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Gary Bauer

Commissioner, USCIRF

Gary Bauer has a long history in ultra-conservative politics. He has led multiple extremist groups with discriminatory views. Bauer served in the Reagan administration and led designated hate group the Family Research Council for eleven years, he failed in his bid for president in 2000. Since then, Bauer founded a political action committee and a think tank, which he uses to put a professional stamp on his anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ beliefs.


In 2018, President Trump appointed Bauer to serve on the U.S. Commission On International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). This appointment not only shows Trump not only endorses Bauer’s bigoted and hateful world view but also is willing to help him assert those views in the United States and internationally.


American Values, Founder and President, 2000–Present

Campaign for Working Families, Founder, 1997–Present

Republican Presidential Candidate, 1999–2000

Family Research Council, President, 1988–1999

Focus on the Family, Senior Vice President, 1988–1999

President Ronald Regan’s Domestic Policy Council, Chief Domestic Policy Advisor, 1987–1988

While serving as advisor to President Reagan, Bauer was named Chairman of President Reagan's Special Working Group on the Family. [Washington Post Archives, accessed 2/6/20]

President Ronald Reagan’s Department of Education, Deputy Under Secretary for Education, 1982–1987


Charmaine Yoest: Charmaine Yoest worked at American Values, where Bauer hired her as a senior fellow in 2016. Yoest is currently vice president at the Heritage Foundation; she previously worked in Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services and as president of the extremist organization Americans United For Life. In all these capacities, she has worked to reduce access to reproductive health care. Yoest wants abortion to be illegal, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or health; she is anti-birth control and has falsely claimed the IUD “has life-ending properties.” 

James Dobson: James Dobson founded multiple influential right-wing Christian fundamentalist groups in the United States, including Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus on The Family, and Family Research Council. Bauer and Dobson co-authored a 1990 book, Children at Risk: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of our Kids. Dobson is perhaps best known for his role as leader and public face of Focus On The Family. Dobson has proclaimed the patriarchy is god’s will, said Spongebob Squarepants was “pro-gay” propaganda, and personally advocated for fathers to show their sons their penises to prevent them from “becoming gay.” Since leaving Focus On The Family, Dobson blamed the Sandy Hook shooting on legalized abortion and LGBTQ rights, called immigrants “violent criminals,” and recorded a radio ad endorsing alleged pedophile Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate. 

Tony Perkins: Tony Perkins and Bauer are both USCIRF commissioners; Perkins also succeeded Bauer as president of FRC. Perkins’ career has been characterized by a litany of extremism, racism, and hatred. He gave a speech to a white supremacist group describing Black people as a “retrograde species of humanity” and has been deemed “the most recognizable anti-LGBTQ activist in America.” From his pedestal at FRC, Perkins has said “liberal Jewish folks” are undermining Israel by supporting equal marriage, Muslims don’t deserve First Amendment rights, marriage equality will lead to the end of humanity, true Christians can’t support reproductive rights, and a Ugandan bill which calls for the execution of LGBTQ people should be applauded.


In A 2012 Interview With Truth in Action Ministries, Bauer Spewed Anti-Abortion, Anti-LGBTQ Hatred

Bauer Claimed That Reproductive Rights “Could Very Well Mean The End Of The American Experiment In Liberty Under God.” “As a society I think if we continue down this road of the destruction of a million innocent unborn children over a year, we really do risk God taking His hand of protection off of our country. That would be tragic; it could very well mean the end of the American experiment in liberty under God.” [Right Wing Watch, 5/21/12]

Bauer Said That Marriage Equality Leads To “Devastating Impacts On Our Society.” “Second of all this issue about the definition of marriage, marriage has been between a man and a woman in Western civilization for several thousand years, every state that has voted on this issue wants to keep it a man and a woman, but there is absolutely no doubt that if the wrong people are elected or re-elected this coming November we are going to have forced on us either by the courts or by these politicians a fundamental redefinition of the meaning of marriage, which I think would have just devastating impacts on our society.” [Right Wing Watch, 5/21/12]

Bauer Coopted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy And The Civil Rights Movement To Argue Against LGBTQ, Abortion Rights

