Human Rights Groups Urge Paul Ryan, Others to Cancel FRC Summit Appearances
September 11, 2012 by Dan Rafter, Online Campaigns Manager
HRC is joining the Southern Poverty Law Center and a number of other human rights groups in calling on GOP Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan and others scheduled to speak at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit to skip the Family Research Council-sponsored event.
The FRC has criticized SPLC for designating them a hate group, but let’s be very clear: the FRC’s designation as a hate group has nothing to do with their opposition to marriage equality or other matters of LGBT rights. The real issue is FRC’s well-document history of hateful rhetoric – particularly against the LGBT community.
FRC President Tony Perkins has likened homosexuality to pedophilia, calling it a “homosexual problem.” In 2008, FRC fellow Peter Sprigg called for the exportation of LGBT people from the United States – and then the year after that he actually called for the criminalization of homosexuality.
This type of rhetoric has painful consequences – particularly for LGBT youth. According to HRC’s youth survey released earlier this year, a whopping 92 percent of LGBT youth say they hear negative messages about being LGBT – and 60 percent say they hear those messages coming from elected officials. And LGBT youth identified non-acceptance and bullying as two of their biggest worries.
When elected officials validate a group that compares LGBT people to pedophiles and says gay people should be exported, it isn’t hard to see why so many LGBT youth struggle with acceptance and support systems in their local communities. It is entirely inappropriate for mainstream elected officials – who are responsible for advocating for the best interests of all their diverse constituents – to appear at an event hosted by a group like the Family Research Council.
Read the letter HRC, SPLC, and other organizations are sending to participants in this weekend’s FRC conference.
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