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Public Officials to Rub Shoulders with Anti-LGBT Extremists at ‘Values’ Summit

By Evelyn Schlatter on September 12, 2012 - 11:46 am, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Christian Right, Extremist Propaganda

This weekend, Tony Perkins and his gay-bashing Family Research Council (FRC) are hosting the annual Values Voter Summit, a Washington, D.C., gathering of right-wing religious activists that typically attracts a number of high-ranking, conservative public officials.

Among those scheduled to speak this year are House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

They and other public officials will be rubbing shoulders with a host of virulently anti-LGBT activists. The SPLC and a coalition of human rights groups has urged these public officials not to speak at the summit because their appearance legitimizes the lies and demonizing propaganda spread by groups like the FRC and the American Family Association, a co-sponsor.

Here’s a quick rundown of the anti-LGBT activists scheduled to speak at the summit, which begins Friday.

Gary Bauer, former official in the Reagan administration and former president of the FRC, is currently president of American Values. Last May, he claimed that allowing men to marry other men would only exacerbate the problems faced by African-American families and would remove more men from black households. He has also claimed that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy, that it’s a danger to religious freedom, and that it’s “an incredible risk to our country and faith.”

Michael Farris, founder of the ultra-conservative Home School Legal Defense Initiative and Patrick Henry College, is based in Loudoun County, Va. He claimed in 2011 that Democrats in his home county are trying to use hate crimes laws to “stifle religious freedom.” Elsewhere, he said that same-sex marriage “undermines the integrity of a nation” and is a behavior that God calls “an abomination.”

John Helmberger is CEO of the Minnesota Family Council. On the organization’s website is “8 Reasons for Opposing Domestic Partners Benefits,” which claims that “Homosexual unions include inherently unhealthy behaviors, e.g. oral and anal sex” and that “Homosexual unions can’t replicate the benefits provided to society” by heterosexual marriage.

Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, wrote a March  2012, blog post in which she worried that anti-bullying policies were just a way for groups like the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network to “gain access to our public schools” and that anti-bullying educational materials are “agenda-driven propaganda” designed to “redefine marriage and to force cultural acceptance and affirmation of homosexual lifestyles.” According to media reports, Herrod was instrumental in lobbying the Arizona legislature to kill an anti-bullying law that would have strengthened existing laws.

Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Maryland, has a history of anti-gay statements and has been active most recently in his home state’s battle over marriage equality. Popular with groups like the FRC and the National Organization for Marriage, Jackson has claimed that LGBT people are trying to “recruit children” because they can’t reproduce and that “demonic forces” are behind the gay rights movement. In 2011, he said, “I’m African American, and I especially believe that what we’re dealing with [gay marriage] is a satanic plot to destroy our seed.”

Rick Scarborough is the founder of Vision America, an organization that seeks to inform and mobilize pastors to “restore Judeo-Christian values.” Scarborough has said that AIDS is God’s judgment for an immoral act and claimed that “Sexual anarchy led by Sodomites who will not stop demanding more until they have destroyed every semblance of public morality” is one of the evils the country faces. He has also demanded to know what LGBT people have to be proud of, since they’re “defined exclusively by their aberrant sexual behavior” and have more than a thousand sexual partners in their lifetimes.

Mathew Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel and dean of the Liberty University Law School, claimed at last year’s summit that the homosexual agenda undermines family and is a direct assault on religious freedom and freedom of speech. Earlier this year, Staver said that the goal of the Day of Silence (a day in which students don’t speak in an effort to call attention to anti-gay bullying) is “to disrupt the classroom learning environment in order to send a message in favor of the radical homosexual agenda” and that it’s part of “a concerted effort to force society to accept the practice of homosexuality and other deviant lifestyles.” Staver went on to warn that homosexual behavior raises “serious public health concerns.”

  • aadila

    The only thing that might happen with marriage equality is that people of the same gender would get married. No need for all the drama.

  • Jeff

    Why do we always assume that everything above will happen if gay people get married? Lets face it, it has already happened before when it was only allowed for straight people to get married. Otherwise we wouldn’t even know what those “horrible things” are. Seems that all those scary statements about what MIGHT happen have no basis in fact. Its all about fear and keeping uneducated Americans on the seat of their pants… Hetrosexual marriage has clearly not made us a better society.

  • Roger B.

    I see Annie is back as usual and spreading _____HIS_____ manure. It don’t surprise me that these extreme right wing politicians support this bigotry and ignorant arrogance. You should have been raised in the Mormon church as I was if you want to see extreme right wing beliefs. They are one of the worst perpetrators of this kind of garbage and Romney and Ryan will carry this message of hatred right into the white house if they, God forbid get elected.

  • aadila

    Scott Auden, so true! And there was a time — perhaps even to this day — that being in the same room with some of these people is what makes a politician’s career.

    It just may not be public.

  • Scott Auden

    What frightens me most is that speakers and opinions you’d have had to be at a klan rally or something to hear ten years ago, are now taken as “mainstream”. There was a time when having been in the same room with some of these people would have ended a politician’s career.

