Press Room

June 07, 2011

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HRC Calls Out Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Collaborating with Anti-Gay Groups on Day of Prayer

American Family Association, individuals from TheCall and International House of Prayer among those working on Perry's "response" for a "nation in crisis"

Washington - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization - today condemned Texas Governor Rick Perry's collaboration with anti-LGBT groups like the American Family Association (AFA) and individuals from TheCall and the International House of Prayer as part of "The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis."According to the Response's website, America is mired in economic, social and "most of all" - moral crises. The day of prayer is scheduled to take place August 6 at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

"Governor Perry's decision to work with such blatantly anti-LGBT groups on an event billed as a day of prayer is disturbing," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Despite his horrendous track record on matters of equality, Perry is an elected official with a responsibility to work for the rights and protections of all Texas citizens. Aligning with groups who, on a daily basis, seek to demonize LGBT Americans sets a dangerous precedent."

HRC is alerting its members and supporters through Call It Out - a new online platform that calls attention to homophobia and transphobia. The campaign can be viewed at www.hrc.org/callitout.

Governor Perry is working directly with some of the most rabidly anti-LGBT groups in the nation on the Response . The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the AFA "one of the most strident voices spreading malicious anti-LGBT propaganda." The AFA's Bryan Fischer has said LGBT individuals "have as many as 300 to 1,000 sexual partners over the course of a lifetime," associated homosexuality with Nazism, and suggested LGBT advocates would push for the reinstatement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as a means of escaping military service should the draft ever return.

TheCall is a movement spearheaded by the International House of Prayer's (IHOP) Lou Engle. Engle is known for spreading his anti-gay message far and wide . In 2010, TheCall played an active role in supporting anti-gay sentiment in Uganda, where legislation under potential consideration would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death in some circumstances. Earlier this year, HRC hand-delivered 70,000 petitions to Engle, calling on him to retract his dangerous rhetoric that was driving anti-gay hate in Uganda.

Other anti-gay leaders involved in the Response include David Lane, who played a major role in last year's recall of three Iowa state Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of major equality, and Jim Garlow, who earlier this month claimed efforts to advance marriage equality would destroy families in the same way as families who lost a parent on September 11.

Governor Perry has called on governors from all other states to join him in recognizing the day of prayer. HRC is calling on governors across the nation to not support the August 6th event, and take a stand against the hijacking of religious values by those who actively work to suppress LGBT Americans.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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