Bauer Accused Advocates Of Marriage Equality And Reproductive Rights Of “Hijacking” Civil Rights. “‘There is nothing in the Constitution of the United States that says that same-sex marriage has to be the law of the land,’ Bauer, who is the president of American Values and former president of the conservative Family Research Council, told Matthew Hagee on a Jan. 20 installment of ‘The Hagee Hotline,’ Right Wing Watch first reported.  Comparing marriage equality to abortion rights, he added, ‘I think we’ve seen is the concept of civil rights being hijacked by all kinds of people who, I believe, if Martin Luther King [Jr.} were alive today, he would be mortified by.’ He went on to note, ‘I think Dr. King, being a pastor, would’ve certainly understood the biblical definition of marriage, and I think he would’ve been a powerful voice ... for strengthening the family, for the need for children to be raised with mothers and fathers.’” [HuffPost, 1/25/15]


Bauer Currently Serves As Founder And President Of The Right-Wing, Anti-Abortion Group American Values 

Bauer’s Organization, American Values, Claims To Be Committed To Uniting The American People And Upholding Equality, Liberty… 

American Values Purports To Protect, Unite Americans. “American Values is a non-profit organization committed to uniting the American people around the vision of our Founding Fathers. Centuries ago, our Founders boldly proclaimed to the world a distinctly American faith in democracy; a faith rooted in the self-evident truths that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." We believe these liberties need to be upheld and cherished, especially given how closely divided our country seems.” [American Values “About Us,” accessed 2/6/20]

…Yet American Values’ Mission Statement Leaves Out Many People — Denying People Reproductive Health Care, Blocking Scientific Research And Rolling Back LGBTQ Rights

American Values Spreads Lies About Abortion And Stem Cell Research. “Our vision is a nation that embraces life, marriage, family, faith, and freedom… Millions of unborn children have been killed over the last 30 years as a result of our country’s selfishness, justified under the euphemisms of choice and privacy. Advances in science have brought about new challenges for those working to protect life. Embryonic stem cell research and cloning advocates borrow from the pro-abortion playbook by trying to confuse the public about the supposed benefits and dangerous realities of their research. [American Values “About Us,” accessed 2/6/20]

American Values Is “Deeply Committed To Defending Life, Traditional Marriage.” “American Values is deeply committed to defending life, traditional marriage and equipping our children with the values necessary to stand against liberal education and cultural forces.” 

Bauer Is An Outspoken Opponent Of LGBTQ Rights; He Has Said That Being LGBTQ Is A “Tragedy”

Bauer Has Been A Long-Time Vocal Opponent Of LGBTQ Rights Including Marriage

Bauer Claimed LGBTQ People Have A “Destructive Lifestyle” And That Being Gay Is A “Tragedy.” “Mr. Bauer has claimed that LGBT people lead a ‘destructive lifestyle,’ called being gay a ‘tragedy’ and asserted that marriage equality signifies ‘the end of the American experiment in liberty under God.’” [Washington Post, 6/7/18]

Bauer Has Argued Against Marriage For Same-Sex Couples, Falsely Claiming That It Leads To Polygamy And The Dissolution Of Marriage Entirely. “We who oppose same-sex ‘marriage’ have argued that it would lead to the legalization of other forms of ‘marriage,’ including polygamy, and, eventually, to the dissolution of the institution altogether. ‘If marriage can mean anything,’ we argue, ‘then it will end up meaning nothing.’ And social science suggests a causal relationship between the widespread legalization of civil unions and same-sex marriage in western Europe and plummeting marriage rates there.” [Human Events, Gary Bauer, 4/11/08]

Bauer Has Dismissed Trans Realities As Illegitimate, “Mental Disorders.” “There’s just one problem: Beattie is not a man. She is a woman. Beattie legally became a ‘man’ a decade ago. But at the most basic anatomical and chromosomal levels, Beattie is still a woman. Beattie is what’s known as ‘transgender.’… Interestingly, the mainstream media’s near unanimous use of the pronouns ‘he,’ ‘his’ and ‘him’ when referring to Beattie reveal how far the transgender movement has come in normalizing what the American Psychological Association still conditionally calls a ‘mental disorder.’” [Human Events, Gary Bauer, 4/11/08]

