Recently, SourceWatch helped preserve history when the Family Research Council (FRC) deleted one of its co-founders from its website after he was caught in an embarrassing scandal. The FRC was co-founded by James Dobson and George Rekers, and the organization attempts to inject what it considers to be evangelical Christian values into the public debate. Most recently, as noted in SourceWatch, the FRC held a "prayercast" against health insurance reform in which Dobson publicly prayed that his savior would "frustrate the plans of the Evil One and revive us again with conviction and forgiveness,” referring to the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
The FRC also actively condemns gays and lesbians, strongly opposes political appointments of gays or lesbians, and strongly campaigns for state and federal amendments to prevent adults in same sex relationships from having their partnerships recognized by the government and accorded the basic rights of heterosexual families, such as hospital visitation with loved ones who are sick or dying. But when one of FRC's main founders was recently discovered returning from vacation in the company of a male prostitute, or gay sex worker hired from a service called "rentboy.com," the FRC apparently tried to whitewash, or gaywash, its website to remove any reference to its co-founder, George Rekers.
SourceWatch, a Valuable Archive
Fortunately for journalists and those interested in preserving history, SourceWatch had documented Mr. Rekers' key role in the FRC, and so the organization was not able to erase him from its history. Stephen Colbert and others pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of the FRC's role in attacking gays and the activities of one of its principal founders and proponents.
SourceWatch's new Managing Editor, Anne Landman, has helped document this turn of events in the website's articles on the FRC and Mr. Rekers. The Center is a long-standing opponent of smear campaigns and propaganda, but we believe that the sort of hypocrisy demonstrated by the FRC and Mr. Rekers must be documented and called out, given their active roles condemning millions of Americans and others to second-class citizenship based on people's sexuality.
The Propaganda of "Compassionate Conservatism"
Unfortunately, the pattern seems to be that some of the most homophobic people who want to condemn others based on who they love are not just actively repressing other human beings but are repressing themselves. It is unfortunate that rather than engaging in some self-reflection about its own role in condemning gays, the FRC wants to pretend that an allegedly gay man who has played an instrumental role in the organization does not exist. That's just one more example of the myriad ways in which the fancy propaganda term "compassionate conservative" seems to be quite an untruth. The FRC, and Mr. Rekers, have said and done things to make the lives of gays and lesbians more difficult in the nearly 30 years since the FRC's founding. That's a truth neither of them can erase through the FRC's Soviet-style efforts to rewrite the organization's history.