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

SPLC Urges Public Figures Not to Attend Values Voter Summit

By Hatewatch Staff on September 11, 2012 - 9:09 am, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim, Christian Right, Extremist Propaganda, Hate Groups

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and a coalition of human rights groups have written to several public figures, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, asking them not to speak at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit in Washington. The event is hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC), which the SPLC lists as a hate group for its dissemination of false and demonizing propaganda about the LGBT community.

The FRC has engaged in repeated, groundless demonization – portraying LGBT people as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation, the letter says. One of its officials has gone so far as to say homosexuality should be criminalized. Perhaps the FRC’s ugliest lie is its claim that gay men molest children at a far higher rate than heterosexual men – that pedophilia “is a homosexual problem,” in the words of Tony Perkins, the FRC president.

The FRC’s extremism is also illustrated by its recent hiring of retired Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, a radical anti-Muslim propagandist and conspiracy theorist, as its executive vice president. Last year, Mr. Boykin stated that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections”– a statement that is antithetical to American ideals. In the Affordable Care Act, he literally sees a plot to create a shadow police force that he compares to Hitler’s “Brownshirts.” The FRC has not only hired Boykin, it has given him a prominent speaking slot at the Summit.

Sponsoring the Summit at the invitation of the FRC is the American Family Association (AFA), also listed as a hate group by the SPLC. Incredibly, an AFA senior official has blamed the LGBT community for the Holocaust. The AFA’s director of issue analysis, Bryan Fischer, wrote in 2010: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” He once said that welfare rewards black people who “rut like rabbits.”

In addition to the SPLC, the human rights groups that signed the letter are: People for the American Way Foundation; the Human Rights Campaign Foundation; the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; the National Black Justice Coalition; the National Council of La Raza; and Faithful America.

The SPLC’s analysis of FBI hate crime data shows that gay men and lesbians are by far the group most likely to be victimized by violent hate crime.

“Defaming them publicly day after day – lying about them – only throws fuel on the fire,” the letter says.

  • aadila

    O chestnut tree,
    Great rooted blossomer,
    Are you the leaf, the blossom or
    the bole?
    O body swayed to music,
    O brightening glance,
    How can we tell the dancer from
    the dance?

    –W.B. Yeats “Among School Children”

  • Erika

    aadila, since i like dancing, my recommendation is a New Orleans Jazz funeral where you skip the solemn dirge and go straight to the dancing in the streets to upbeat music

  • Erika

    According to some crazy Christian Right “doctor” of some sort (James Dobson of Focus of the Family infamy), parents of three year olds who laugh during funerals should hit them..

    The anti-gay crazy just scratches the surface of those awful awful people.

  • aadila

    I remember a funeral when I was about three. I could not understand why people were so upset. It was very boring really and I remember wondering why everybody was crying when the looked like they were going to a party. Some psychologists claim children at very young ages cannot comprehend death, but I did. It was, you know, death. I just didn’t see what all the weeping was about. Death to me was great liberation, quite literally liberation, being able to go anywhere instantly.

    Why weep at something like that?

    I hope that when I die if there are small children there, poor dears, nobody makes them wear stiff clothes and that everybody feels like not moping around. I’d rather have kids laughing than a bunch of tears. Life has so many tears already. I might even hire someone to come do magic tricks, or play the tuba or something, but I don’t think anyone would get the joke.

  • Erika

    aadila, obviously my life experience as the youngest child in a Christian household which unfortunately embraced taking that “spare the rod, spoil the child” thing literally will color how i view things, but i think that i now understand..

    Is your comparison more based upon the fact that the parent who tries to stop the child from giggling focuses on the wrong thing? While i initially associated giggling in church with my experience at hearing those dreaded words “Erika [my middle and last name] if you do not stop that, you will get a spanking” i did not think that generally when i was giggling in church it was because my sister whose favorite game was to get me in trouble was making funny faces at me. By focusing on my reaction rather than what my sister’s original action, my mother punishing me for giggling actually was encouraging much more giggling..

    Hence, i seem to have totally misunderstood your point which more consideration makes clear. Sorry :)

  • aadila


    What I mean is that it strikes me as funny that anyone would get upset that I quote the bible simply because I am a buddhist, or feel like they need to wag the finger at me for embracing Christian teachings.

