HRC Blog

Values Voter Summit Wrap-Up

The following post comes from HRC Communications Intern Brian Vetock:

With the presidential election slowly approaching, a number of the top GOP presidential candidates gathered this past weekend in Washington DC for the 2011 Values Voter Summit, sponsored by the anti-gay Family Research Council. The discussion included the recent repeal of DADT and marriage equality. 

Bryan Fischer, of the anti-gay American Family Association (AFA), seemed to blame most of the county’s problems on the equality movement, claiming, “[the] homosexual agenda is America’s greatest immediate threat.” He implied continued advances toward equality would weaken the American military and threaten the nation’s security. He left the Values Voters Summit in dramatic fashion, claiming that of LGBT equality and civil liberties, “both cannot exist together.”

Mitt Romney then stepped into the limelight and rallied the audience by attacking President Obama, declaring “if you don’t want to have the strongest America, I’m not your president. You have that president.” On marriage equality, Romney said the “critical well-being of a civilization is to preserve the right to marry between a man and a woman.” He reiterated his opposition to marriage equality and said of recent equality milestones that the “government’s policies are out of step with American values.” Romney also pledged to defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.

Politicians claiming recent advances in equality were out-of-step with mainstream Americans values was a common theme throughout the summit – and one that is simply untrue. In fact, a May Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans support full marriage equality for same-sex couples. Additional recent polling found that 85 percent of people of faith believe that their religion leads them to believe LGBT Americans should be treated equally under the law. And a Washington Post poll taken just days before Congress repealed DADT last December found that nearly 80 percent of Americans favored allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.

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