August 29, 2004
Gay Leaders Call on President to Reject Inflammatory Speakers
Anti-gay speakers should not be featured at convention, say Jacques and Robinson
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign and the National Black Justice Coalition called on President Bush today to repudiate anti-gay speakers at the Republican National Convention. HRC's Cheryl Jacques and National Black Justice Coalition's H. Alexander Robinson sent the following letter to the president today:
Dear Mr. President,
As advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) Americans, we are writing to you on a matter of grave concern.
We are deeply disturbed to learn that Donnie McClurkin, Sheri Dew and Bishop Keith Butler, who have made deeply offensive comments about GLBT Americans, will be featured at the Republican Convention and we urge you to repudiate their divisive and appalling comments.
Mr. McClurkin, who will be entertaining from the convention stage on Thursday, has accused gay Americans of "trying to kill our children" ("The 700 Club," Sept. 23, 2003) and has called homosexuality a "curse" (Charisma Magazine, June 2002).
In an article about same-sex marriage, Ms. Dew, who is speaking before the convention on Monday, called for "a comparison between the atrocities of Hitler and what is happening in terms of contemporary threats against the family" (Meridian Magazine).
In talking about the "gay lifestyle," the Bishop Keith Butler, who is appearing on the convention stage on Thursday, has claimed that it "endangers family, children, and the core of society" (October 2003 press conference).
Mr. President, featuring individuals on the stage of your convention who compare a group of Americans to Hitler and accuse them of killing children is divisive and irresponsible. The American people abhor discriminatory, false and inflammatory language against any group of Americans.
Uniting America comes with helping families, not by promoting those who want to divide us. We urge you to immediately repudiate these comments.
Cheryl A. Jacques, President of the Human Rights Campaign
H. Alexander Robinson, Strategic Director of the National Black Justice Coalition
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
The National Black Justice Coalition is an ad hoc coalition of black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered leaders who have come together to fight against discrimination in our communities.