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Opposition to Gay Marriage Links Members of Arlington Group

c. 2006 Religion News Service COLUMBUS, Ohio _ The Arlington Group is an informal coalition of nearly 60 of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christian leaders. It formed in the summer of 2003 to mount a nationwide campaign to oppose gay marriage. The conservative Ohio-based American Policy Roundtable has posted a complete Arlington Group membership […]

c. 2006 Religion News Service

COLUMBUS, Ohio _ The Arlington Group is an informal coalition of nearly 60 of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christian leaders. It formed in the summer of 2003 to mount a nationwide campaign to oppose gay marriage.

The conservative Ohio-based American Policy Roundtable has posted a complete Arlington Group membership list at http://www.aproundtable.org/untangling/arlington_Group.html.

Following are vignettes on a few of its members:

Paul Weyrich

Chairman, Free Congress Foundation, Washington, D.C.

A co-founder of the Arlington Group, he also is one of the founders of modern conservatism in the United States. His foundation is one of the pre-eminent think tanks dedicated to reversing America’s “long slide into the cultural and moral decay of political correctness.”

Donald Wildmon

Chairman, American Family Association, Tupelo, Miss.

Co-founded the Arlington Group with Weyrich. An ordained United Methodist minister, he launched the American Family Association in 1977 to fight vulgarity and sexual content on TV. Led boycotts of Disney/ABC for airing the “pro-homosexual” show “Ellen” and of the 7-Eleven convenience-store chain for selling pornographic magazines.

Phil Burress

President, Citizens for Community Values, Cincinnati, Ohio

A member of the Arlington Group’s executive committee. His organization spent nearly $1.2 million to promote Ohio’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Burress’ lawyer, David Langdon, drafted the amendment.

Tony Perkins

President, Family Research Council, Washington, D.C.

His organization “champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue and the wellspring of society.” Managed the U.S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins in Louisiana in 1996, secretly paying $82,500 to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke to purchase Duke’s voter mailing list. The Federal Election Commission fined Jenkins’ campaign $3,000 for concealing the purchase.

Bishop Harry Jackson

Chairman, High Impact Leadership Coalition, College Park, Md.

Named by “The Church Report” as one of the 50 most influential Christians in America, he may be the Arlington Group’s most prominent black member. Promotes the “Black Contract With America on Moral Values,” which advocates personal morality and social justice.

Rick Scarborough

President, Vision America, Lufkin, Texas

Drafted the “Values Voters’ Contract With Congress,” calling for Congress to “affirm the national relationship with God,” support a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriages and pass legislation prohibiting abortion, human cloning and all uses of human embryos in research. Hosted a conference in Washington titled “The War on Christians.”

Colin Hanna

President, Let Freedom Ring, West Chester, Pa.

A former county commissioner whose independent-expenditure group played a crucial role in the passage of Ohio’s gay-marriage ban in 2004. Hanna also heads WeNeedAFence.com, which advocates the construction of a 15-foot-tall barbed-wire fence, complete with buried motion detectors and overhead surveillance cameras, on the U.S.-Mexican border.

Mathew Staver

President, Liberty Counsel, Orlando, Fla.

Runs the nonprofit litigation arm of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. He was a central figure in the backlash from the religious right to the “War on Christmas,” forcing Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, under threat of lawsuit, to stop calling the city’s Christmas tree a holiday tree.

Robert Reccord

Former president, North American Mission Board, Alpharetta, Ga.

Headed the main outreach arm for the Southern Baptists, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Resigned in April after the Christian Index newspaper reported that he mismanaged finances and steered unbid contracts to an acquaintance.

Alan Sears

President, Alliance Defense Fund, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Served under U.S. Attorneys General William French Smith and Ed Meese as chief of the criminal section and director of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography. His fund often opposes the American Civil Liberties Union in legal cases. Co-authored “The ACLU vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values.”

Source: The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.

KRE/PH END RNS