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Rustin returns to Family Policy Council

John Rustin, former lobbyist for the N.C. Family Policy Council, is returning to the organization as its president. Rustin left the group about four years ago to lead the N.C. FreeEnterprise Foundation.

Rustin replaces Bill Brooks, who has been president for 20 years.

The Family Policy Council opposes legislation that expands gambling and supported the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions. It recently published an ariticle that supported extending the wait time for couples seeking a divorce from one year to two years.

Bill Brooks to step down as head of N.C. Family Policy Council

Bill Brooks, the president and executive director of the N.C. Family Policy Council is leaving the organization later this year.

Brooks spent 20 years at the nonprofit organization, a leading social conservative voice in state politics, starting as a consultant in 1993 before he was named president in 1994. He took the helm at the N.C. Family Action in 2007, the organization's 501(c)4 political arm.

In an interview, Brooks said he is leaving on his own accord but doesn't have a new job lined up. He anticipates leaving sometime after July when a new director takes over. His first order of business is an extended vacation, he said.

Newlyweds in crosshairs draws criticism

Gay activists are objecting to an image in the latest issue of Family North Carolina, a N.C. Family Policy Council magazine, that shows a bride and groom in the crosshairs of a firearm.

The image accompanies an article about legally-recognized same-sex unions called Marriage In Society's Moral Crosshairs.

In an article last week, the Huffington Post quoted bloggers saying the image was inappropriate post-Gabrielle Giffords, and runs contrary to notions of civil debate. One blogger invited critics to email the Family Policy Council.

Bill Brooks, executive director, said the organization received a few emails last week.

"Some people may take offense at something," he said. "We certainly didn't mean any."

The image points out that the definition of marriage is in the crosshairs, Brooks said. "It has nothing to do with anything other than that."

The state has a marriage referendum scheduled for May 8.

Bullying bill hits roadblock

An anti-school bullying proposal that lists masculinity, femininity and sexual orientation as reasons students might be teased or beaten is unacceptable to the N.C. Family Policy Council.

The group that lobbies on behalf of socially conservative causes is asking legislators not to support a proposal that would require local school boards to set up anti-bullying policies because of some of the bully-target characteristics mentioned in it, reports Lynn Bonner.

Members of the House and Senate had worked on a compromise bill intended to dampen such controversy by removing a reference to "gender identity or expression" and replacing it with masculinity and femininity. The compromise is scheduled to go to votes today.

But Bill Brooks, Family Policy Council executive director, said significant problems remain.

Read more after the jump.

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