Skip to main content Accessibility

IFI’s Laurie Higgins Goes Off the Deep End, Again

So you thought McDonald’s was a huge fast-food restaurant chain making huge profits and reaping some criticism in the process over the healthiness of its food?

Well, think again. The company whose 31,000 outlets serve nearly 47 million people a day actually is a full-fledged font of evil. It is “hell bent on using its resources to promote subversive moral, social, and political views about homosexuality to our children.” It “hoists high the rainbow colors of the homosexual movement that points to the substitution of the worship of man for the worship of God and leads to depravity and destruction.” McDonald’s, in a phrase, “promot[es] the homosexual agenda.”

Or so says Laurie Higgins, the slightly mad director of the “Division of School Advocacy” at the Illinois Family Institute, a particularly virulent anti-gay, religious-right organization. McDonald’s, the intrepid Higgins insisted in a furious “Call to Action” issued last Friday and entitled “McDonald’s Promotes Homosexuality, Again,” “has once again revealed it true colors.”

And what’s all the fuss about? Ms. Higgins, you see, is mad, really, really mad, because McDonald’s is airing an ad in France, entitled “Come as you are,” that depicts a teenage boy talking to his boyfriend on a cell phone at the restaurant. The whole scene is just, well, a little too normal-looking for the “school advocate.”

“[P]lease,” Higgins implores, “do not use your resources to support McDonald’s.”

Of course, this is Laurie Higgins speaking — the same woman who, in one of her rabid weekly rants, recently fumed about President Obama’s “commitment to radical, subversive change.” In a white-hot lather over Obama’s proclamation of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, Higgins raged about the proclamation, fulminated about Obama’s signing of the 2009 federal hate crimes bill — a statute that many religious-right leaders falsely claim could lead to pastors being jailed for merely condemning homosexuality as unbiblical — and concluded angrily that the president is “implicitly … embrac[ing] heresy.”

The likes of Laurie Higgins may well be on the wane. This February, Jim Daly took over the long-time gay-bashing powerhouse Focus on the Family after Focus’s hard-line founder James Dobson, 74, left to host a radio show. Daly immediately began showing signs of moderation, meeting with gay activists, suggesting that Obama was a good role model for black fathers, ending the ministry’s highly controversial “reparative therapy” for gays and lesbians, and, horror of horrors, suggesting that even if gay marriage is widely legalized the world will survive. “I will continue to defend traditional marriage,” Daly said in an April interview with AOL’s Andrea Stone, “but I’m not going to demean human beings for the process.”

This doesn’t make Laurie Higgins too happy. She thinks Daly showed “surprising naivete,” she wrote in a late April “Call to Action.” Focus on the Family “better figure out how to stop the pro-homosexual juggernaut.” Churches, she says, “are adopting emasculated [funny word choice, that!] approaches to the pro-homosexual movement.” Responding to Daly’s refusal to “demean human beings,” Higgins adds: “The language employed by Mr. Daly here is the kind of language commonly employed by … homosexualists.”

“Shouldn’t we boldly confront the efforts of homosexualists who are work [sic] feverishly to expose our littlest ones to homosexuality and ‘transgenderism’ in our public schools? How perverse does the behavior that our public schools affirm have to become … before the church … will … confront unproven, corrupt ideas?”

Daly, apparently, does not belong to the same school, although Focus on the Family remains a highly conservative organization. “I want to express respect for everyone, for all human beings,” he told AOL. “It’s not about being highly confrontational.”

Comments, suggestions or tips? Send them to and follow us on Twitter @Hatewatch.