Why does the Family Research Council have a ticket to the State of the Union to spare for Kim Davis?

Kim Davis and her attorney, Matt Staver, will attend the State of the Union tonight as the guest of the Family Research Council, a tax-exempt hate group. As the FRC’s guests, Davis and Staver will get to sit in the Capitol and listen to President Obama tell the nation how great it is that gays and lesbians can get married throughout the country. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled.

It’s unclear why or how the Family Research Council was able to get these culture warriors into the event, which, as Alvin McEwen wrote this morning, is the real story here. Kim Davis can sit in her corner and frown through what is sure to be a barn-burner of a speech — reports are that Obama isn’t going to bother to pretend, as he has in past State of the Union speeches, that he can propose legislation with any chance of passing this Republican-controlled Congress — but that matters much less than the fact that FRC has tickets to this event to begin with.

Tony Perkins, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

FRC president Tony Perkins, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

As in, none of the reports about FRC getting Davis and Staver in to this speech mention how the organization is getting them in. There doesn’t appear to be a specific member of Congress who’s sponsoring them, and it isn’t exactly like you can scalp State of the Union tickets (UPDATE: Davis does have a congressional sponsor, but she’s keeping their name a secret). Instead, it seems like this is access that FRC just has. Given the fact that they’re an increasingly-irrelevant hate group, that doesn’t make any sense. There are thousands on thousands of more deserving non-profit, advocacy and even religious organizations that the FRC is getting into the State of the Union ahead of. But because they have big enough mailing lists and get sucked up to by the right presidential candidates, they’re deemed to be more important.

Sooner or later, Kim Davis will stop getting invited to things. She won’t have presidential candidates fighting over the chance to stand next to her. The Pope won’t arrange secret meetings with her. Anti-LGBT hate groups will stop using her to raise money and make headlines. But when Kim Davis is fully flushed out of our national dialogue, religious hate groups will still hold sway with some of the most powerful people in the country. That is, and will be, a huge problem.

Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that overturned state-level bans on same-sex marriage, will attend the speech as First Lady Michelle Obama’s guest.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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20 Responses to “Why does the Family Research Council have a ticket to the State of the Union to spare for Kim Davis?”

  1. Butch1 says:

    So now they’re letting a “Hate Group” attend the SOTU address.

  2. 2karmanot says:

    We need a valium :-)

  3. woodroad34 says:

    She doesn’t create a scene, she is a scene–something from Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol. She’s graphic, amoral horror entertainment.

  4. woodroad34 says:

    She only got in through trickery; some little kid sneaking in under the tent flaps. She’s as dishonest as the FRC–La Cage Aux Folles.

  5. woodroad34 says:

    And, apparently, he didn’t know Kim Davis was given tickets. His friends at the FRC asked if they could get tickets for the Davis Family and Jordan’s staff just gave them to the FRC. That sounds so “Pope-ish”. The FRC are quite the shadowy, back-door Sallys. Nothing seems honest about them.

  6. Rick Ledges says:

    CNN is reporting that Rep. Jim Jordan R-Ohio, was the culprit giving Davis and her lawyer tickets.

  7. Rick Ledges says:

    Might be Teddy Boy Cruz that got her the ticket. Seeing that he boycotted the SOTU address, if it was him, he did not want the TV cameras to do a split screen shot with him and Davis.

  8. Reginald Webb says:

    Kim Davis is looking in the rear view of her pageantry as Miss Bigot. They will find another one. ANN Colter is always in the running S is Laura Ingraham. A bunch of sailout women who are more interested in elevating themselves in the misoginistic conservative community instead of reforming it. CYNICISM AT ITS BEST. Her faith should have told her to obey all laws.

  9. nicho says:

    First of all, the SOTU is just political theater. So why not lump Davis in at the bottom of the cast of characters with “assorted townspeople, hunchbacks, bell ringers, and dwarves?”

    In fact, there is nothing that says the president has to give a SOTU address — only that he has to report to the Congress periodically. He could send them a note, along with a basket of mini-muffins, and accomplish the same thing.

  10. nicho says:

    Well, which overweight hateful person are you talking about? Scalia, Thomas, half the GOP Congressional delegation?

  11. FLL says:

    Oh no. Don’t tell me Kim Davis is going to cause a scene. I shudder to think.

  12. pliny says:

    Don’t forget Staver in that criminal category. He has yet to answer for his involvement in the kidnapping of Isabella Miller-Jenkins.

  13. Gappy says:

    I am not 100% sure but I think that any US Congressperson can invite a guest. Congressman Steve Stockman, Republican from Texas, invited Ted Nugent to the SOTU address in 2013. Nugent as you may remember, threatened Pres. Obama by saying, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail at this time next year.”

  14. Don Chandler says:

    Republicans want to shore up the religious right vote. Thing is, we are a more secular society than a relgious right society and Kim Davis is an Oathbreaker.

  15. BeccaM says:

    Anyone here think Davis won’t spill the beans eventually? I mean, I’m sure we’ll find out which unrepentant lawless bigot in Congress invited this unrepentant lawless bigot to a speech where she has no place or interest or probably even the brain cells to process…but in her inimitable way, Davis will describe herself as the star, called upon by God’s Holy Trousers to save Amurka’s dumbocracy itself. Because in the wingnut’s addled mind, there’s no such thing as a Supreme Court decision they don’t agree with but which is otherwise a legitimate functioning of our system of government. I mean, they cherry pick those like they do their Bibles: Hobby Lobby decision = “Good and God’s holy will. Totes legit!” Obergefell ruling = “Eeeeebil! Illegitimate! SCOTUS has no RIGHT to decide stuff like that!”

    Honestly though, this practice of inviting Special Spotlight Guests has been turning what’s supposed to be a function of America’s government and a routine annual speech into a f*cking circus of pointless posturing and crass foolishness.

  16. emjayay says:

    Well, Ted Cruz said he stood with Kim Davis and tried to elbow into her presser but was blocked by Santorum. Santorum doesn’t have tickets to give out but Cruz probably does.

  17. emjayay says:

    It’s likely that the Pope had nothing to do with arranging a secret meeting with her. Some reactionary bishop (?) slipped her into a meet and greet with a number of people. I think the whole event took about 15 minutes, which her people portrayed as being all about her. The Pope probably had no idea who he was meeting and forgetting, and since what she represents is pretty much the opposite of what he does he probably would have crossed her off the list if he had known.

  18. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Whoever it is does not have the courage to make known their bigotry. If you’re going to be a bigot, show some bravery. Come out of the bigot closet.

  19. Sally says:

    Let’s see, which Congressperson would support having an overweight, hateful person glaring at the President for an hour? Hmmm….there are so many to choose from…hopefully their seats are far away from Mrs. Obama and her guests.

  20. The_Fixer says:

    How nice – reward a woman who deliberately broke the law.

    The fact that she, Staver and FRC are allowed into this event at all certainly is indicative of how far we have yet to go. Not just in LGBT rights, but everything else that the Republicans have so thoroughly, completely and with amazing aplomb, managed to fuck up.

    These people have no need to go there, they hate Obama. It must be a prestige thing with them or something – which is doubly odd since, you know, they hate him so much. They must think that because they got invited, they have some importance.

    It will be interesting to see who it is that sponsored them. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that Twitterstorm and the associated ridicule they will surely endure.

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