HRC Blog

Rick Perry Lashes Out Against Efforts to Protect Human Rights

Rick Perry unleashed a torrent of offensive remarks today following the release of a landmark White House roadmap to tackle human rights abuses of LGBT people. In an online statement, Perry said:

“This is just the most recent example of an administration at war with people of faith in this country. Investing tax dollars promoting a lifestyle many Americas of faith find so deeply objectionable is wrong. President Obama has again mistaken America’s tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles.”

In fact, Perry’s comments are a sweeping generalization of people of faith. Polling conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research earlier this year found that 70 percent of Christians believe that when religious leaders condemn LGBT people it does more harm than good. The poll also found that nearly 90 percent of Christians believe their faith leads them to the conclusion that the law should treat all people equally, including LGBT people. A majority of Christians – 52 percent – also support repeal of the discriminatory Defense Against Marriage Act. Read more about the polling.

HRC released a statement following Perry’s remarks, and Religion & Faith Program Director Dr. Sharon Groves said:

“Rick Perry’s comments are insensitive to the hundreds of thousands of fair-minded people of faith, and they lend dangerous credence to the false idea that people of faith cannot live openly or advocate as allies for members of the LGBT community. We have vibrant and diverse faith communities across the country that support LGBT members of their community because their faith calls them to love one another.  These are communities that are building truly welcoming places for LGBT people and their allies.”

HRC President Joe Solmonese – who met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prior to her remarks in Geneva earlier today about LGBT rights, said:

“It’s unfortunate that on a day when most are taking note of the administration’s historic and unprecedented commitment to both LGBT and universal human rights, Rick Perry is seeking to pit people against one another and take political potshots. While his offensive comments are discouraging, they cannot take away from the very real advancements we made today toward greater equality on a global scale.”

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