talking headaches

Family Research Council ‘Experts’ Aren’t Qualified to Speak About Military Gays. So Why Turn to Them?

Every time one of these Family Research Council fellows appears on a news program, it’s to ensure the talking head hosting the segment can claim a “balanced” dialogue, representing both support and opposition of an issue. This time it’s FRC senior fellow Peter Sprigg, facing off against SLDN’s Aubrey Sarvis. But the difference here is that Sarvis is a military veteran, capable of speaking on military life. Sprigg, meanwhile, is a leader of an American fringe hate group. This is nonsense, and it’s no longer responsible journalism to put these people on the same pedestal as reasonable people. Stop it.

You do not invite a Klansman on television when debating affirmative action. And yet Sprigg is here, on live national television, saying the U.S. armed forces should actively discriminate against an entire class of Americans — that they should, in effect, “test” for gay men and women before letting them try to enlist. And that we should criminalize gay people expressing love. This is the same terror inflicted against non-whites before 1948.

And it should never, ever be tolerated — or even entertained — ever again.

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  • jason

    Good point by the queerty editor.

    I find it irritating that the mainstream media gives oxygen to these “family” hatemongers. It would be like interviewing the KKK for a balanced opinion on black rights.

    As Sister Sledge once sang, We Are Family. Yes, that’s you and me.

  • GuyDads

    Isn’t this the type of advocacy that GLAAD should be doing? Isn’t it (or shouldn’t it be) their mission to take on the media news outlets?

  • Brian NJ

    Chris Matthews fucking hit it out of the park in this show when he asked the family fucktard if he thought gay conduct should be outlawed, and the “expert” didn’t say “no.”

  • Ian

    For some reason this always happens to gays and immigrants. They have people from Alipac or other hate groups like that “debate” professors from prestigious universities. Its really a shame that the viewers are lead to believe that somehow both sides are at the same level when one of them is clearly deranged.

  • jason


    So true. The mainstream media thinks two opposing viewpoints give balance. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no such thing as balance. There is a right and wrong. Wrong can’t claim an equal footing with right.

    We in the gay community are on the right side of this. It’s we who are discriminated against, not the haters.

  • miek

    @jason: You’re absolutely right Jason, accurate reporting is not always “balanced” reporting.

    but this Peter Sprigg guy is absolutely insane! Lawrence v Texas was wrongly decided?! this guy should under no circumstances be permitted to express is opinion national television.

  • reason

    I personally feel like it is an excellent idea to have them on tv, it shows how absurd their arguments are. I think a lot of independents hear their crazy arguments and don’t want to be associated with them. A lot of the crazy arguments made by this guy will be the same arguments the republicans make on the hill.

  • San Francisco Treat

    @ 7 – I completely agree. The answer to dumb speech is more speech. Chris completely dismantled that moron on Hardball today. It was friggin awesome. At the point that you bring a DADT supporter on and establish that his support is based on his position that homosexual conduct (even by civilians) should be recriminalized, you delineate him and his position from 80%+ of the population.

  • AlwaysGay

    Another showing of incompetence by a gay rights activist. Why can’t gay rights activists prepare? They always seem stunned heterosexuals hold these views even though gay people have been surrounded by views like this from day one. The point of view of anti-gay bigots is the same as it was 20, 200, 2000 years ago. There is no excuse for being unprepared.

  • nikko

    Exactly, ALWAYSGAY. Well said. Why are gays so often flimsy in responding to such bigotry?1 I for one was seething with rage listening to that detestable Sprigg and his vile views.

  • jason

    The reason why gay activists are never prepared is because they rarely study the person who’s making the opposing viewpoint. They think they can wing it.

  • christopher di spirito

    Tweety nailed Peter Sprigg. This interview is an instant classic.

    I would’ve gone further and pushed Sprigg to admit so there is a video account and record that he, as the spokesman for the so-called Family Research Council, thinks gay men and lesbian women should be rounded up and sent to gas chambers, which is essentially what he said.

  • AndrewW

    Christian is what Christian does.

  • rf

    I appreciate Queerty’s take on this but I’m kind of in the camp that letting these people hang themselves in front of independents is the way to go. i’m so glad Matthews took this guy as far as he did. would have loved to hear his take on stoning women who aren’t virgins on their wedding night.


    Look like the same trolls I see when I pass by the truck stops on the interstate looking for dick

  • David

    “Forced intimacy”? lol. Who needs Manhunt when you’ve got the military. Where do I sign?

  • BamBam

    Matthews did good, but I wish he had ask the question

    “What should happen to gays who continue to have consensual sex with another adult despite the law?”

    I think he would have boxed himself in. He can’t propose a fine, because to him, it would seem “soft”. But he can’t say what he thinks, because that would destroy his “nice and friendly family-oriented” arguments.

  • hephaestion

    Why isn’t GLAAD doing something about this? News show are always interviewing anti-gay hate groups, elevating them to “experts” while they routinely spout the discredited wacko “studies” of Paul Cameron.

  • hephaestion

    Peter Sprigg is obviously yet anther tragic closeted homosexual working for the Family Research Council.

    Chris Matthews should have KNOWN that the Family Research Council has no “experts” on gays in the military. If he didn’t know that, he’s a lot stupider than the smart guy he pretends to be.

