is getting more tolerant of gays and gay marriage, and Washington state is ninth on that list. Someone better tell Russell Johnson and YR!

Or maybe we shouldn’t waste our breath. After all, we’re talking about an organization that thinks this kind of thing appeals to young people (this video is currently featured on YR’s website):

[youtubevid id="LO2eh6f5Go0"]

Oh my.

Hopefully, this will lead to more widespread layoffs at the Focus on the Family lair as it did in the wake of the Yes on Prop 8 campaign when FoF had to fire 202 employees, or 20 percent of their workforce, just to pay the half a million dollar bill the group acquired whilst destroying gay marriages.

Say it with me: Good riddance. Good riddance to intolerance and hatred.

Update: The original article stated that “Youth Revolution” poured money into the WA Race. It was actually Family Policy Institute of WA that funneled the $200,000, not Youth Revolution. The connection between the organizations is Russell Johnson, but it was FPIW that dumped $200,000 into a campaign PAC. Also, Focus on the Family did about $91,000 worth of independent spending on top of that. However, YR did create and distribute voters guides that were based on the personal political choices of Joe Fuiten, a local preacher who happens to be on the FPIW board. You can find the voter guides posted on the YR website.

15 Comments

  1. While I’m glad that Ralph Malph is working again, that video is ridiculous.

    Apparently, a slightly higher rate of corporate taxation and discouraging the release of toxins into the atmosphere is a much greater threat to personal freedom than telling you who you can and cannot marry or warrantless wiretapping your phone. The cognitive dissonance is breathtaking.

  2. lurleen

    Allison, I think my vague wording over at PHB has lead to a misunderstanding. It was Family Policy Institute of WA that funneled the $200K from Focus on the Family into the WA race, not Youth Revolution. The connection between the organizations is Russell Johnson, but it was FPIW that dumped $200K into a campaign PAC. Also Focus on the Family did about $91K worth of independent spending on top of that. What we know YR did directly for the campaign was create and distribute voters guides that were based on the personal political choices of Joe Fuiten, a local preacher who happens to be on the FPIW board. You can find the voter guides posted on the YR website.

    • Allison Kilkenny

      Understood. I’ll update it.

  3. LeeAnn Maton

    Here’s a bonafide “youth” reaction to that vido:

    As I was watching this on my laptop just now, my 21-yr-old roommate wandered over at about the “Founding Fathers roll over in their graves” part (1:30) and immediately exclaimed:

    “Lincoln and Grant weren’t Founding Fathers, dumbass!” So incensed was he that after leaving the room in a huff he charged in again to comment, “And Grant was self-admittedly a horrible president!”

    So there you have it.

    • Allison Kilkenny

      Amazing. Thank you. :)

      • LeeAnn Maton

        Any time, Allison. And if it helps, we Colorado Springers (home city to James Dobson’s FoF empire) have a saying we often express via bumper sticker:

        “Focus on your own damn family.”

  4. utzie

    will fighting homosexual monogamy benefit these people at all? will these contumacious bigots ever be pleased with anything or do they want to feel complete control of everything? Isn’t what two individuals “do”(you know what I mean) in their bedroom (or other private place) their own business? will I be surprised if one of their most outspoken members is found out to be what they hate?

  5. Megan Cottrell

    That video just gave me hives. I hope that man got paid a pretty penny to look like such a dope.

    I also like how the government is handing out college educations and mortgages, and also trying to do something about health care, climate change and pollution. The fact that those ideas could possibly be seen by someone as negative boggles my mind.

    Now, I have to get that terrible song out of my head.

  6. scammaj

    I’m for same-sex marriage, but I don’t really understand how it relates to that video. As stupid as the video was, I agreed with all of the points made in it. Things like giving away mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them is what helped push this country into a recession.

    • scohart

      Was it the government that gave away the mortgages? Or was it companies that wanted to make AMMAP (as much money as possible) and then expect someone else to clean up their mess??

      While I personally am a strong supporter of equal rights including gay marriage, I am amazed at the level of hate and venom spewing from those supposedly more “tolerant” people. Maybe some need to focus on their own damn family and others need to focus on their own damn tolerance.

      Of course how do you say that without sounding intolerant?

      • scammaj

        Yes, actually it was the government that forced companies to give away those sub-prime mortgages. I also don’t think the government should have saved any of the companies that screwed up. Also, you make it sound like a bad thing that companies want to maximize profit. That’s the whole point of the company. If they screw up, the government should let them go under. No one is “too big to fail”.

  7. jeremywinter

    It is not shocking that the major news stations have chosen not to talk about the personal freedom victory here in Washington State.

    If fact the local news here in Washington has chosen not to talk about the referendum at all since it passed.

    I reside in Washington and voted for the passage of the “everything but complete freedom” bill, I wish it would have passed by a larger margin, but concede that it is a step in the direction of providing real civil rights.

    Hopefully ,when I vote next time, it will be for full civil rights for all groups and not a vote on repealing ref 71.

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