Focus Press Statement

February 8, 2006.

Colorado Springs, Colo. –– Focus on the Family Chairman James C. Dobson, Ph.D., responded forcefully today to baseless allegations that he had abandoned his consistent position against granting special rights on the basis of sexual orientation. Dr. Dobson’s comments, aired on today’s Focus on the Family broadcast, came in response to a news release issued by Dr. Paul Cameron.

Cameron, a self-styled Colorado researcher, made the accusation in relation to Focus on the Family’s support of Colorado Senate Bill 166. The legislation would create reciprocal-beneficiary contracts, which streamline the process by which two adults ineligible to marry would be able to access benefits already available by powers of attorney and other contracts. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

On the broadcast Dr. Dobson reiterated that he does not—and never has—opposed rights for homosexuals that are afforded to other American citizens, such as the right to obtain a job or housing. However, he likewise made clear that he continues to vigorously oppose homosexual marriage and other rights granted on the basis of sexual orientation.

“I’ve never endorsed any bill granting gay partners legal rights currently reserved for married couples,” Dobson told his radio audience. “That is sheer nonsense.”

Dobson called SB 166 “a fairness bill with regard to need, not sexual relationships.” He went on to note that the bill would be beneficial in various family relationships, such as two elderly siblings living together, or a parent caring for an adult disabled child.

Focus on the Family’s support of reciprocal-beneficiary contracts is not new. As far back as 1997, Focus backed similar legislation in Hawaii that had been introduced as part of an effort to protect the institution of marriage from redefinition in that state.

SB 166 stands in stark contrast to another bill before the Colorado Legislature, a referred measure that, if approved by the Legislature, would ask Colorado’s voters to consider creating civil unions for same-sex partners with the rights and benefits now reserved for marriage. Focus on the Family and Dr. Dobson wholeheartedly oppose this civil-union bill as a discriminatory effort to grant the benefits of marriage to others on the basis of sexual orientation.