Family Research Council: Sunday, February 4, 2007 "PG03F06"
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Sunday, February 4, 2007
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The Family Research Council (FRC) champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. FRC shapes public debate and formulates public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family. Believing that God is the author of life, liberty, and the family, FRC promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society.

The Early Years

The idea of the Family Research Council originated at the 1980 White House Conference on Families. Among the conferees, James Dobson stood out because of his rare combination of Christian social values and academic and professional credentials. A practicing clinical psychologist and noted author, Dobson had recently transitioned into radio broadcasting and also launched a nonprofit, family service organization. He felt that the time was ripe to establish an organization that would drive the national debate on family issues. In 1983, the Family Research Council incorporated as a nonprofit educational institution in the District of Columbia; its founding board included Dobson and two noted psychiatrists, Armand Nicholoi Jr. of Harvard University and George Rekers of the University of South Carolina.

Under the leadership of Jerry Regier, a former Reagan Administration official at the Department of Health and Human Services, FRC began to link policy makers with researchers and professionals from a variety of disciplines. Gary Bauer, a domestic policy advisor to President Reagan, succeeded Regier in 1988 and by the mid-1990s the organization had grown into a $10 million operation with a nationwide network of support.

After Bauer resigned to seek public office in 2000, the board appointed Ken Connor -- a prominent attorney from Tallahassee and former Florida gubernatorial candidate -- to lead FRC. As a pro-life advocate, Connor had served as president and board chairman of Florida Right to Life, vice chairman of Americans United for Life, and board chairman of Care Net, an umbrella organization for five hundred pre-natal care centers. Under Connor's tenure, FRC launched the Center for Human Life and Bioethics and the Center for Marriage and Family, thereby reaffirming FRC's commitment to provide the nation's lawmakers with critical research on public policy affecting the family.

Rolling Up the Sleeves

In July of 2003, Connor resigned to return to the practice of law and was succeeded by veteran pro-family activist and policy maker Tony Perkins. Described as a legislative pioneer by the national media, Perkins had a significant impact on Louisiana politics as a two-term state representative and as a candidate for the United States Senate in 2002. Recognized as the leading conservative voice in the Louisiana Legislature, Perkins had been the main opponent to the state's gambling industry and one of the state's most vocal pro-life advocates. In an effort to address the growing social problems brought about by the instability of marriage and no-fault divorce, he authored and passed the nation's first Covenant Marriage law. Perkins is the fourth president in FRC's 20 year history. He and his wife have four children.



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