19 Kids and Hating: The Duggar Family to Campaign for Cuccinelli
Anti-gay lobbying group Family Research Council (FRC) announced Wednesday that the entire Duggar family, of the hit TLC reality TV series "19 Kids and Counting," will take part in FRC's "Value Bus Tour" that will travel across Virginia for three days next week to mobilize voters in support of virulently homophobic Ken Cuccinelli for governor and E.W. Jackson for lieutenant governor.
"We are excited to travel across Virginia and express our enthusiastic support for Ken Cuccinelli for governor and E.W. Jackson for lieutenant governor. Both of these men are deeply concerned about the issues impacting the family and our broader culture," says Josh Duggar, the eldest of the reality show family's children and recently appointed executive director of FRC.
The conservative Christian FRC, which actively lobbies against LGBT rights such as same-sex marriage and LGBT adoption, was classified in 2010 as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and is considered by many to be one of the country's most fervently anti-gay organizations.
When FRC announced Duggar's appointment last June, concerns were raised that Duggar's new position with the FRC might place him in America's living rooms in the form of entertainment. As stated on GLAAD's blog: "What does this mean for TLC's 19 Kids and Counting? Will TLC allow it to become a mainstream outlet for FRC's dangerous message? What about the Duggar family's appearances in other media? Will his work with one of the most vile anti-gay organizations in America be legitimized there? "
As reported on GLAAD's blog "Duggar has said in the past that he "will be working with a Christian organization to help promote 'family values and right to life.' But FRC has spent decades attacking same-sex couples and their families, as well as the families of LGBT young people. Duggar said that he will be working on the 501c4 side of the organization, which is more politically driven. He can't even claim he's just going to shape the culture."
Prior to Duggar's appointment in June, there was no record of an executive director position previously existing with the FRC, it remains unclear whether the job was created for Duggar, a former used car salesman whose highest level of completed education is a high school GED, or whether Duggar's placement was part of a search for talent.
In FRC's press release announcing the "Values Bus Tour," Duggar states, "FRC Action and the Duggar Family are honored to join grassroots activists and voters across Virginia as we promote the message that this election is vitally important in protecting and defending our rights and freedoms. Virginians have an opportunity to send a message at the ballot box that will be heard across the entire country."
Currently serving as Virginia's attorney general, Cuccinelli has a long record of hostility to LGBT related causes. As reported by EDGE media partner Metro Weekly, early on as attorney general he advised public colleges that they could not adopt nondiscrimination policies protecting LGBT students. He has weighed in against rules that would prevent private agencies from using sexual orientation as a basis for denying someone the opportunity to apply to become an adoptive or foster parent, and has called homosexual acts a ''detriment to our culture.''
Cuccinelli also terminated the state's relationship with a law firm after the firm backed out of its contract with the U.S. House of Representatives to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
GOP lieutenant gubernatorial candidate E.W. Jackson's anti-LGBT record is arguably worse than Cuccinelli's past. According to US News and World Report, Jackson, a Marine Corps veteran who graduated from Harvard Law School, has been criticized for linking homosexuality to pedophilia and comparing Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan.
"We do not need Mr. Jackson to be the standard-bearer for what it is to be a Republican in the United States," Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans. "No one should be equating homosexuality with pedophilia - it is anti-gay, and Democrats are more than happy to demonize Republicans for such comments."
The "Value Bus Tour" will kick off on Monday following this weekend's "Values Voters Summit" sponsored by FRC in Washington, D.C., which will feature over 60 hard right-wing guest speakers including: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former Senator and failed presidential hopeful Rick Santorum (R- PA). The Duggar Family is also listed on the group of confirmed speakers.