  • Jerry Priori

    The problem with giving the extremists airtime is that they give cover to less extreme bigotry. Anyone even only slightly to the left of the kill-the-gays example is seen as a moderate. The average viewer can sit there and scratch his balls while watching and say to himself: “Sure I don’t like queers, but at least I don’t think we should kill ’em.” And magically Mr. Ball Scratcher becomes a voice of reason.

    Paying attention to FRC does absolutely nothing to challenge the casual homophobia and inequity we face every day. Most people are happy to laugh at FRC while casting ballots against our rights with a clear conscience merely because they don’t want to murder us.

    We should be beyond that as a society now. It’s past time for the media to stop calling on these so-called ‘family’ groups whenever they’re looking for viewpoints on gay issues. There’s not a single television news show that would consult a Nazi when talking about Jewish issues. This is exactly the same thing and it has to stop.

  • Luke

    I dispute that Sprigg’s vile claims about overturning Lawrence vs. Texas have any bearing on the argument as he presented it, against allowing gay and lesbian people in the military. That’s not to say that, underlying some of the assumptions in his argument, are claims about the immorality or wrongfulness of, as he put it, ‘gay behaviour’. But he certainly presented no explicit argument from the wrongfulness of homosexuality to the wrongfulness of allowing LGBT people in the military.

    All, the same, despite Matthews’ questioning in this respect digressing from the question whether DADT is wrong, it was good that he exposed Sprigg’s extremism.

    Here in the UK, there are only two or three religious groups akin to the FRC, and they don’t have anything like the support, constituency or funding of the FRC.

    Sprigg is an expert on policy for the FRC. If an expert on policy for a think-tank or organisation in the UK expressed similar opinions to Sprigg he would almost certainly face great pressure, and be severely marginalised. But you couldn’t really say the FRC are marginalised; their positions maybe at variance with American popular opinion, but they are still treated as a respectable organisation, regularly appearing on the news, etc.

    The parallels are intriguing.

  • Other Libertarian


    Shut Up
    Can’t You Get A LIFE?
    USA needs to grow the fuck up
    Maybe after this country collapses we can all move to Canada


    DADT should be repealed for the simple idea that it is ridiculous. Very.

    I dont see any harm it with it in the military. There are bigger concerns on ground than whether someone is plugging their battilion buddy. We dont care. Just stay alive and keep ur buddies safe.

    The issue we all have is whether gays should marry. That is my bone of contention

  • romeo

    News outlets like to use right-wing extremists because they know that audiences find them fun to watch. The fact that using them hyperinflates they’re actual support in society or relevance in a discussion means nothing to the networks, etc.. The actual lives of gay people mean nothing to them because newspeople in the main are fixated on themselves. Maybe we should get gay orgs to start mounting some challenges to the FCC. They’re supposed to protect the citizens from harm who own the airwaves. We’re citizens.

  • Cam

    The news does this all the time, They equate blanace with having two people who disagree. But if you think about it. Is it balanced to ahve a debate between two people, one who thinks that college tuition should be lower and the other who thinks that people should all be killed before their 18th birthday so they don’t go to college? Of course not. This situation is similar, you have a group who’s only purpose is to advocate bigotry being invited on these shows as if they were a reasonable contributer. It’s like Oprah doing a show on having a romatic date with your wife and inviting OJ Simpson as one of the panalists.

  • Derek

    @YOUTH IN REVOLT: wow so you drive at 15 and also know all about truck stops and their goings on.

    Wow you are really, really worldly for just being 15? What state is it that allows 15-year-olds to drive again?

  • Larry

    It’s revolting that they would bring this guy in as an “expert.” However, if this accelerates FRC’s march to designation as a certified hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, then so be it.

  • hyhybt

    I really don’t see why this is supposed to be so harmful. You have, on our side, someone who seems rational even to most people who don’t actually agree, and on the other an obvious raving lunatic. Which way is that going to push those between? It’s no different than when the Westboro Weasels come to town.

  • oldgayvermonter

    Perhaps a better question would be “how many servicemembers would not reenlist if they knew they would be sent to enforce illegal and undeclared wars defending American imperialism and occupation of foreign lands?” We have been ravaging the National Guard, turning them into cannon fodder, to make corrupt politicians look good. If there was sacrifice like a draft and/or war taxes to support these bad policies perhaps the public would take their heads out of their asses.

  • Karanis

    Near the end of the video, you can catch Peter’s hands shaking as he speaks. He gets pretty nervous :)

  • Cam

    No. 29 · oldgayvermonter
    Perhaps a better question would be “how many servicemembers would not reenlist if they knew they would be sent to enforce illegal and undeclared wars defending American imperialism and occupation of foreign lands?”

    In fairness, the wars have now been going on for around a decade so no soldier who enlists now could say that they weren’t aware that there was a chance they would be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. This post is about bigots being treated as reasonable panalists by the mainstream news media instead of treated the way they would treat the Klan who has similary types of viewpoints merely because they only hate gays and not other races.

  • Steve

    HRC, or one of the other “Gay Inc” organizations, could do something useful.

    At their annual awards dinner, they should award an honorary white hood, similar to the style that was popular with the KKK. Call it the Most Hateful Bigot award. The award could be given in absencia. I doubt most of the recipients would want to attend.

  • TaylorS

    No. 32 · Steve

    I love it. Maggie Gallagher and Limbaugh would certainly be in the running. Just tell them there’s an ALL YOU CAN EAT buffet, and they’ll show up, grudgingly. I hear those sinful, unrepentant gluttons just can’t help themselves.

    We love them though, just hate their sin.

Comments are closed.