    Buddhism is about ending suffering. It’s not about practicing religion.

  • Erika

    aadila, based upon my childhood experience with parental reaction to giggling during religious services i think that there is a threat aspect to telling a child to stop giggling that you may not necessarily intend in your comparision.

  • aadila

    Telling a buddhist what to believe is a little like telling a child to stop giggling at a funeral.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Annie/Jason Smith is back again!

    Complete with sex change…here strictly to derail the discussion!

    So, Annie/Jason…do tell us how the Holocaust never happened!

    Then tell us how the Russian people greeted their Nazi invaders with flowers!

    Then tell us how Norman Rockwell sided with Hitler!

    Then show us your proof that the white man is superior to the black man!

    And tell us again how you’ll prove it to us, only if we pay you vast sums of money, showing that you’re into neo-Nazism and junior Fascism for that noblest of purposes…the money!

    Then you can give us citations and evidence for all these wacky ideas!

    Until then, the tumbrels await for you!

    See? I don’t even have to think in dealing with him/her/it…I just cut-and-paste my own stuff!

  • Erika

    Aron, keep in mind that the R in FRC could stand (i originally wrote as a typo satand maybe, i shoud have left it that way ;) for Republican.

    And pretty much the rest of the country is learning what people in Virginia already know about Eric Cantor – he’s a total partisan hack (and career politician who actually makes the vomit enducing claim that he “enteied public service” when as a 16 year old his rich parents and Congressman Thomas Bliley (R-Philip Morris) got him as Congressional Page position) in his official biography and my understanding is that he never had a real job in his life (not even with his daddy’s law firm). For both the FRC and Eric Cantor all that matters is that they are both Republicans – it doesn’t matter that the FRC spreads lies about Nazi Germany and downplays the Holocaust and keep in mind that the AFA is co sponsoring this thing – for a pure partisan hack like Cantor it doesn’t even matter that the Rev. Donald Wildon was generally considered Anti-Semitic based upon what he said about Jews controlling the media.

    Incidentially, i do kind of have to appreciate the sense of dark humor which Philip Morris shows in their selection of Congressmen for Virginia’s 7th District – Tom Bliley was a funeral director whose family all owns funeral homes. Eric Cantor is a lawyer whose family are all lawyers – many of which happen to practice plaintiffs personal injury law.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Annie, next time you’re on Stormfront or VNN, why don’t you tell them the following: “Hey, if you’re so concerned about race-mixing, just don’t date people of other “races” and shut up about it.”

    Let me know how that goes over.

  • aadila

    The water of the valley stream
    Never shouts at the tainted world: “Purify yourself!”
    But naturally, as it is,
    Shows how it is done.

    –Ryokan (1758-1831)

  • Reynardine

    I suppose Annie we get the usual sawdust Swastinker this week, but unless she really overachieves, not a very big or impressive one.

  • Otto Isky

    What I want know is why the SPLC is not listed as a HATE GROUP on your HATEWATCH Site ? Could it be that you’re bunch of Self Righteous Anti Christian – Anti Semitic,A Holes with an agenda to destroy America in the name of Those that would kill and destroy anything America stands for?

  • adamhill

    “The answer is simple. If you don’t like the FRC, don’t go to their conference and don’t visit their website.”

    Right, Annie. Because WSs like you are all about letting people do and be what they want, and if you don’t like it, just don’t participate and everything’s okay. Live and let live. You pathetic hypocrite.

  • Kelly

    I take it the fugly liein’ Bryan Fissure has not educated himself about the symbol of the Pink Triangle and why truly proud gay men and women wear one. Asshole dosen’t begin to cover it.

  • Sam Molloy

    Aadila, thanks for the support. I see where using the teachings of Christ makes more sense when dealing with, uh, “christians” like the FRC. If you say Buddhist their ears close. Not mine.

  • Shadow Wolf

    Word has it from the G-KKKanyon state. That our own dyspeptic dullard–Gov. Klan (oops I meant Jan) Brewer, will surely attend. Yes, the feeble one, who at the recent Republican convention in FL. Loon-fully announced that she now “fully supports Barack Obama”(of course, she misspoke as per usual).

    Maybe, the SPLC should put Gov. Jan Brewer on the hatewatch list. Right up there with David Duke, Black, Kobach and others.

