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People for the American Way Calls on RNC to Cancel Trip to Israel Funded by Anti-gay Hate Group AFA

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Today, advocacy group People for the American Way sent a letter to the Republican National Committee urging RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to cancel the upcoming GOP trip to Israel funded by the extreme right-wing hate group American Family Association.

Those who follow Towleroad regularly know PFAW's Right Wing Watch blog has been the key player in exposing AFA and its (now-former) spokeshater Bryan Fischer's bigotry. They've also kept tabs on David Lane, an anti-gay, Christian extremist who is helping organize the RNC trip to Israel.

Wrote PFAW President Michael Keegan in part:

“Although we have no objection to RNC members travelling to Israel, we urge you not to collaborate with those who are funding and coordinating this trip. The American Family Association and Mr. Lane have made clear that they view the Republican Party as a vehicle for imposing a U.S. government that is operated by and for conservative Christians, at the expense of those of other faiths and no faith, and those Christians who do not share their particular beliefs.” [...]

The American Family Association also holds troubling views about the role of religion in American government and regularly promotes false smears against LGBT people. Although the AFA recently sought to distance itself from its own inflammatory spokesman, Bryan Fischer, it continues to offer him a prominent platform on its radio network, American Family Radio. And AFA still employs as its governmental affairs director Sandy Rios, who along with other radical statements, has warned that "powerful Jewish forces" are using groups like the American Civil Liberties Union to destroy America and just this week mocked the notion that "God is fond of atheist Jews who occupy the land in Israel."

And if you missed Rachel Maddow's spotlight last night on the AFA's desperate attempt to distance itself from Fischer in the lead-up to tomorrow's trip, be sure and check that out HERE

 


Rachel Maddow Dissects the AFA's Desperate Attempt to Distance Itself From Bryan Fischer: VIDEO

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Last night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow continued to shine a spotlight on the American Family Association's efforts to distance itself from radio host Bryan Fischer in the lead up to a Republican National Convention trip to Israel backed by the AFA. Maddow, who broke the story of Fischer's firing Wednesday, pointed out some choice quotes by Fischer and questioned why the RNC would continue with the trip in light of the fact that Fischer was being kept on as AFA radio host.

The RNC, for its part, issued the following statement to MSNBC last night after days of refusing to comment:

"We don't agree with Bryan Fischer's comments and are glad AFA has severed ties with him."

Maddow, of course, wasn't buying it and devoted the latter portion of her segment to doing what she does best - taking a magnifying glass to the GOP's longstanding policy of cozying up next to extremist organizations and figures. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Dissects the AFA's Desperate Attempt to Distance Itself From Bryan Fischer: VIDEO" »


American Family Association Desperately Trying to Distance Itself from Spokeshater Bryan Fischer to No Avail

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The Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group American Family Association, which last night fired Bryan Fischer as its spokeshater and director of issues analysis, has sent a letter to the SPLC further distancing itself from the rabid bigot.

Wednesday night, Rachel Maddow broke the story reporting that Fischer's firing was due to Israeli press reporting that Reince Preibus and the RNC are taking a trip to Israel which is being funded by the AFA. Fischer appeared on his radio program today as usual - telling listeners that his radio show would continue uninterrupted. 

From the AFA letter to the SPLC dated January 28:

Occasionally the risks inherent in providing many Christian voices a free speech zone in its media requires AFA to disclaim statements made on one of its media outlets. AFA has concluded that it must renounce some statements made by American Family Radio talk-show host Bryan Fischer. In its 37-year history, AFA has never held these views and wishes to clarify that it still rejects such sentiments:

AFA rejects the idea expressed by Bryan Fischer that "Free exercise of religion" only applies to Christians. Consequently, AFA rejects Bryan's assertions that Muslims should not be granted permits to build mosques in the United States;

AFA rejects the ideas expressed by Bryan Fischer that the violent expulsion of Native Americans was divinely ordained and that, "Superstition, savagery and sexual immorality" morally disqualified Native Americans from "sovereign control of American soil."

AFA rejects the ideas expressed by Bryan Fischer that "we" need to clamp down on immigration because Hispanics are socialist by nature and vote Democratic because it allows them to "benefit from the plunder of the wealth of the United States."

AFA rejects Bryan Fischer's characterization of minorities as "people who rut like rabbits."

AFA rejects the statement by Bryan Fischer that, "Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews."

AFA rejects the policy advocated by Bryan Fischer that homosexual conduct should be illegal

AFA rejects the notion advocated by Bryan Fischer that, "We need an underground railroad to protect innocent children from same-sex households."

AFA rejects Bryan Fischer's statement that, "If Hillary Clinton becomes president In 2016, she will not only be our first female president, she could be our first lesbian president."

....

In light of this notice, do not continue to charge AFA with the statements by Bryan Fischer that we have repudiated. When identifying "hate groups" in the context of training military or law enforcement personnel, do not put AFA in a false light by quoting Mr. Fischer's statements that we have repudiated.

SPLC President Richard Cohen sent a reply letter to AFA saying he wasn't buying any of it:

“Without ending Mr. Fischer’s talk show, without apologizing for the bigoted statements that he, Mr. Wildmon, and others associated with the AFA have made, and without making it crystal clear that the AFA will not tolerate any such statements in the future, the AFA’s 11th-hour disavowal of Mr. Fischer appears to serve only one purpose:  to give the AFA a degree of plausible deniability while it continues to spew hateful rhetoric. It’s a shell game and a transparent one at that.”

Right Wing Watch has also called bullshit on AFA's distancing efforts:

...the AFA has literally accomplished nothing with this stunt and has completely failed to distance itself from Fischer's utterly despicable views. The primary venues though which Fischer has managed to spread his bigotry for the last six years have always been owned, operated, and funded by the American Family Association and that relationship appears to remain intact. 

