The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Two Governors Turn Down Invitation to Hate Group-Funded Prayer Day

By Ryan Lenz on June 8, 2011 - 2:42 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT

In the wake of revelations that Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s planned Aug. 6 prayer gathering in Houston is being funded by the anti-gay hate group American Family Association (AFA), at least two governors have declined an invitation to attend.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal both announced they would not go to Perry’s “The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis.” Their announcement came one day after Hatewatch reported the Tupelo, Miss.-based AFA, which is paying for the August event, is one of the nation’s most strident voices spreading malicious anti-LGBT propaganda.

So far, one governor, Sam Brownback of Kansas, has consented to attend – and, according to the Lawrence Journal-World, will pay his own way. A spokesman for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Kyle Plotkin, confirmed to Hatewatch today that it was Jindal’s intention to “try and come.”

The AFA’s director of policy analysis, Bryan Fischer, claimed last year, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph [sic] Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.” (The theory that Hitler, most of the Nazi leadership under him and his most-elite troops were homosexuals has been thoroughly debunked by many credible historians.) More recently, the AFA has attacked Home Depot for participating in “numerous gay pride parades and festivals.” Last week, an official with AFA reportedly came to a Home Depot board meeting with a petition signed by a half million people who opposed the store’s “homosexual activism.”

The AFA’s Fischer has additionally expressed the opinion that Native Americans deserved to be subjugated by the early Americans because they were not Christians, and that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. Fischer also has implied that sexually immoral people should be executed in the fashion of the biblical figure Phineas, who slew a man and woman of different tribes in cold blood as they made love.

As Hatewatch reported, Perry has a long history of ties to the anti-gay movement. In 2005, while signing a bill to amend the state constitution to specifically prohibit gays and lesbians from marrying, Perry was joined by Rob Parsley, a celebrity Pentecostal faith healer, who lauded the governor for “protecting the children of Texas from the gay agenda.” (The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately struck down the law.)

Promotional materials for the Houston event state that the nation’s problems are “beyond our power to solve.” “There is hope for America,” a statement on the website read. “It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees.”

  • Katherine Bazemore

    The Hand of God will reveal where true Hate comes from and it is not of this world. The message of Jesus is one of love and release into a complete peace and joy that is undeniable. What gets targeted as HATE is deceptive twisting and an effort to keep people from experiencing incredible freedom and joy in their lives. Some would desire for people to remain in bondage and fear so they can depend on the Government or others. The Christian message is about true freedom and a peace that passes ALL understanding. Blessings to all and I all upon all CEO’s and individuals to go into a place of prayer to Jesus by His Spirit and see for yourself if He is real.

  • mikeksf

    Disgusting. And now there’s talk of this crass Tea Bagger running on the Republican ticket for president! Texas? Let them secede.
    Houston? What are the plans to just say no to this hate group? Who will stand up?

  • Sam Molloy

    Mitch Daniels also recently got Indiana’s fired-up legislature to soften an anti immigration bill, and made sure the five illegals arrested while protesting at his office were not deported.

  • Jonas Rand

    What is a Burkina? The country?

  • Concerned Citizen

    These extremists are way out of shape in the real world Hasn’t any of these Burkina realize that people in the LGBT community are also taxpayers? I guess not. I Wonder if Fisher and people like him has something to hide. TIme will tell.

  • RLavigueur

    At this point, the AFA has confirmed that one of the purposes of the prayer event will be to end the “increasing acceptance of homosexuality” in America, so the event it seems will be (in part) anti-gay in theme as well as in support. Of course, the fact that elected politicians are using the status of their offices to promote their religious beliefs is offensive regardless of what themes they choose to rely on to draw in the crowds. When that religious message is one of fear of change, blind submission in the hope that things will just get better, and hatred for anyone different enough to make a comfortable scapegoat, it paints a very sad picture of the political and social reality in the USA, particularly as it seems likely far more than one additional governor will feel it valuable to attend.

    Interestingly, the lesbian mayor of Houston doesn’t mind that her city will be the venue for an event hosted by the AFA with anti-gay themes. Apparently, as long as you want to spend money in Houston, she’ll support the promotion of any cause and encourage return visits.

    Somehow I doubt that’ll go over particularly well with LGBT constituents in her area. Here’s hoping more governors will add their names to the list of those refusing to take part in this.

  • Linnea

    Just peachy. The AFA is getting some credibility thanks to Governor Goodhair (tip of the hat to the late Molly Ivins for that zinger!) But at least a couple of governors are enlightened on this issue… we need more like them.