Family Research Council


Kellyanne Conway to Address VVS

October 11, 2017

She was the first woman to run a successful U.S. presidential campaign. She proved her mettle time and again in the face of withering attacks by the media. Kellyanne Conway, Senior Counselor to the President of the United States, has been confirmed to speak at the Values Voter Summit on Friday morning shortly after President Trump concludes his remarks. Don't miss her magnetic dynamism -- register now for the 2017 Values Voter Summit on October 13-15!

A Washington, D.C. institution since 2006, the Values Voter Summit was described by Vice President Pence as "the greatest gathering of conservative pro-family Americans in the nation." Dozens of our nation's conservative leaders will be speaking at this year's event, which will also feature informative breakout sessions, exhibits, a student mixer, book signings, and the Faith, Family & Freedom Gala. There is still time to be a part of Seizing the Moment!


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


The Supreme Falsehoods of HB 1523 Opponents

October 11, 2017

Why do some people recklessly repeat statements ad nauseam which are, in the end, simply not true? Because for many, the means justify the ends. Some people will believe anything if it is repeated enough, allowing proponents of claims such as those made about Mississippi's HB 1523 to see them increasingly accepted as true. Unfortunately, this does not help our increasingly fractured society get along, but only cements intolerance toward many well-meaning Christians -- who themselves would never act in such bad faith toward those who disagree with biblical truth.

Since HB 1523's challengers lost before the 5th Circuit after they were not able to show how the law injured them, they have now appealed to the Supreme Court -- and have recklessly mischaracterized the circumstances surrounding this law in doing so.

Their petition opens by absurdly arguing that the religious exemptions in HB 1523 "demean" and "stigmatize" same-sex couples and deny them equal treatment under the law (ostensibly, because such exemptions allow some to withhold their approval of such conduct). In the petitioners' view, "[t]hat is precisely the harm that Obergefell sought to rectify."

This line of reasoning misleadingly implies that HB 1523 somehow was designed to undercut Obergefell. It wasn't. The law simply provides exemptions for those whose consciences are implicated by Obergefell -- which can be followed consistent with HB 1523; same-sex marriages are still fully treated the same by the state of Mississippi as other marriages. Just as objections to military service and abortion have long been protected in law despite fitting the petitioners' notion of a "particular" religion (notably, the petition never really addresses these areas), the law can provide conscience exemptions in other areas too.

Nevertheless, the petitioners continue to try to condition the reader to the "goodness" of Obergefell and the nefarious nature of any religious objections to it (notwithstanding the Supreme Court's own recognition to the contrary) -- the warm sounding yet nebulous "promise" of Obergefell is discussed, HB 1523 is alleged to "repudiate central aspects of petitioners' lives, families, and identities," and the law is an "attempt[] to use religious exemptions to undermine rights to equality and dignity of LGBT people." Even the Masterpiece case is subtly equated with "state attempts to limit Obergefell by creating unprecedented religious exemptions."

Christians are trying to live with Obergefell, and just protect their own conscience by not being forced under penalty of law to celebrate something that is clearly contrary to scripture. Yet instead of trying to find a reasonable middle ground, opponents of HB 1523 are forging ahead and asking the Supreme Court to take this case with the help of none other than former Obama Solicitor General Donald Verilli -- who famously admitted at oral argument in Obergefell that religious institutions that disagree with same-sex marriage could lose their tax-exempt status.

Those supporting HB 1523 and similar legislation might disagree with Obergefell, but they are not trying to change the ruling -- they are just trying to protect themselves in the face of it. If only those who support Obergefell and disagree with HB 1523 would do the same.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


The NFL Needs to Stop Kneeling on The Taxpayer's Dime

October 11, 2017

After President Trump's criticism of NFL players who refused to stand for the national anthem, it seemed that the NFL and many owners were supporting players who refused to stand. Now, the NFL is doing an about face. Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter yesterday to the 32 league owners regarding the protests. The letter stated that although the NFL rule book does not mention the national anthem, it is in the game operation manual. Therefore, while Goodell assured owners that they would continue to work with the players and "dialogue" with those who refuse to stand for our nation's anthem, he added: "Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem."

Many have raised the question of why the NFL, which has become increasingly politically correct, is getting various tax breaks. In fact, several bills in Congress seek to reverse these tax benefits, which federal law grants to sports associations and sports leagues along with other types of entities like real estate boards, boards of trades, and chambers of commerce.

Months before this latest controversy, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced the PRO Sports Act (H.R. 296), which would prevent professional sports leagues from achieving a tax-exempt status. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has since stated that he plans to oversee the bill's progress in the House.

In the Senate, Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced their bipartisan bill, the Eliminating Federal Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act of 2017 (S 1342), this past June. The bill would prevent tax-exempt bonds from being used to finance construction of professional sports arenas, including many NFL stadiums, which some argue ends up placing the cost on the taxpayer.

Why should a multi-billion-dollar league such as the NFL continue to get such a sweet deal on the dime of the American taxpayer while it makes billions in profits and often obtains tax free bonds from local and states to build their stadiums? Congress is right to review the tax benefits of groups like the NFL while doing tax reform this fall, especially when the NFL is effectively a monopoly that has been more interested in thumbing their nose at our nation's anthem instead of focusing on football.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.



Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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