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American Family Radio

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  • Extreme anti-LGBTQ group American Family Association says it met with “senior” Walmart executives to discuss ad with gay couple

    AFA runs a right-wing evangelical media apparatus that includes a website and radio network and has endorsed dangerous anti-LGBTQ positions

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX PATERSON

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Extreme anti-LGBTQ group the American Family Association claimed to have met with “senior executives” at Walmart to discuss its objections to the company’s Valentine’s Day advertisement that featured two men going on a blind first date at a Walmart.

    On May 9, AFA announced that “senior executives with AFA met with senior executives at Walmart where our objections to the video ad were strongly and respectfully articulated.” AFA wrote that it “shared our plea that Walmart remain neutral on the promotion of homosexuality,” asserting that it had a “forthright and engaging discussion about the matter.” 

    AFA launched a petition urging Walmart to remove the advertisement in February, complaining that it “normalizes homosexual relationships.” AFA dubiously claimed that the petition garnered “over 190,000 signers.” However, reporter Nico Lang noted that the petition was “likely bogus,” as it contained no security or verification measures. Lang wrote that users were able to sign the petition an unlimited amount of times using “transparently counterfeit” emails and “from the same IP address while using the same web browser.” Despite the questionable authenticity of its petition, Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt reported on April 3 that AFA had secured the meeting with a representative for Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.

    In addition to its anti-LGBTQ advocacy work, AFA also runs a substantial right-wing evangelical media apparatus. It uses its American Family Radio network (AFR) and news website OneNewsNow to push extreme anti-LGBTQ narratives and misinformation to various types of audiences. Posts on its news website have claimed that Texas legislation would “ban Christianity” and pushed the debunked “bathroom predator” myth, which have received significant engagement from their audience.

    On AFR’s Janet Mefferd Live, host Janet Mefferd has linked homosexuality to child sexual abuse, suggested that LGBTQ-inclusive Christianity will destroy churches, and advocated for the harmful and discredited practice of conversion therapy. On AFR’s Focal Point, former AFA spokesperson and host Bryan Fischer has condemned gay men to hell, claimed that gays were responsible for the Nazi Party, and said that “any practitioners of any other religion other than Christianity,” such as Muslim and Jewish people, “do not have First Amendment rights.”

    In 2013, AFA endorsed Russia’s anti-LGBTQ “gay propaganda” law, which “effectively legalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation” and led to an increase in homophobic rhetoric and violence in the country. The group has also said that “gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism.”

  • This Breitbart Journalist Is Too Extreme For A Notorious Anti-Gay Hate Group

    Blog ››› ››› LUKE BRINKER

    Two days after frequent Breitbart News contributor Austin Ruse proclaimed that liberal academics "should all be taken out and shot," the American Family Association announced that it was cutting its ties with the inflammatory social conservative.

    Filling in for American Family Radio host and Fox News contributor Sandy Rios on March 12, Ruse weighed in on the controversy surrounding a Duke University freshman who recently revealed that she has acted in porn to help pay her college tuition:

    RUSE: That is the nonsense that they teach in women's studies at Duke University, this is where she learned this. The toxic stew of the modern university is gender studies, it's "Sex Week," they all have "Sex Week" and teaching people how to be sex-positive and overcome the patriarchy. My daughters go to a little private religious school and we pay an arm and a leg for it precisely to keep them away from all of this kind of nonsense. I do hope that they go to a Christian college or university and to keep them so far away from the hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities, who should all be taken out and shot.

    As Right Wing Watch reported on March 14, American Family Radio announced on its Facebook page that Ruse would no longer be filling in there:

  • Fox's Starnes Urges Listeners To Donate Money To Anti-Gay Hate Groups

    Blog ››› ››› CARLOS MAZA

    Fox News Radio reporter Todd Starnes urged listeners to donate money to two anti-gay hate groups that routinely accuse gay men of being pedophiles.

    The Family Research Council (FRC) and American Family Association (AFA) are two of the most extreme anti-gay hate groups in American politics. They regularly peddle smears about LGBT people, including the myths that gay men are more likely to engage in pedophilia and are responsible for the Holocaust. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC):

    Together, the Family Research Council (FRC) and the American Family Association (AFA) may comprise the most important anti-gay lobby in this country... The FRC and the AFA are certainly among the most powerful groups on the American religious right.

    They are also among the chief purveyors of lies about LGBT people. They have both regularly pumped out propaganda asserting that gay men molest children at far higher rates than their heterosexual counterparts -- a claim that has been debunked by virtually all the recognized scientific authorities in the field. The FRC has claimed that gay activists "work to normalize sex with boys," seek to "abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the 'prophets' of a new sexual order," and support anti-bullying programs solely in order to promote homosexuality. The AFA has declared that "homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler ... the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews," suggested that gay sex be punished like heroin use, and said that the "homosexual agenda" endangers "every fundamental right" in the Constitution, including religious freedom. Both groups have enthusiastically promoted "reparative therapy," which claims against the bulk of the evidence that it can "cure" gay men and lesbians and make them heterosexual, but in fact has left a string of people behind who were badly hurt by the process. [emphasis added]

    On the October 23 edition of FRC's Washington Watch radio program, FRC president Tony Perkins invited Starnes on to once again falsely accuse the military of persecuting Christian groups because of their opposition to homosexuality. At the end of the segment, Starnes - who has acted as a de facto mouth piece for AFA and FRC on Fox - encouraged listener to "pick up that phone and throw a few dollars into the cause" by donating to the notorious anti-gay groups:

    STARNES: Tony, I want to thank American Family Radio. This is a share-a-thon.There's a reason why we need groups like Family Research Council, why we need folks like American Family Radio. Get the word out there, airing my daily commentaries. So folks, pick up that phone and throw a few dollars into the cause.

