Minnesota Family Council

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Minnesota Family Council
Minnesota Family Council Logo.jpg
Founded 1983 (1983)
Founder Thomas W. Prichard
Type Nonprofit Corporation
41-1863170 (EIN)
Key people
Thomas W. Prichard, President
John Helmberger, CEO[1]
$331,071 (2011)[2]
Website mfc.org

Minnesota Family Council (MFC) is an American Christian organization in Minneapolis, Minnesota, founded in 1983 to work against the teaching in schools of tolerance for homosexuals. MFC is affiliated with Focus on the Family and aligned with the Christian right in the US. MFC sponsored the Parents Action League in Minnesota. After registering as a political action committee in 2011, MFC has lobbied against same-sex marriage.



The Minnesota Family Council (MFC) was founded in 1983.[3]

The Minnesota Family Council has been active in politics, representing religious conservatives since at least 1994.[4] In 1996, the MFC reacted negatively when glow condoms were sent by Planned Parenthood to men ages 18 to 25, who were living within four miles of its Minneapolis office.[5]

Thomas Prichard joined the Minnesota Family Council in 1990.[3] MFC describes itself as "a non-partisan, grassroots, Christian organization dedicated to strengthening the family – the bedrock of society – by advancing foundational biblical principles in churches, the media, government, and the public square throughout the state of Minnesota."[6]

Parents Action League[edit]

Minnesota Family Council (MFC) is the statewide sponsor of the Parents Action League,[7] an organization formed to oppose proposed changes in the Anoka-Hennepin (Minnesota) School District 11 policy which limited discussions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues in district classrooms. Barb Anderson, a longtime researcher for MFC,[8] fought "gay influence" in local schools for two decades.[9] When the Anoka-Hennepin, Minnesota district's sex-ed curriculum was due for re-evaluation in 1994, Anderson and four like-minded parents joined the review committee. They argued against teaching gay tolerance in school, suggesting that it would "promote homosexuality", and that discussing it openly might actually "turn straight kids gay".[9] Anderson also serves as spokesperson for the Parents Action League.[10]


In 2011, MFC registered as a political action committee (PAC) in its efforts for lobbying against same-sex marriage.[11] MFC's CEO, John Helmberger is a registered lobbyist for the organization.[12]


The Minnesota Family Council has been an active participant in the social values dialogue in the United States (US). The organization is notable for its conservative positions on prayer in public schools, LGBT rights, abortion rights and a school voucher system.[13] MFC's stated mission is "to strengthen the families of Minnesota by advancing biblical principles in the public arena."[14]


MFC is opposed to abortion, stating that "human life is sacred from conception to natural death and must be protected by government".[14] According to MFC president Tom Prichard, that while the council is pro-life, it generally leaves the abortion issue to other groups.[3]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

MFC is opposed to same-sex marriage and domestic partner benefits. It spent $349,857.25 on the failed 2012 effort to amend the Minnesota constitution to ban such unions.[15][16]

Affiliated organizations[edit]

MFC's educational subsidiary, Minnesota Family Institute (MFI) provides training, research and non-partisan voter education for their church network and grassroots constituents. MFI in turn operates the Northstar Legal Center, which provides legal education for attorneys and networks oriented toward upholding biblical principles and religious liberty in the courts.[17]

MFC is locally affiliated with James Dobson's Focus on the Family[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lea, Albert (3 October 2006). "Religious group targets DFLer over gay marriage; In Minnesota and other states, a Christian group is urging clergy to highlight such issues. Others say voters have more vital concerns". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, MN.
  2. ^ "Nonprofit report for Minnesota Family Council". GuideStar. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b c D'Agostino, Joseph A. (18 December 1998). "Conservative spotlight: Minnesota family council: Tom Prichard". Human Events.
  4. ^ Balz, Dan (15 September 1994). "Minnesota Race Slows Momentum of Religious Right". Washington Post.
  5. ^ Duchschere, Kevin (11 January 1996). "Home » Publications » U.S. newspapers and newswires » Minnesota newspapers » Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) » January 1996 » Recently viewed: Article: Minnesota Race Slows Momentum of Religious Right » Safe-sex promotion using glow condoms irks Family Council". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, MN.
  6. ^ "Who We Are". Minnesota Family Foundation. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  7. ^ Bazelon, Emily (7 March 2012). "A Big Win - The landmark settlement in a Minnesota bullying case and how it could help gay students everywhere. A Big Win in the Fight Against Gay Bashing Bullies". Slate.
  8. ^ Birkley, Andy (26 August 2011). "Anoka-Hennepin schools' long history in the culture war". Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  9. ^ a b Erdely, Sabrina Rubin (4 February 2012). "One Town's War on Gay Teens". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  10. ^ Birkey, Andy (12 January 2012). "Conservative Christian parents fight for right to discriminate against LGBT students at Anoka Hennepin". The Twin Cities Daily Planet. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  11. ^ Grovum, Jake (11 August 2011). "What's happening at the Minnesota Capitol: Iowa debate tonight: Dayton admin movements". St. Paul Legal Ledger Capitol Report. Minnesota.
  12. ^ Grovum, Jake (13 December 2011). "What's happening at Minnesota Capitol: Vekich to work on GOP finances, Sawalich to run for chair". St. Paul Legal Ledger Capitol Report. Minnesota.
  13. ^ Smith, Dane (13 January 1996). "GOP conservative McKigney seeks Bertram's Senate seat". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, MN.
  14. ^ a b "Our Mission". Minnesota Family Foundation. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Who is funding the marriage amendment fight". Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  16. ^ "ElectionResults2012". Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  17. ^ "What's the Difference Between Minnesota Family Council and Minnesota Family Institute?". Minnesota Family Foundation. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  18. ^ Roberts, William (19 October 2006). "Republicans Falter in Bid to Mobilize Christian Conservatives". Bloomberg. Focus on the Family operatives plan to distribute 250,000 voter guides in Minnesota churches to reach social conservatives, said Tom Prichard, 47, president of the Minnesota Family Council, a local affiliate of Dobson's group. "It's really a volatile election situation," Prichard said.

External links[edit]