In The 1990s, Bauer Founded The Campaign for Working Families (CWF) Political Action To Elect Anti-Abortion, “Pro-Family” Candidates

Bauer Formed His PAC, The Campaign For Working Families, In 1997. “The next year he took a leave from the Family Research Council to form a political action committee, Campaign for Working Families.” [Chicago Tribune, 11/19/19]

CWF Uses Sham Science And False Medical Information To Push Its Extremist Anti-Abortion Views On American Voters

Campaign For Working Families Boasts That It Has Raised Public Awareness Around “Partial-Birth Abortions.” “CWF has used its resources to raise public awareness of partial-birth abortion through extensive media campaigns and distributed two million pieces of literature through our voter education program.” [Campaign for Working Families, “About Us,” accessed 2/6/20]

  • “Partial-Birth Abortions” Is A Political Term Coined By The National Right To Life Committee To Fear Monger A Common Medical Procedure. “The term was first coined by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) in 1995 to describe a recently introduced medical procedure to remove fetuses from the womb.” [NPR, 2/21/06]
  • This Non-Medical Term Is Inflammatory Rhetoric That Is Applied To A Safe, Common Medical Procedure Used For The Majority Of Second-Trimester Abortions. “Dilation and evacuation (D&E) is a safe abortion procedure that accounts for the majority of second-trimester abortions in the United States.” [Guttmacher Institute, 2/21/17]

Bauer Held Leadership Positions At Extremist Organizations The Family Research Council (FRC) And Focus On The Family For Over A Decade

Bauer Previously Held Leadership Roles At Two Anti-Choice Groups: The Family Research Council And Focus On The Family. “After leaving the Reagan White House, Bauer became President of the Family Research Council and a Senior Vice President of Focus on the Family. Bauer took his pro-family, pro-life message across the country during the 2000 Republican presidential primaries and debates. Today, Bauer serves as Chairman of Campaign for Working Families PAC, dedicated to electing conservative candidates to Congress, and as President of American Values, an educational non-profit organization.” [Our American Values

The Family Research Council, Which Bauer Was President Of, Is Southern Poverty Law Center-Designated Hate Group

The Family Research Council Takes The Position That “Homosexuals Are Harmful To Society.” “Bauer is the Washington director of Christians United for Israel and is a former head of the Family Research Council, which advocates that homosexuals are harmful to society. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Family Research Council a hate group.” [Washington Jewish Week, 6/6/18]

FRC Supports Criminalizing Abortion And Over-The-Counter Birth Control, Opposes Research That Relies On Fetal Tissue And Supports Denying Healthcare To LGBTQ People

FRC Advocates For Equal Protection Under The Law For Zygotes, Embryos, And Fetuses — Criminalizing All Forms Of Abortion And Many Types Of Birth Control. “On its website, the group advocates for ‘equal protection under the law’ for zygotes, embryos, and fetuses. In practice, this kind of ‘personhood’ policy would outlaw and criminalize abortion and certain kinds of birth control.” [Rewire.News, 5/10/19]

Rewire.News: “FRC Also Opposes Over-The-Counter Contraception (Including Hormonal Birth Control And The Morning-After Pill).” [Rewire.News, 5/10/19]

Rewire.News: “Advocates Allowing Health-Care Providers To Claim Religious Objections To Providing Essential Care To Patients.” [Rewire.News, 5/10/19]

Rewire.News: “[FRC] Opposes Fetal Tissue Research.” [Rewire.News, 5/10/19]

FRC And Its Leaders Attack Planned Parenthood With Outlandish Claims, Calling The Organization Supportive Of Gendercide, Incompatible With Christianity, And An Enabler Of Human Trafficking

FRC Published A Document Falsely Claiming That Planned Parenthood Supports Gendercide. “Planned Parenthood has also shown support for gendercide. ‘Protect Our Girls,’ Live Action’s 2012 video project highlighting gendercide in America, exposed Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas, Arizona, New York, Hawaii, and North Carolina encouraging women to get sex-selective abortions for unborn girls they did not want.” [FRC, “The Real Planned Parenthood: Leading the Culture of Death 2019 Edition, Page 6, 2019]

