GOP representatives and senators are touting their support for the SPLC-designated hate group's right-wing agenda.
At least 11 congressional Republicans this week have used social media to boast of receiving an award from the political arm of the Family Research Council, a tax-exempt organization that has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The organization gives its "True Blue Award" to those it has deemed to have perfect voting records in support of its fight against abortion rights and LGBTQ equality.
Most of the lawmakers shared photos of themselves with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and its affiliated FRC Action 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, as he presented them with the True Blue Award.
Perkins praised the 159 recipients, saying they "courageously stood strong against dangerous, freedom eroding laws like the Equality Act and (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act."
"Grateful to have received the Family Research Council's True Blue Award for 2022 from President Tony Perkins," South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson posted on Facebook on Thursday. "This award symbolizes my commitment to voting pro-life and pro-family, and I will continue to be a voice for the unborn in Congress."
"It was an honor to be recognized by the Family Research Council for my perfect voting record on bills that protect your faith, family, and freedom," wrote Tennessee Rep. Diana Harshbarger a day earlier. "As a proud Christian Conservative in Congress, I'll always put God first, family second, and fiercely defend the freedoms that make America a beacon of hope for the whole world."
Oklahoma Sen. Markwayne Mullin, Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop, Illinois Rep. Mike Bost, Virginia Rep. Bob Good, Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, California Rep. Doug LaMalfa, Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale, and Texas Rep. Chip Roy each tweeted similar messages.
Perkins handed out the FRC Action True Blue Awards on Wednesday to 138 representatives and 21 senators who, in the groups' view, "perfectly defended the values of faith, family, and freedom" last year. This was up slightly from the 141 congressional Republicans who received the award in 2020.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, "The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as 'the leading voice for the family in our nation's halls of power,' but the group's real specialty is defaming LGBTQ people":
FRC often makes false claims about the LGBTQ community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to dehumanize LGBTQ people as the organization battles against LGBTQ rights. In the past, this included stances against same-sex marriage, hate-crime laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. FRC continues this work but has also revived long-debunked pedophilia and grooming myths in its work against transgender rights, opposition to drag performances, and support for conversion therapy.
FRC Action's 2022 scorecards evaluated whether lawmakers voted as the organization wished on legislation concerning abortion, access to contraception, protections for same-sex and interracial marriage, and protections for LGBTQ people against discrimination.
In February, Perkins said in a "State of Faith, Family & Freedom Address": "Parents are being deceived by public school leaders who are secretly teaching school children it's normal, right, and even good for them to 'be' the opposite sex from how God uniquely made them and formed them. … The radical sexual agenda of the progressive Left aims to thrust the reality of the two sexes aside and crush the parent/child relationship in its wake."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.