A small coalition of hard-left groups have called on GOP chairman Reince Priebus to “shun” several social conservative groups for their positions on homosexuality.
An expensive full-page ad appeared in Wednesday’s Washington Post signed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that raises $40+ million a year and has $250 million under management, and the $50 million-a-year Human Rights Campaign, along with People for the American Way, the NAACP, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
The ad recalls GOP Chairman Jim Nicholson and his call to shun a group called the Council of Conservative Citizens fifteen years ago because of their “racist views.” At the time, Nicholson said, “A member of the party of Lincoln should not belong to such an organization.” The ad says, “senior members of Congress distanced themselves from the group.”
The hard-left groups say the organizations behind the upcoming Values Voter Summit this weekend in Washington DC “engage in repeated, groundless demonization of LGBT people–portraying them as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.”
The groups specifically target the Family Research Council, the main sponsor of the event which starts on Friday and includes GOP political and policy stars including Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Bobby Jindal, Senator Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Congresswoman Michele Bachman, and many others.
The ad is part of an ongoing campaign by homosexual groups to marginalize their Christian opponents. A recent report from the Human Rights Campaign on some of the groups at the Values Voter Summit has resulted in death threats to some of those featured in the report.
Two years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a hate report that included the Family Research Council and resulted in an armed gunman invading the FRC’s Washington DC office, intending to kill as many employees as he could. A gay activist, he said he was inspired by the report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. He wounded a security guard before being subdued. He is now in prison.
It is unlikely Priebus will issue a statement similar to what Nicholson said 15 years ago, since Priebus has shown great sympathy for the groups in question, and he made it clear that the GOP needs social conservatives to win in November and in 2016. What’s more, the GOP platform supports man-woman marriage, a position the sexual left in the Democratic Party views as hatred. It should also be noted that even former Chairman Nicholson, a faithful Catholic who is often seen at daily Mass in downtown Washington D.C., shares the views of the groups under attack in their support for man-woman marriage.
Read the full ad below:
OPEN LETTER TO REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIR REINCE PRIEBUS
Where Does the GOP Stand on Gay Bashing?
Dear Mr. Priebus,
Fifteen years ago, your predecessor called for party members to shun the Council of Conservative Citizens because of the group’s “racist views.”1
“A member of the party of Lincoln should not belong to such an organization,” GOP Chairman Jim Nicholson said.2 His comments had their intended effect: Senior members of Congress distanced themselves from the group.
Today, Chairman Priebus, we ask that you take a similar stand and call upon Republican officials to disassociate themselves from the groups behind the upcoming Values Voter Summit.
The reason is simple: These groups engage in repeated, groundless demonization of LGBT people — portraying them as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.
The Family Research Council, the summit’s host, is vigorously opposed to extending equal rights to the LGBT community. Its president, Tony Perkins, has repeatedly claimed that pedophilia is a “homosexual problem.”3 He has called the “It Gets Better” campaign — designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow — “disgusting” and a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.”4 He has condemned the National Republican Congressional Committee for supporting three openly gay candidates.5
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, a summit sponsor, has said the U.S. needs to “be more like Russia,” which enacted a law criminalizing the distribution of LGBT “propaganda.”6 He also has said, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine, and six million dead Jews.”7
Similarly, Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel, another summit sponsor, has compared those who do not denounce same-sex marriage to those who remained silent during the Holocaust.8 Marriage equality, he has said, is the “beginning of the end of Western civilization.”9
This kind of extremism should not be legitimized by elected officials, because it is contrary to our nation’s highest ideals. As you have said, “People in this country, no matter straight or gay, deserve dignity and respect.”10
Yet, as in years past, several prominent members of your party — including U.S. Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — are currently planning to address the Values Voter Summit that begins on Thursday in Washington.
So, the question now is: Will you live up to your own words and tell the members of your party to shun groups that demean other people and deny them dignity? Will the GOP condemn anti-LGBT bigotry as vigorously as it opposed racism 15 years ago?
Political leadership makes a difference. We ask that you urge the members of your party not to attend the Values Voter Summit.
Michael Sherrard, Executive Director
Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO and President
Chad Griffin, President
Human Rights Campaign
Wade Henderson, President and CEO
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
Michael Keegan, President
People For the American Way
J. Richard Cohen, President and CEO
Southern Poverty Law Center
1.”RNC Chair Wary of Right-Wing Group,” Associated Press, Jan. 19, 1999; as seen at http://www.ferris.edu/isar/institut/CCC/johnson.htm
3. “Cardinal Ruffles Gay Feathers,” Accuracy in Academia, April 16, 2010; www.academia.org/cardinal-ruffles-gay-feathers/
4. “FRC Blasts Obama Administration Support for ‘It Gets Better,’ Calls it ‘Immoral,’ ‘Disgusting,’ ‘Perversion,'” Right Wing Watch, Aug. 18, 2011; www.politico.com/blogs/politico-live/2012/05/rnc-chair-gay-americans-deserve-dignity-and-respect-123296.html
5. “Tony Perkins Blasts the Republican Party for Supporting Three Gay Candidates in November,” Raw Story, Aug. 13, 2014; http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/tony-perkins-blasts-the-republican-party-for-supporting-three-gay-candidates-in-november/
6. “Russia’s Anti-Gay Law ‘Expresses Values We’ve Been Advocating for Years,” Says Bryan Fischer, Huffington Post, Aug. 27, 2013; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/russia-gay-law-bryan-fischer-_n_3824236.html
7. “Surprise, Surprise: Wingers on the Left Distort My Views, Bryan Fischer, June 9, 2011; Renew America; http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/fischer/110609
8. “Mat Staver: Refusing to Oppose Gay Marriage Like Keeping Silent About the Holocaust,” Right Wing Watch, Aug. 14, 2014; www.rightwingwatch.org/content/mat-staver-refusing-oppose-gay-marriage-keeping-silent-about-holocaust
9. “Liberty Law School Dean: Gay Marriage ‘Beginning of End of Western Civilization,” CNS News.com, Aug. 4, 2014; http://cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/liberty-law-school-dean-gay-marriage-beginning-end-western
10. “RNC Chairman: Gays Deserve ‘Dignity and Respect,’ But Not Marriage,” Politico, May 12, 2012; www.politico.com/blogs/politico-live/2012/05/rnc-chair-gay-americans-deserve-dignity-and-respect-123296.html