THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT DRAWS THE LINE ON ‘NURTURING FAMILIES’…. Ordinarily, the annual presidential proclamation on Father’s Day goes by unnoticed. But this year, President Obama’s proclamation included a sentence that a lot of conservatives didn’t like at all: “Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather, or caring guardian.”

Yes, Obama included “two fathers.” He did the same thing in May in a Mother’s Day proclamation, using nearly identical language: “Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by two parents, a single mother, two mothers, a step-mom, a grandmother, or a guardian.”

It’s hard to overstate what a fit the religious right is throwing over this.

A Christian group is denouncing Barack Obama’s salute to families headed by “two fathers” in the president’s June 18 Father’s Day proclamation. […]

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon says, “This is the first time in our nation’s history that a president has used Father’s Day as an excuse to promote the radical homosexual agenda and completely redefine the word ‘family.’”

The Family Research Council is outraged, calling the proclamation a “detour to promote homosexuality,” and adding, “Sadly, the real victims of [the president’s] agenda are the children.”

Focus on the Family sent a message to supporters arguing that Obama “seems bent on bowing to an agenda that ensures more children will be excluded from their best chance for stability and success — a married mother and father.”

That’s quite a reaction from two innocuous words in a largely-unread, ceremonial presidential proclamation. It’s almost as if the religious right’s hatred for gay people leads the movement to wildly overreact to a sensible, mainstream observation about modern, nurturing families.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.