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Human Rights Groups Urge Public Officials to Reject Family Research Council's 'Values Voter Summit'


The Southern Poverty Law Center, Faithful America, GLAAD, HRC, the National Black Justice Coalition, National Council of La Raza, and People for the American Way are calling on public officials including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor not to speak at this weekend's Values Voters Summit in Washington D.C. sponsored by the Family Research Council.

Those confirmed to speak at the Summit can be viewed here.

I've reposted their letter, which has been signed by J. Richard Cohen, Michael Sherrard, Herndon Graddick, Chad Griffin, Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, Janet Murguía, and Michael B. Keegan, the respective leaders of the aforementioned groups, below.

Dear Values Voter Summit Speaker,

We understand that you’ve been invited to speak at the Values Voter Summit being held in Washington, D.C., from Sept. 14-16. The host of the event, the Family Research Council (FRC), has consistently spread demonizing lies about the LGBT community, and one of its co-sponsors, the American Family Association (AFA), has linked homosexuality to the Holocaust. Given the FRC’s and AFA’s public statements, we urge you not to lend the prestige of your office to the summit.

The FRC is far outside of the mainstream. It has engaged in repeated, groundless demonization — portraying LGBT people as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation. One of its officials has gone so far as to say homosexuality should be criminalized. (See family-research-council.)

Perhaps the FRC’s ugliest lie is its claim that gay men molest children at a far higher rate than heterosexual men — that pedophilia “is a homosexual problem,” in the words of Tony Perkins, the FRC president. All credible scientific authorities, including the American Psychological Association, reject the claim. The FRC, on the other hand, has gone so far as to claim that “[o]ne of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.”

The FRC’s extremism is vividly illustrated by the fact that it has invited the AFA to co-sponsor the Summit at which you have been invited to speak. Here is what Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s Director of Issue Analysis, wrote in 2010: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” He once said that welfare rewards black people who “rut like rabbits.”

The FRC’s extremism is also illustrated by its recent hiring of retired Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, a radical anti-Muslim propagandist and conspiracy theorist, as its executive vice president. Last year, Mr. Boykin stated that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections”— a statement that is antithetical to American ideals. In the Affordable Care Act, he literally sees a plot to create a shadow police force that he compares to Hitler’s “Brownshirts.” Yet, the FRC has not only hired Mr. Boykin, it has given him a prominent speaking slot at the Summit.

Because of their repeated defamation of the LGBT community — not because of their opposition to gay marriage or belief that homosexuality is a sin — the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the FRC, as well as the AFA, a hate group. You may disagree with the SPLC’s characterization. But we find it hard to believe that you would stand with an organization that knowingly spreads demeaning and false propaganda about any group of people. FBI data demonstrate that gay men and lesbians are among the most likely group to be victimized by violent hate crimes. Defaming them publicly day after day — lying about them — only throws fuel on the fire.

We urge you to decline the FRC’s invitation and not share the stage with and lend your credibility to an organization that spreads demonizing falsehoods about other people.

Thank you for your consideration.

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  1. I don't know it will do any good, but I applaud them for trying to 'whittle' down the attendance at this Hate-Fest.

    Posted by: Geoff M | Sep 11, 2012 11:55:10 AM

  2. didn't pope benedict serve as a member of the Hitler Youth?

    Posted by: Jed | Sep 11, 2012 12:17:22 PM

  3. It hurts not Romney/Ryan to pander to the most vile part of the conservative movement. If GOProud and its gay membership continues to believe that money triumphs over their own human rights, why would any other Republican even care.

    Posted by: StevyD | Sep 11, 2012 12:51:56 PM

  4. Just looked at the list of confirmed attendees. I'd rather have 10 root canals than be in a room full of those people.

    Posted by: Gigi | Sep 11, 2012 1:23:48 PM

  5. I love to see this kind of open communication. Those who do elect to attend and support such a "Summit" put their own careers on the line.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Sep 11, 2012 1:32:12 PM

  6. Human rights groups who are social groups are correct in breaking any connection with any hate group like these anti-gay Christians who spew hate and lies to keep LGBT people down and oppressed. God Bless the people who work and fight for equal, Civil Rights and freedoms for all people, they are the real Christians.

    Posted by: Bob | Sep 11, 2012 1:35:40 PM

  7. To Andrew who wonders why a previous story about Kirk Cameron is important? This is why. This group is not small by any means and while Kirk himself maybe, this is who he was speaking to and this is who is mobilizing against us. Get it now?

    Posted by: MATT | Sep 11, 2012 1:36:13 PM

  8. Romney's bad poll numbers among independent voters alone should be enough to convince him not to send anyone there.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 11, 2012 5:22:47 PM

  9. Andy the FRC is a freakin HATE GROUP start describing it as such please.

    Posted by: Will | Sep 11, 2012 5:43:33 PM

  10. If the Republicans think they can get more money from this group to use for Romney's campaign then they will speak here. Republicans have no morals. Money is their God.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Sep 11, 2012 8:56:36 PM

  11. Looking at this pic, their stage looks like they are about to host one of the "Dean Martin Roasts" from the 70's! Lol

    Posted by: MATT | Sep 12, 2012 11:30:58 AM

  12. @Jed: Yes, he was. But (for once) I do believe the spin given by the Vatican that it really didn't mean anything.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Sep 13, 2012 10:25:39 AM

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