FRC Published A Blog Which Claimed That Planned Parenthood Is “Aimed At…The Eradication Of An Entire Generation Of [African-American] Children.” “February is Black History Month, and we are reminded of the many African-Americans who have made remarkable contributions to our great country. Sadly, I am reminded also of the huge number of African-American babies aborted every day in the United States snuffing out enormous future potential from this community… The exposure of these actions by Planned Parenthood employees reminds us again how seriously divisive this hateful behavior is. The conduct of Planned Parenthood should fuel a revolt to end taxpayer funding of this organization. The decimation of the African-American community should ignite a movement aimed at stopping the eradication of an entire generation of children by removing African-Americans from the crosshairs of the Planned Parenthood abortionists.” [FRC Blog, 2/19/09]

FRC Leaders And Writers Claimed That LGBTQ Activists Are Pedophiles Who Want To Abolish All Age Of Consent Laws

A Former FRC Author Published A Booklet Titled “Homosexual Activists Work To Normalize Sex With Boys” Which Falsely Claimed That LGBTQ Advocates Wanted To Abolish All Age Of Consent Laws. “While at the FRC, Knight also co-wrote (with Robert York, a former editor at Focus on the Family) a 1999 booklet with the attention-getting title of Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys. Among its more remarkable claims was the baseless assertion 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.’” [Southern Poverty Law Center, 10/07/11]

FRC President Tony Perkins Said Pedophilia Is A “Homosexual Problem” And That “Homosexual Activists” Are “Part Of A Concerted Effort” To “Recruit…Kids Into The ‘Gay Lifestyle.’” “According to Perkins, pedophilia ‘is a homosexual problem’ that seeks to ‘recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of the new sexual order.’ Gay men are ‘more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men”; in fact, ‘homosexuals have entered the [Boy] Scouts in the past for predatory purposes.’ What’s worse, ‘homosexual activists”—those “intolerant,” ‘hateful,’ ‘vile’ and ‘spiteful’ predators—aren’t just content to engage in pedophilia: They’re also ‘part of a concerted effort’ to ‘recruit … kids’ into the gay ‘lifestyle.’” [Slate, 9/25/13]

FRC Senior Policy Fellow Peter Sprigg Claimed That Gay Men Are Mentally Ill And That They Are More Likely To Be Pedophiles. “Other anti-gay propagandists at the FRC include Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies, who joined the organization in 2001. Sprigg authored a 2010 brochure touting ‘The Top Ten Myths about Homosexuality.’ In the brochure, Sprigg claimed that ex-gay therapy works, that sexual orientation can change, that gay people are mentally ill simply because homosexuality makes them that way, and that, ‘Sexual abuse of boys by adult men is many times more common than consensual sex between adult men, and most of those engaging in such molestation identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual.’” [, Accessed 11/19/19]

FRC Leader Peter Sprigg Said He Would Like To Deport Gay People From The United States Because “Homosexuality Is Destructive To Society”

FRC Senior Policy Fellow Peter Sprigg Said He “Would Much Prefer To Export Homosexuals From The United States” Because “Homosexuality Is Destructive To Society.” Discussing his opposition to the Uniting American Families Act — ’ which would allow gay Americans the same right straight Americans have to sponsor a foreign partner for citizenship’ — Family Research Council Vice President Peter Sprigg recently offered rhetorical support for exporting gay men and women from America. ‘I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society,’ said Sprigg.” [Think Progress, 3/20/08]

Bauer Has Worked To Confirm Two Accused Sexual Predators To The Supreme Court

Bauer Advocated For Brett Kavanaugh’s And Clarence Thomas’ Confirmations To The Supreme Court. “‘I urge the Senate to quickly confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.’ As head of the Citizens Committee to Confirm Clarence Thomas, Gary Bauer led a grassroots effort to confirm Justice Thomas during his contentious Senate hearings. The Guardian called Bauer ‘one of the leading campaigners in the U.S. on pro-life and pro-traditional family issues.’” [Newswire, 7/10/18]

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U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)