Stripping Fischer of his title as AFA spokesman in no way alleviates the AFA of its responsibility for Fischer's toxic views given that the only reason Fischer even has a platform from which to spread those views is because AFA is providing it to him and paying him to spread them!

From the very start of Fischer's time at AFA, the organization has pathetically attempted to have it both ways: providing the very microphone from which Fischer speaks while simultaneously claiming that it bears no responsibility for the message that he sends.

The AFA latest effort to rid itself of Fischer's rancid reputation is little more than a rhetorical accounting trick aimed at creating the false impression that the organization has wiped Fischer's bigotry off of its books.

Read the AFA letter and the SPLC response letter in their full glory, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "American Family Association Desperately Trying to Distance Itself from Spokeshater Bryan Fischer to No Avail" »


Senior GOP Spokesman Comes Out As Gay: 'Let Me Get Married'

James Richardson, a former spokesman and adviser for the RNC, former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, has come out as gay in an op-ed over at The Washington Post - writing on the important stability that marriage equality could provide for him and his partner and thousands of other same-sex couples in Georgia.

Writes Richardson: 

James richardsonIt’s not always easy to love Georgia, or love in it. Our state constitution explicitly forbids same-sex unions, and the local economy remains defiantly sluggish. Yet in spite of its blemishes, my would-be groom and I are deeply committed to our community, one whose values of faith and family we share.

On Saturday we huddled with 90,000 of our closest friends in approaching-100-degree heat to cheer on the University of Georgia Bulldogs in the season opener. And this Sunday, as those before it, we’ll be in the pews of the same evangelical church we’ve quietly attended for years. We bless our suppers, we pay our taxes, and we own a home in the suburbs. Norman Rockwell would have thought us boring, because, frankly, we are. 

But even if we failed, or refused on principle, to cross straight America’s bourgeois threshold for normalcy, gay people deserve the same the legal and moral considerations — and rights — enjoyed by all others. They are Americans whose rights were granted by God and the grit of their forbearers, yet they are forced to defend their love, and the various planes on which it may be judged (constitutional, cultural and economic), to distressing and revolting ends. [...]

On the foundational question of marriage’s value, to individuals and society, gay couples and the institution’s cultural conservative gatekeepers agree: marriage is deeply special. We wish to participate in earnest, to strengthen the institution that our straight peers are abandoning. Gay couples don’t want to rock the marriage boat — they only want a ticket for two to ride.

Read Richardson's full article HERE

[picture via Twitter]


Freedom To Marry Wants Young, Pro-Equality Republicans To Run For Delegate Spots At 2016 GOP Convention

FreedomToMarryFreedom to Marry recognizes the shifting tide toward a pro-marriage equality Republican Party, and they aim to capitalize on the demographic most ready to take the plunge. In a series of meetings in Iowa this week, FtM will encourage Republicans under the age of 30 to run for coveted delegate position slots at the 2016 GOP Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Their participation would help the party move on important changes in language, from anti-gay to pro-conversation, which could be key should the Supreme Court not decide on a same-sex marriage case in the coming year.

Politico reports:

“It’s time for the party to modernize on this issue,” said Margaret Hoover, a Republican strategist, CNN commentator and native Iowan who is part of the Freedom to Marry delegation making the trip to the key early presidential state...

“We want for the presidential process in 2016 [that gay marriage will] be an issue nationally that Republicans are debating,” said Tyler Deaton, the campaign manager for the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry effort.

He added, “Our intention is to bring a record number of young delegates to the convention … and make some history.”

Cleveland2016The Republican Party has consistently received flack for its exclusivity, particularly against young people, women, and the LGBT community. Freedom to Marry hopes to achieve a more even-keeled approach by shifting the party's platform.

“We recognize that there are diverse and sincerely held views on civil marriage within the Party, and that support for allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry has grown substantially in our own Party,” reads some of the proposed language.

“Given this journey that so many Americans, including Republicans, are on, we encourage and welcome a thoughtful conversation among Republicans about the meaning and importance of marriage, and commit our Party to respect for all families and fairness and freedom for all Americans.”

Those hoping for a younger, more-center-leaning GOP in 2016 have their work cut out for them.


Michigan GOP Official Wants to ‘Purge’ the Satanic Influence of Homosexuality from the Party

What is it about the Michigan Republican Party that makes it such a breeding pen for anti-gay nutcases?

Mary Helen Sears, Michigan’s 1st district vice-chair of the Schoolcraft County Republican Party, is running for a seat on the Republican National Committee and wants you to know that she’s not one bit happy about the fact that young conservatives are increasingly supportive of marriage equality.

Mary searsIn an article titled "End of the GOP?" Sears writes:

Today, we are seeing those who learned well the lessons of their left leaning teachers and a society who promotes a me-ist mind set. Our young Republicans want us to put away the old thinking of Marriage and Life. Adopt a more open attitude, accept who they are, stop the hate speech, blah, blah, blah. Yes, they have learned their lessons well. The problem is it was the wrong lesson.

Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. It is a reflection of God and his Church. The promise that when this horror show we call life is over, we will once again be reunited with the God of this Universe. The joining of two men or two women is a perversion of this Covenant and a direct affront to God. Satan uses homosexuality to attack the living space of the Holy Spirit, which is the body of the person.

Sears then cites the standard “homosexuality=abomination” Bible verses before continuing:

How then can we as Christians stay in a party that adopts Homosexuality into the fabric of the tent. I say we cannot. Homosexuals make up less than one percent of the total population. They must prey on our children to increase their numbers. Why then, would we, as a party, entertain this perversion? We as a party should be purging this perversion and send them to a party with a much bigger tent.

You can read the vile column in full HERE if you feel so inclined..

[via Jezebel]


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