Press Room

September 21, 2004

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HRC: Swaggart Owes More Than ‘I’m Sorry’

'Apologies don't discourage violence, action does,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques issued the following statement today regarding Jimmy Swaggart's recent comments:

"Apologies don't discourage violence, action does. We urge Jimmy Swaggart to affirmatively preach against hate violence. He should use his position in the pulpit to speak up for equal treatment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. His initial comments encourage an environment where hate crimes occur. We appreciate his apology, but it's imperative that he do more."

During a broadcast Sept. 12 regarding marriage equality, Swaggart told the audience: "I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died." Swaggart told The Associated Press today, "It's a humorous statement that doesn't mean anything. You can't lie to God - it's ridiculous. If it's an insult, I certainly didn't think it was, but if they are offended, then I certainly offer an apology." According to the AP, Swaggart said he has jokingly used the expression "killing someone and telling God he died" thousands of times, about all sorts of people.

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.

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