  • Gregory

    @ Annie / JS

    What makes you think you have any credibility or traction on this site? The kindest possible assessment of your history of comments is that you are an imbecile and I am being generous in that assessment. No matter how many times you change your name we will know you, just as a tree is known by its fruits. Or, in your case, by its nuts.

    In the real world you are probably shunned by all except your klavern/cell for the simple fact that your inner malignant personality is probably impossible to disguise. So, in an act of stunning bravery made possible by the anonymity of the internet, you come here to grace us with your copypasta idiocy.

    In all sincerity, thanks, but we’ve seen everything you have to offer. Really. You have introduced nothing new to the conversation but the same old shit that old people like myself, and others, have seen for the past half century.

    However, I am a realist and can only speculate as to the new identity that you will be commenting under in the near future. STDs and racist jackasses are the gifts that just keep giving.

  • CoralSea

    Aadila — not to start a war here, but I personally don’t quote bible passages because, for me, as a non-Christian, I don’t care about what the bible says. This is a collection of writings that has been translated, re-translated, reshuffled in terms of which books are included, and otherwise manipulated to suit the political needs of the time. It is an interesting historical document with interesting mythology, but I don’t view it as the inerrant word of god the way bible-believing Christians do.

    Also, since I don’t view the bible as anything more than a collection of stories and politically useful “laws,” why would I want to legitimize it as THE ULTIMATE DOCUMENT by referencing it in my own arguments?

    If others choose to believe in it, that is their business, but I don’t believe in it myself, and have no interest in basing my own arguments on it.

    While it is true that people can (and do) believe what they wish, some beliefs (or the way people interpret them or wish to act upon them) are damaging to the individuals who hold them and/or to society. Tolerance is vital, in part because people often move through various “stages” as they develop their own relationship with the world. However, blindly accepting anything others believe isn’t a virtue. “Strange” beliefs shouldn’t be dismissed or condemned out of hand, but neither should they be uncritically embraced. Learning how and when to make such assessments — while continuing to keep the door open, but also willing to slam it shut if a werewolf bent on eating everyone is trying to get inside is all part of the hard work that we all need to do in order the grow.

  • Aron

    What I do not understand is this: Eric Cantor is Jewish. Wouldn’t that make him PNG at the FRC?


  • Annie

    Dan, Sam, Mitch, CoralSea:

    The answer is simple. If you don’t like the FRC, don’t go to their conference and don’t visit their website. They have formed their own organization that represents their beliefs and their value system. They don’t need you. Go away. If you want to form your own organization that reflects your value system, then you go off and you do that.

  • ASCA

    Why stop at the horrible things the FRC says? What about their support of terrorist organizations like Operation Rescue?

  • aadila

    Jesus, Rey.

  • aadila

    I’m a buddhist, Rey. If I appealed to Buddha’s teachings, would they listen?

    Sam, I don’t think homosexuality is a sin.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    Ah, Annie,

    Glad to see you are back. I think you migth have missed a few questions of mine in other threads.

    1) How do you determine if someone is ‘white’ before feeling comfortable around them?

    2) Are the white supremacists who went on a murder spree the sort of people you feel comfortable around?

  • Sam Molloy

    Annie, like FAIR, they are scrubbing their image lately. The SPLC has verifiable records of their past statements that were more extreme.

  • CoralSea

    Annie — In the wake of the recent imbroglio, FRC scrubbed their website of the noxious lies they were spreading.

    Although it is crude, a saying I once heard from a dear, dear, but crude friend, describes FRC to a T: “They act like their shit don’t stink–but their farts give’em away.”

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  • Mitch Beales

    I don’t need to go to the FRC website. The fact that Nazi Annie agrees with them proves that they are a hate group.

  • Annie

    I went to the FRC website and read their response to the SPLC accusations. You can read it here:

    After reviewing the FRC website I find nothing bad or offensive about their position statements. I agree with them. I am glad they are having a conference and I am glad that Paul Ryan is speaking there. There is nothing wrong with the FRC. I urge other posters here to go to the FRC website, review their statements, and form their own opinion.

  • Sam Molloy

    Aaida, homosexuality itself is not a sin. There are only six “clobber Gospels” in the whole Christian Bible as edited in 333 AD. All of these can be refuted if researched. There are actually some positive references as well. Ruth & Naomi, David & Johnathan, and the healing of the Centurion’s lover are three.

