Press Room

December 06, 2011

Category: Federal Advocacy, Elections, Marriage, Religion & Faith

Rick Perry Lashes Out Against Efforts to Protect Human Rights

Presidential hopeful also calls being gay “deeply objectionable”

12/06/2011

Washington The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization – is strongly condemning offensive remarks Texas governor and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry made following the release of a landmark White House roadmap to tackle human rights abuses of LGBT people. In a statement posted to his campaign website, 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.”

“Rick Perry has made no secret of his dislike for LGBT Americans – but his most recent remarks are outrageous even by his own standards,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “It is bewildering that someone who wants to be President of the United States wouldn’t want to see our nation be a global leader in universal human rights. This is further proof that Rick Perry doesn’t want to represent the best interests of all Americans – he wants to advance an extremist, anti-gay agenda that represents the fringe views of a very small few.”

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.

“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,” said Dr. Sharon Groves, Director of HRC’s Religion & Faith Program. “The Bible teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves. There is not much that is loving in these comments. 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. Rick Perry’s comments are divisive, dangerous, and do a disservice to faith. ”

“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,” added Solmonese. “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.”

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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