|FRC's Tony Perkins is blaming the media for a bad weekend.|
The Family Research Council is playing a game of defense for the anti-lgbt laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi.
In spite of a disastrous weekend featuring two interviews in which NC Gov. Pat McCrory bungled a one-on-one on Meet The Press and FRC president Tony Perkins himself got called out by the interviewer for his homophobia, FRC still wants to live in a universe where these discriminatory laws are right and the "left" are going after them with lies. And how does the organization do this? By playing the "biased liberal media" card:
It's amazing with technology like ours that people still refuse to take a few minutes to read for themselves a bill like North Carolina's. With the facts just a click away, there's no excuse for the liberal media to continue misrepresenting H.B. 2. Yet that's exactly what they're doing -- almost a month after Governor Pat McCrory (R-N.C.) signed the bill into law. Unfortunately, the truth about the measure -- that it gives businesses the freedom to set their own bathroom policies -- doesn't fit the Left's narrative. So they ignore it.
Just yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Chuck Todd took his interview with McCrory down a familiar path, distorting the most basic aspects of the law. "Does it bother you," Todd said at one point, "that basically North Carolina and Mississippi is the only other state to side with you on this?" For starters, McCrory stopped him, Mississippi passed a religious liberty law -- not a privacy measure. Secondly, he fired back, a lot more states agree with North Carolina than don't. "This is not just a North Carolina debate. This is a national debate that's just come on in literally the last three months... We have 29 states that also don't have this type of mandate on private business, including the state of New York [one of its most vocal opponents]."
Still, Todd argued, what the legislature did in overturning Charlotte's ordinance was an overreach. If anyone is overreaching, McCrory pointed out, it's the people who think the government should force companies to adopt their confused ideas of gender and sexuality. CEOs are free to do that on their own -- but, the governor said firmly, "It's not government's business to tell the private sector what their bathroom, locker room, or shower practices should be. Not only the private business, but also the YMCA and other nonprofit organizations... I don't think the government ought to be the H.R. director for every business, whether it be in Charlotte or whether it be in Greensboro or whether it be in Boone, North Carolina."
As the mayor of Charlotte for 14 years, McCrory knows where voters side on this issue -- and it isn't with cultural bullies. In a strong rebuttal to the Washington Post, the governor explained that the same activists beating up North Carolina in the press are conveniently ignoring their own hypocrisy. "[T]he Human Rights Campaign has led a coordinated assault and smear campaign. This national special-interest group, which is funded by anonymous donors, is attempting to bully companies, entertainers, and anyone else who disagrees with its agenda. Our state is unfairly being used as its political pawn. However, the HRC remains silent while the same individuals and organizations sell their products, make their products or take entertainment dollars from countries like China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore -- countries with deplorable human rights records, especially toward the gay and lesbian community."
Sorry FRC, but McCrory was awful and you can't blame Chuck Todd. North Carolina's News & Observer put it like this:
The governor still doesn’t seem to understand what the law does. He repeated his insistence that the government should not impose on businesses nondiscrimination policies regarding gender identity and sexual orientation, a stand that effectively sanctions discrimination against gay and transgender people.
Despite his 10-minute dance on “Meet the Press,” the governor keeps avoiding his obligation to explain to the public, through questions and answers from the media, why he allowed this law to go through. Instead, he has released videos in which he smiles about what he considers an overblown controversy and complains about the misunderstanding and hypocrisy of HB2’s opponents.
Then Perkins attempts to explain away his interview with Fernando Espuelas on "Matter of Fact."
On Sunday, I took my own turn trying to set the record straight on laws like Mississippi's. There, Governor Phil Byrant (R) and state leaders agreed that the government shouldn't be in the business of punishing people who disagree with same-sex marriage -- whether they're a public official, entrepreneur, minister, or wedding vendor. In a sit-down with "Matter of Fact's" Fernando Espuelas (video below) I tried explaining whose civil rights were being violated in cases like Aaron and Melissa Klein's. "Having business is a commercial activity that does not exclude groups," Fernando argued. But then what you're doing, I explained, is limiting religious freedom at the door of the marketplace. If you listen closely to his answer, you'll see where the Left is going next with this agenda -- which is to threaten the business licenses of anyone who doesn't subscribe to same-sex marriage.
Nice try, but anyone who saw the interview (you can view it here) can easily tell that Perkins was attempting to center it around the talking point of supposedly "protecting" those who did not agree with marriage equality, even when Espuelas pointing out that Mississippi's law was about denying services to lgbts in general. The more Perkins attempted to steer the conversation, the more Espuelas kept bringing him back to the reasoning behind passing a law which would discriminate against the lgbt community as a whole, whether married or not.
So basically FRC is doing what McCrory and its president attempted to do last weekend - lie and obfuscate. And like McCrory and Perkins, the organization is not only failing to do it, but also failing to quell the backlash it helped to cause by pushing for these "bathroom bills" and "religious liberty" laws from the start.
Lastly, I want to mention that talking point of painting those who oppose HB2 as hypocrites because they don't speak out against those (such as Bruce Springsteen, Paypal, etc.) who supposedly do business in countries which have awful human rights records against lgbts.
FRC until just recently itself utilized Paypal to garner donations. The organization only began figuratively declaring war on Paypal after the organization boycotted NC. Also, how can FRC cry foul over any country's negative human rights record against lgbts, seeing that it once vouched support for Uganda's anti-lgbt laws.
One could call FRC's sudden care about lgbt rights in foreign countries hypocritical or even ironic. But I doubt it would do any good. Irony, like honesty, is a quality not recognized by an organization like the Family Research Council.