  • CoralSea

    I am aware that, as politicians, folks such as Mr. Cantor need to interact with constituents. I can see them interacting with some of these groups, because they DO represent a portion of the public.

    However, I think that SPLC and the others who are standing with them on this issue are ABSOLUTELY JUSTIFIED AND RIGHT in calling upon them NOT participate as speakers at noxious events, such as the Values Voter Summit. Being a speaker at such events provides legitimacy to them (unless Mr. Cantor or others like him have the stones to call them out for their pronouncements — ooohhh, that would be a great speech).

    Attending may be a different story — although again, with these groups, they would spin the attendance of major political figures as “support.”

    What I do think is important is that people who are moderate or progressive begin to “call out” politicians who wallow in the racist, sexists, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-poor, anti-any religion other than Christian, etc. mud with the mostly right-wing groups that espouse these beliefs. Those on the Right certainly do seize on any chance to vilify those on the left; heck — they make up stuff to add to the vilification.

    Those of us who are moderate and progressive tend to be less willing to engage in polarizing language or condemn others for their associations, in part, I think, because we see the value in dialogue — even with those with whom we don’t agree. And I don’t think that it is wise, in most cases, to shut down dialogues. However, politicians on the Right should not be able to play footsies with hate groups like the FRC and AFA and face no consequences. They should be accountable.

    What does this mean? That:

    1. political figures should not be featured speakers at events such as this unless they are willing to take the full brunt of being called out as supporting–in this case–the extreme and lie-based anti-LGBT stance of these groups. If they speak at these events, are they saying that they support these beliefs — because that’s what it looks like to us.

    2. political figures who attend functions put on by these groups should also be prepared to explain why they are attending, and state whether they agree with the philosophies and actions of these groups or not. No more cutesy footsies. Did you attend because some of the members are constituents? Okay, valid reason. Do you agree with the group’s actions? Yes, or no. The reason can be qualified, but it needs to be stated. No more, “I didn’t know they believed that.” No more uttering, “Well, you know I agree with all of you, but I can’t really come on too strong.” If you agree — tell the world. If you don’t, then tell the world — and the group in question — that you do not. If you sort of agree or sort of disagree, explain.

    Do us all a favor and be honest for once. Man — or woman — up!

  • Reynardine

    Aadila, what *is* you religious affiliation? You appear to have represented yourself as both Christian and Buddhist.

  • Reynardine

    These people not only throw fuel on the fire, they mean to burn quite a few “wrong people” at the stake with it.

  • aadila

    If the FRC is truly concerned about preserving families and children from harm, why do they go out of their way to divert attention from the legions of married, heterosexual and probably Christian men who are tearing apart their familes?

    Heterosexual white males are the largest category of offenders against children. Since a lot of these pedophiles are married, I think that’s the kind of thing that tears families apart, don’t you? Does God want us to focus on homosexuals to the point that we forget that we are ALL sinners?

    Anyone who has studied the scriptures knows there are repeated warnings about so-called Christians who are doing the devil’s work. The Bible is very easy to use by picking and choosing the scriptures. We don’t come to heaven by scripture, but through CHRIST. And we don’t get there by being married heterosexuals either. That might be how we get into a country club, but not the Kingdom of God.

    No man has the right to judge the sins of other men, because in the eyes of God we are ALL sinners. Only God will know who is worth saving, because men and groups of men like FRC are NOT given to understand this. Are we really going to trust men of violence and destruction like Lt. Gen. Boykin? He is not of the meek! He is a soldier, a man of killing and death! His God is the machine gun, the Predator drone, the bomb.

    It is far more difficult to practice Christ’s primary teaching which was love than to go around finding fault in others. Anyone can pick up a Bible and find some reason to identify the faults of others. In the eyes of God we are all sinners and unworthy of saving, especially the rich, the powerful, and the great. In fact, more often than not, Christ loved those the most who were deemed by society to be beyond loving.

    It seems that the FRC, and especially most members of Congress they love to hover around, are like the Pharisees who prayed openly to win the approval of men. Only God knows, but I doubt many of them will enter the Kingdom of God. I think what they want is to rub elbows with the rich and powerful.

    God doesn’t need money or earthly power or even Congress. But the devil certainly does.