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Riding The Train To Homophobia: Those Tickets Cost A Lot, Don't They, Tony?

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Putting A Train In The Doghouse

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Two hundred fifty thousand dollars - sounds like a lot, doesn't it? But not if you're in the travel business - or the bigot business.

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Fifteen years ago, I was able to get some pretty remarkable local advertising for SF's AIDS Emergency Fund. The market value for transit posters and production of 4 black & white public service announcements: $350,000. In 1995 dollars. In a local market.

According to FRC's Tony Perkins, however, this amount is an absolute fortune of taxpayers' money going out to advance the "homosexual agenda."

FRC Action

If there was ever proof that the Obama Administration has gone off the rails, it's Amtrak. For the first time in the train service's history, Amtrak has decided to spend a quarter-million dollars recruiting homosexual passengers. As you may know, Amtrak isn't a private business. This is a government-run business, meaning that this $250,000 is taken directly from taxpayers' pockets. In a very real sense, this ad campaign is a federal endorsement of homosexual behavior -- one of the most serious public health threats in America.

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Whoa! Tony! Do you mean that Amtrack is going to turn into one big rolling bathhouse? Hmmm.

I don't think so. Even though Perkins thinks that every LGBT person is one big horny STD, one tiny piece of outreach to get gay dollars is not going to cause an influx of drag queens sipping martinis in the Vista Dome lounge. Point of fact: Amtrak should be so lucky! I know plenty of wonderful girls who could liven up that dreary run to Topeka!

Of course, Amtrak is really not so innocent or naive: for years it has bucked the market trends in following Perkins' homophobic ideology, but to put it in a more Biblical perspective, "They saw the Light!"

Openly Gay Marketing:

Says Darlene Abubakar, the director of national advertising for Amtrak, "Most all of the major airlines, hotels and others in the travel and tourism industry target the LGBT market segment. Amtrak 's goal is to raise the level of awareness of the benefits of train travel and increase consideration and ridership amongst this segment."

And $250k is small change to the FRC. Promoting "Family Values" and lobbying for same costs over $20 million per year. FRC employs over 200 people and has satellites in all fifty states. FRC is a lobbying organization and, unless I've missed something, politicians still don't give discounts.

The Council's Finances

While I couldn't get the 2009 data on the FRC, I was able to come up with some for 2007: $12,758,000 in revenue. And what, pray tell, was it spent on?

1. Mailing out copies of its 425 (mostly) anti-gay "findings"

2. Printing and shipping out 105,000 "educational" materials.

3. Publishing its monthly newsletter and mailing to 150,000 homes.

4. Producing its weekly radio show, Washington Weekly. It also produces a daily "Commentary" aired on three 300 stations.

In addition, the FRC now hosts the extremely expensive Values Voter Summit. The speakers' fees are eye-popping when you consider that right-wing icons like Mike Huckabee, Ann Coulter(geist), Sean Hannity, and heavy-hitting intellectual Stephen Baldwin (actually D-list-actor-brother-of famous-actor).

And all of Lou Engle's trips to the "Dark Continent" add up (not to mention keeping him odor-free with Right Guard!).


In their report Funding the Culture Wars, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy[18] lists the Family Research Council as one of the leading organizations funding the activities of the conservative movement. As a non-profit organization, FRC is completely dependent on donations from supporters.

Of course, the FRC screamed "Donations, Please!!" while ragging the administration on a piddling $250k:

Yet Washington is targeting the demographically small homosexual population-probably because marketing surveys suggest it is also one of the richest. So let's be honest. This Administration is more interested in riding the gravy train than getting the culture back on track.

Another ridiculous rant. Another ridiculous headline. Another ridiculous case of fear-mongering.

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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books €" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)
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