Dobson’s On-Air Statement

[Editor’s Note: The following is a partial transcript of James Dobson’s remarks on his radio broadcast of February 8, 2006]

“I’m about as close to being ticked at this moment as I ever remember getting on the air. And I want to tell you why. There is a man here in Colorado by the name of Paul Cameron who calls himself the chairman of the Family Research Institute. This is not to be confused with the Family Research Council, and Tony Perkins and his crew there in Washington. His is another organization.

“He calls himself a researcher, and he has a newswire and on Monday, he issued a statement about me that is just off the wall. And we’ve been getting phone calls and letters from people asking ‘what has caused Dobson to change his position?’ I think if I read this statement that Cameron made it will become clear to you what happened.

“Here is his statement, I’m going to be reading now: And the headline says ‘Researcher Questions Dobson’s Endorsement of Pro-Gay Bill.’ And then he continues: ‘Dr. Paul Cameron — Chairman of the Family Research Institute, a Colorado-based think tank — has challenged Dr. James Dobson’s endorsement of a bill before the Colorado legislature that would grant to gay partners many of the legal rights currently reserved to married couples. These rights would include property-sharing, decision-making powers over funerals and organ donations and, potentially health-care policy benefits. If adopted, the proposed legislation could force employers to cover gay partners — no matter how ill.’

“Cameron said, ‘This is madness.’ And he goes on: ‘Noting the Christian dimensions of Dobson’s Focus on the Family organization, Cameron pointed out that conferral of any part of marriage benefits to homosexuals is without precedent in the history of the Church. Moses and St. Paul condemned homosexuality. As soon as the Church gained political power in the Roman Empire it outlawed homosexuality. Now Dobson tells society to give gays ‘marriage lite’ benefits.” [which is not true] “During the confirmation fight over Harriet Meyers, Dobson, in a somewhat ambiguous manner, told his radio audience that he was in favor of gay rights.”

“Let me stop the reading right now and tell you what I did say. That’s a complete fabrication. What I said is that I am in favor of gay rights in the sense that homosexuals should not be treated unfairly under the law. They should not be deprived of a job or the right to buy a house, they are governed by the same laws that everyone else is. But I have never in any context said that I was in favor of same-sex partners being considered married or entitled to the same benefits that are reserved for the traditional family — Never!

“I mean you all have been listening to me for all these years. You know I’ve never said that. I wrote a book two years ago called Marriage Under Fire and it’s still available from Focus on the Family or from bookstores and I outline my position there.

“There’s been no change in that, and what this bill is that we have endorsed is a fairness bill with regard to need, not sexual relationships. Two elderly sisters may need benefits from the state, a father and an adult son who’s disabled might need benefits, a great grandpa and his sister living together might need benefits but it has nothing to do with a sexual relationship. I would never endorse that, I never have endorsed it, and really I don’t know what in the world has gotten into Paul Cameron that made him make a statement like this.

“I’ve never endorsed any bill granting gay partners legal rights currently reserved for married couples. That is shear nonsense, or in his words, this is madness. And that’s what he put on his newswire and why I wanted to take just a moment or two today to tell you what’s behind this statement.

“Once more, you’ve heard me for years and I have not changed what I believe. Those of you who are ready to throw up your hands and say “Dobson’s jumped off the cliff” that might please some people but it hasn’t happened. With that, then we’ll probably bring you an update on this later but with that let’s get on with the outstanding program we’ve prepared.”