    This isn't the first time a Fox News employee has solicited donations for an anti-gay group. In August, Fox News contributor Erick Erickson encouraged his supporters to give money to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group working to criminalize homosexuality abroad.

  • Fox News Contributor Sandy Rios: Matthew Shepard Murder Was "A Total Fraud"

    Blog ››› ››› CARLOS MAZA

    Fox News contributor Sandy Rios made several extreme anti-gay remarks during her speech at the 2013 Values Voter Summit, including calling the murder of Matthew Shepard a "total fraud" and touting the existence of "ex-gays."

    Speaking at this year's Values Voters Summit on October 11, Rios, a Fox News contributor and host of American Family Radio Talk's "Sandy Rios in the Morning," repeated the right-wing myth that the brutal murder of openly gay Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard was actually motivated by drug use and not anti-gay bias. According to Huffington Post reporter Christinia Wilkie: 

    Rios went on to claim that "gay men like young, virulent men" and told the audience that so-called "ex-gays" - who claim to have left the gay "lifestyle" - are "everywhere!":

  • Meet Todd Starnes, Fox's Mouthpiece For Anti-Gay Hate Groups

    Blog ››› ››› CARLOS MAZA

    Todd Starnes

    Fox News' Todd Starnes has never shied away from aligning himself with some of the more extreme and fringe elements of right-wing politics. He's flirted with "birtherism," made inflammatory comments about Muslims and African-Americans, and accused the Obama administration of launching a war against Christianity.

    Over the past few months, it appears that Starnes has taken up a new cause – using his position as a Fox News Radio reporter to give a voice to some of the country's worst anti-gay hate groups

    Ties To The Family Research Council

    Last December, Starnes appeared on the American Family Association's (AFA) "Today's Issues" radio show to promote his Fox News website, He was joined by Tony Perkins, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-gay "hate group" Family Research Council (FRC). During the segment, Starnes claimed that his website would act as a hub of "culture war stories" that would depict hate groups like FRC and AFA in a positive light:

    STARNES: This is sort of a place in the Fox family, the Fox News family, that folks can go and find those culture war stories that we cover.... These are stories that resonate with patriotic, God-fearing, God-loving Americans. And I think when people see the stories in one spot, they really understand what's at stake and how thankful we are that there are organizations like the Family Research Council and American Family Radio that cover these issues. [emphasis added]

    Perkins was thrilled, to say the least. He said he was "encouraged" by Starnes' reporting, praising him for "giving voice" to social conservatives who believe that Christianity is under attack:

    PERKINS: That's the kind of stuff we like to see. And, this is what I think happens when these issues are talked about. Because in isolation, people think 'oh well, we're all by ourselves" and so they usually back down... But when people realize 'hey, this is a connected effort,' and 'we're not alone,' and people are standing up, it has an encouraging effect to it. And that's why I appreciate the work that you're doing, Todd. I know you're just reporting, but what you're doing is you're giving voice to a lot of Americans out there who are deeply concerned about the direction of this country and in particular this attack on Christianity. And I for one am encouraged by that. [emphasis added]

    Starnes was serious about his pledge to mainstream and promote FRC. Since his AFA radio appearance, Starnes has frequently included comments from FRC spokespersons – including Perkins, Peter Sprigg, and Ken Klukowski – in his reporting.

  • AFR guest Farah links Bush guest-worker proposal to plan by "one-worlders" to merge U.S., Mexico, Canada


    On American Family Radio's Today's Issues, Joseph Farah, founder and editor of the right-wing news website WorldNetDaily, asserted without evidence that there are 20 million to 30 million "illegals" in the U.S. Farah also claimed that the "one-worlders" of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) have a plan to merge the United States, Mexico, and Canada by 2010 and suggested that President Bush's proposed guest worker program is part of this plan.

  • O'Beirne: Fighting wars "a job for men, not women"

    ››› ››› ROB MORLINO

    On American Family Radio's Today's Issues, National Review Washington editor Kate O'Beirne asserted that "fighting our wars, engaging the enemy in this uncivilized thing we call war is a job for men, not women," then suggested that having women serve in the military was the equivalent of "a man send[ing] his wife or daughter to check out" a noise that "sounds like a break-in."

  • AFA's Wildmon proposed a hypothetical tour of gay bathhouses, repeated misinformation on average gay incomes

    ››› ››› MAX BLUMENTHAL

    In response to gay rights organization Soulforce's Equality Ride -- a bus tour aimed at confronting religious schools and military academies that ban the enrollment of GBLT students -- the American Family Association's Don Wildmon proposed his own hypothetical trip to "the homosexual bathhouses," saying, "[W]e're going to confront these people ... for what they're doing."

  • American Family Association opened its airwaves to advocate for executing gays, adulterers, abortion doctors

    ››› ››› MAX BLUMENTHAL

    Far-right Christian author and American Vision president Gary DeMar was the guest on the February 2 edition of American Family Radio's Today's Issues. In the past, DeMar has advocated the installation of a theocratic government in the United States in which homosexuals, adulterers, and abortion doctors would be executed.