Focus on the Family wins gay marriage ban, loses staff

By Carol Eisenberg

November 18, 2008 at 5:01pm

After pumping more than a half million dollars into overturning gay marriage in California, Jim Dobson’s Focus on the Family has fallen on hard economic times.

The evangelical Christian ministry, considered one of the standard-bearers of the religious right, announced this week that it is cutting 202 jobs, or about 20 percent of its workforce.

The layoffs come two months after Focus on the Family pumped $539,000 in cash and another $83,000 in non-monetary support into the successful effort to overturn a California Supreme Court ruling allowing gays and lesbians to marry in that state.

Focus was the seventh-largest donor to the Proposition 8 effort. In addition, auto parts heiress Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, a member of the group’s board and widow of industrialist Edgar Prince, contributed another $450,000.

The latest round of cuts brings the group’s staff to about 950, down from about 1,200 last year, said Focus’ Chief Operating Officer Glenn Williams.

“Looking at October trends and talking to donors who are not in a position where they can give, we thought we’d be facing a more severe decision in January or February if we waited,” he said.

Focus was founded in 1977 by Dr. James Dobson, one of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christian leaders. Dobson produces a daily radio program which is broadcast in more than a dozen languages and iis heard daily by more than 220 million people, according to the organization.

Nonetheless, this is the third year that Focus on the Family has laid off employees due to budget cuts, according to the Colorado Independent. At its height, the Colorado-Springs-based ministry employed more than 1,500.

Besides opposing abortion and gay rights, and supporting abstinence-only education, the ministry makes and distributes Christian books, CDs and DVDs.

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  • #1.   fern 05.31.2009

    The religious Taliban loosing in Pakistan, the good Christians having to lay off their own, the Roman Catholics having to import priest from Africa for service in Georgia like businesses importing cheap labor from Mexico. Where is the world going to? Where is religion going to?
    I hope we don’t have to import a new God I was getting used to the old one.

  • #2.   Evan Smith 11.22.2009

    The middle-ages have risen again and Christians have their priorities mixed up. How is a gay persons choice affecting their religion? Why do they have to protect their morality by pitting against a minority? Marriage has nothing to do with religion - it has everything to do with human and equal rights. People get married in churches, but people forget that the f@$@$ing marriage certificates are issued by the local authorities (city officials).

    If Focus on the Family was really about families then it would support all people who have children together. This organization clearly does not and no money or effort should be given towards these immoral non-profits. This organization is self-serving.

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