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CREW calls on President, members of Congress to skip National Prayer Breakfast; protest tomorrow

CREW:

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called on President Obama and all members of Congress not to attend this year’s National Prayer Breakfast. The event is scheduled for tomorrow. The breakfast, while designed to appear as a government-sanctioned event, in reality serves as a meeting and recruiting event for the shadowy Fellowship Foundation.

“The National Prayer Breakfast uses the attendance of elected leaders to give the Fellowship greater credibility and facilitate its networking and fundraising,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “President Obama and members of Congress should not legitimatize this shadowy group with ties to scandal-ridden politicians and hateful and discriminatory positions against gays.” Sloan continued, “It is all the more important that American political leaders avoid this event in light of the murder of prominent Ugandan gay activist David Kato.”

The Fellowship, also known as “The Foundation” and “The Family,” is run by Doug Coe, a spiritual advisor to some government officials, who uses the organization to push his brand of Christianity. The Fellowship owns and operates the infamous C Street House, a congressional residence and meeting place on Capitol Hill that has been a frequent haunt of some ethically-challenged elected officials identified by CREW, including Sen. John Ensign (R-NV).

The organization operates under an intense veil of secrecy, stays largely out of the public eye and hides its donors’ identities. The Fellowship has used its government clout to facilitate backdoor meetings between U.S. and foreign officials, improperly claimed tax exempt status for the C Street House, and has persuaded members of Congress, including Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) to conduct Fellowship-sanctioned evangelizing while traveling at taxpayer expense.

Members of the Fellowship pushed for anti-gay legislation in Uganda that made homosexuality a capital offense. Just last month, prominent activist David Kato was murdered in Uganda. Much of the wave of anti-gay sentiment can be linked to the promotion of anti-gay policies by American evangelicals.

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Also, GetEqual and other groups plan to hold a protest tomorrow.

LGBT and Human Rights Groups Hold “Breakfast Without Bigotry” Protest Outside of National Prayer Breakfast

In front of the Washington Hilton Hotel (1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW) from  6:00am – 8:00am (ET), civil rights activists, faith leaders, human rights organizers, and LGBT advocates will gather during the National Prayer  Breakfast to ask that both Democratic and Republican Members of Congress and our President stand against the hatred and bigotry that the National Prayer Breakfast organizers have promoted worldwide. Groups joining GetEQUAL in this event include the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Unitarian Universalist Association, Soulforce, and others. (An updated list will be available at www.getequal.org on the day of the event.)

In the wake of the murder of Ugandan gay activist, David Kato, and the pending deportation of Brenda Namigadde from the UK back to Uganda, organizations across the country are uniting to make sure that “The Family” is exposed for their influence on world affairs, including the annihilation of LGBT people worldwide. “History has proven time and again that the kind of hatred, bigotry, and prejudice promoted by ‘The Family’ cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. ‘The Family’ already has blood on its hands, and must be stopped before it can kill again in even greater numbers. Uganda today serves as a lethal preview of what ‘The Family’ hopes to accomplish worldwide,” said Michael Dixon, a lead organizer for GetEQUAL DC.

“The very fact that ‘The Family’ is able to push its harmful anti-LGBT agenda under the guise of morality at events where our national leaders are attending is cause for grave concern. Today, we stand up and speak out for those who suffer under forced silence for fear of their lives. Today, we shine a light on the hateful tactics used by ‘The Family’ to maintain power and inequality all over the world, including the pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda,” said Janelle Mungo, an organizer with GetEQUAL DC.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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