Congressional leaders called out for mingling with anti-gay hate groups
According to Faithful America, the group which put out the ad:
Faithful America, a national Christian organization, is airing a new TV ad that calls on Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes to cancel his upcoming appearance at a Washington, D.C. luncheon sponsored by the American Family Association, a fringe hate group whose spokesman has blamed America for 9/11, claimed gays caused the Holocaust, said black people “rut like rabbits” and argued that women have no place in politics. Watch the new ad, “There’s nothing Christian about hate,” which is running this week in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District.
“As founder and chair of the so-called Congressional Prayer Caucus, Rep. Randy Forbes holds up himself up as a Christian leader in Washington, D.C. But there’s nothing Christian about the hateful rhetoric of the American Family Association. Thousands of Christians across America are calling on Rep. Forbes to cancel this appearance.” said Faithful America executive director Michael Sherrard.
The American Family Association and its spokesman, Bryan Fischer, have a long track record of extremism. During the last election, Mitt Romney confronted the group, calling out its “poisonous language” and lack of “decency.” The AFA has officially been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its outrageous and bigoted statements about gays, which include: “Homosexuality gave us Adolf Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.”
Faithful America’s new TV ad comes on the heels of a national petition to Congressman Forbes, which was launched last week and so far has over 12,000 signatures.
Faithful America will run the new TV ad throughout the week and deliver its petitions to the Congressman’s office ahead of the American Family Association luncheon at the Values Voter Summit. The luncheon is scheduled for 12:15 PM on Friday and set to feature Rep. Forbes and Buddy Smith, AFA’s Executive Vice President.
Faithful America is not the only group bringing attention to the problem with Congressional leaders mingling with groups who preach anti-gay rhetoric. According to Right Wing Watch:
On Friday, People For the American way joined with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Faithful America, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza to send a letter to every public official scheduled to speak at this year’s Values Voter Summit, urging them to withdraw from the event. Among the scheduled speakers are Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Tim Scott and Reps. Paul Ryan, Randy Forbes, Michele Bachmann, Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Steve Scalise and Scott Turner.
The letter [pdf] reads in part:
We understand that you’ve been invited to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit being held in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 11-13. Given the demonizing lies about the LGBT community spread by the host, the Family Research Council (FRC), and another major sponsor of the event, the American Family Association (AFA), we urge you to not lend the prestige of your office to the summit. The FRC has amassed an extensive record of vilifying gays and lesbians with falsehoods – portraying them as sick, evil, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.
Perhaps its most insidious claim is that gay men molest children at a far higher rate than heterosexual men – a claim refuted by all credible scientific authorities, including the American Psychological Association. Yet the FRC has continued to smear gays and lesbians by claiming that pedophilia, in the words of FRC President Tony Perkins, “is a homosexual problem.” Perkins also says the “It Gets Better” campaign, an initiative designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow, is “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.” One senior FRC official has even argued that homosexuality should be illegal.
The AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who serves as the group’s spokesman and director of issue analysis, frequently blames homosexuality for the Holocaust and Nazi Party: “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 also promotes the views of the American architect of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda. Demonizing the LGBT community has consequences. As FBI data demonstrate, it is one of the groups most likely to be victimized by violent hate crimes. Defaming them publicly day after day – as the FRC and the AFA do – only throws fuel on the fire.
The bigotry of the FRC and the AFA is not limited to gays and lesbians. Fischer, for example, has said that African Americans “rut like rabbits” and argued that women should be kicked out of politics and the military. He’s also stated that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” and come here to “plunder” our country. The FRC’s executive vice president, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, has said Jews must be converted to Christianity and has argued that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections” – a statement that is antithetical to American ideals.
Even if these groups fail to convince members of Congress to withdraw from the Values Voter Summit, as far as I’m concerned they have won the battle by bringing attention to not only the homophobic rhetoric spewed by these phony Christian groups, but also how members of Congress seem to have no problem giving it a pass.