House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and GOP presidential candidates take the stage at hate group’s Summit
Washington – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – is condemning Republican leadership and top GOP presidential candidates for participating in the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, taking place in Washington, DC over the next several days. Speakers at the event include House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. Other participants include Senator Jeff Sessions, Senator Roy Blunt, Laura Ingraham and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Family Research Council (FRC) as a hate group because of their “propagation of known falsehoods — claims about [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated.”
“This is a clarion call for equality supporters and a sign of just how much influence groups like the Family Research Council hold over anti-LGBT lawmakers,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The Speaker of the House took the stage at the Values Voter Summit this morning and touted the amount of tax-payer dollars being spent on the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. This is a reminder that we have real challenges ahead of us – from repealing DOMA once and for all to making our workplaces safer and more equitable with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.”
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the recent implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal are major topics for speakers at the conference. FRC President Tony Perkins opened the conference by declaring “we need a conservative who will undo the economic, moral and social destruction this administration has done unto America.” Speaker Boehner pledged to continue spending taxpayer dollars to defend DOMA, while a retired Lieutenant General implied allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly was in opposition to mainstream American values and the beliefs of the majority of Americans.
In fact, a Washington Post poll taken just days before Congress repealed DADT last December found that nearly 80 percent of Americans favored allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly. A May Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans support full marriage equality for same-sex couples. And 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.
For the latest on what’s happening at the Values Voter Summit, visit our HRC Back Story blog.
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.