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Faithful America group asks MSNBC to ban Family Research Council President Tony Perkins from network

A group called Faithful America has asked MSNBC to not allow Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on the network.

MSNBC on Tuesday rejected a Faithful America ad "exposing his and FRC's extensive record of hate speech against gay and lesbian Americans," according to a Faithful America news release.

Here's the complete release:

Amid a growing outcry from Christian leaders to take Family Research Council President Tony Perkins off the air, MSNBC yesterday rejected an ad exposing his and FRC's extensive record of hate speech against gay and lesbian Americans. Perkins has appeared on MSNBC 23 times since his organization was designated a hate group, most recently last week on Hardball with Chris Matthews.

"Clearly MSNBC doesn't want its viewers to know the truth about one of their frequent guests. If network executives consider Tony Perkins' false and hateful rhetoric about gays and lesbians inappropriate for an ad, then he shouldn't have any place on their programming," said Michael Sherrard, head of Faithful America.

A representative from MSNBC wrote, “Thank you for providing the ad and substantiation.  Our policy states that we have sole discretion to accept or reject an ad based on its appropriateness.  In this instance we are rejecting the ad.”

You can view the substantiation here.

Faithful America, which produced the ad, is an online community of people of faith that delivered 20,000 petition signatures to MSNBC headquarters in New York last month demanding that the network stop inviting Perkins on the air because of FRC’s long history of dishonest, hateful rhetoric. FRC was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in November 2010.

FRC was named a hate group for their persistent use of bogus science and debunked research to claim gay and lesbian Americans pose a risk to children and our society.  Perkins and his organization have also made dishonest and bigoted claims that openly gay and lesbian service members would lead to increases in sexual assault and that “one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.”

A video compilation of Perkins’ appearances on MSNBC (and warm welcomes from a number of MSNBC hosts), examples of his most extreme claims, and footage of the February 14, 2012, petition delivery is available online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SWFjeRqYdc.

MSNBC continually offers a friendly venue to Perkins without informing their viewers of FRC's status as a hate group or including any rebuttal from progressive religious leaders. Perkins has appeared on MSNBC more often this year than on any other cable news network.

Last month, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, who delivered the invocation at President Obama's inaugural ceremonies and is the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion, led a clergy delegation in delivering more than 20,000 petition signatures to MSNBC studios.

Faithful America’s petition reads:

The Family Research Council is a hate group, and journalists ought to treat it as such. MSNBC must stop inviting Family Research Council spokespeople on the air to represent the views of Christians and other people of faith.

For more information about Faithful America, an online community of over 135,000 people of faith taking action on pressing moral issues of social justice and the common good, and to view this press release, visit www.faithfulamerica.org.

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