  • Erika

    i believe their favorite entertainment other than disrupting conservative meetings is watching the unicorn races

  • CoralSea

    Erika — oh, okay. Those guys. Don’t they also hang out with Leprechauns and other folkloric creations of fantasy? I think they do….

  • Miguel

    Annie, reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit, is it? Maybe you should refrain from commenting until improving this obvious deficiency.

  • Erika

    CoralSea, i suspect that all of the black masked leftist thugs that disrupt conservative meetings are hanging out with the gangs of black men who Annie always claims are constantly running around raping white women.

  • Anon

    Annie, you and the rest of the GOP say that your anti-LGBT policies are meant to bring families together and save marriages.

    I know of no better way to reply than with this link. Please read it. It’s a heartbreaking story and only one example of the tragedies intolerance and hatred can bring.

    Take a moment and try to imagine what it feels like to be told by your own parents that they want nothing to do with you anymore…

  • 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!

    Ahh…but wait….

    “If a group of Leftists want to have a conference or demonstration I’m not going to try to stop them. I simply wouldn’t attend because I am not interested,” Annie Sez, so…

    Why are you here, then? Why are you “attending” this little “conference or demonstration” of “leftist ideas?”

  • Rylie

    Wait. Wait. I’m laughing. . . so hard.

    Annie, do you read? These rightist ARE trying to shut down groups that try to organize. I mean, it’s in the ARTICLE. Trying to shut down student orgs. Trying to ban people who want to provide safe spaces from schools. Trying to disperse kids who rally to make LGBTQ clubs. Trying to shut down familial organizations. Trying to shut down adoptions. Those, well, those are all forms of organization. Are you that daft?

  • aadila

    I know of some zen monks who show up at protests now and then wearing black robes. But all they do is sit and meditate for peace and risk getting their head cracked open for non violent protest.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Are you saying they don’t have a right to organize because you disagree with them?”

    Clearly they aren’t.

  • Supersonic250

    Yes, Annie. That is EXACTLY what the SPLC is saying. The FRC don’t have the right to throw a summit because they’re bigoted racists, and because the SPLC is a leftist organization, they’re all about quashing freedom of speech.

    ……..Seriously, between Bungalow Bob and Annie/Jason Smith/whatever dumbasses they try to name themselves next, it’s moron week here at the SPLC.

  • CM

    Like Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly is on the board of directors of the Council for National Policy, Gary Bauer is a former CNP director, Michael Farris is a known former CNP member, Rick Scarborough likewise, and ditto Matthew Staver.

    In other words, these speakers are all backers of a Christian theocracy to replace our Constitutional government. Apparently, Cantor and Ryan don’t place as much value on the oath they swore to preserve and defend the Constitution as they do on the potential votes of Christian extremists.

  • CoralSea

    I wonder if anyone at the Values Voter Summit will comment on how Terry Jones (of the Koran burning fame) likely had a hand in inciting the attacks in the American Embassies that got a U.S. embassador and other Americans killed by his promotion of a film mocking Islam.

    Since many members of the Religious Right who are taking part in this lofty event will be there, I wonder if anyone will see fit to condemn the vilification of another religion (even though some of them do so themselves), or it it will just, you know, slip their minds?

  • CoralSea

    Annie — can you tell me where these black masked leftist thugs have shown up to wreak mayhem? I’m trying to think of an event that tracks with what you are talking about, and I am drawing a blank. There WERE protests in the 1960s and 1970s over the Vietnam War in which “leftists” ran amok — although we have also since learned that at least some of these acts were encouraged by government agents.

    Are you thinking of various “riots” over labor rights? These were many, many decades ago, and the violence was on both sides (arguably more so on the side of industry)?

    If I am missing something, I’d like to know. At this point, it appears that the majority of the violent acts have been planned and/or perpetrated by people or groups spouting Right-Wing or Rightist/Religious Separatist beliefs in cases where any actual “cause” is involved.

    I do agree with you that no group should attempt to “close down” the ability of another group to meet lawfully, although as has been said many times on this site (and I agree with it), freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from criticism.

    Speech, even if we don’t agree with it, is–and should be–protected. However, libel or slander, where someone publishes (libel) or makes statements (slander) that are untrue and injurious to other parties (and often, are known by the speaker or publisher to be not really true, or at least they have reason — like scientific evidence — that suggests that it may not be true) IS ILLEGAL, as is intentionally inciting other to violence.

    I think it is unfortunate when people fall into very pat, one-dimensional views of others, but it is difficult not to do so when you have groups that CHOOSE to continue to spread falsehoods that have consequences on the lives of others. Personally, I do as you suggest, and avoid websites the espouse views I find repellent, and I certainly wouldn’t want to attend something like the Values Voter Summit, but I do read this website, because I appreciate that they track groups like this.

  • Mary Jane Stone

    Please not that Phyllis Schlafly has been a big part of this event for years. A few years ago she flatly stated that “There are too many mosques in the United States.” Republicans revere Phyllis and have often put her forward as a wonderful, exemplary, religious and moral woman. Note that when religious righties say “moral” they are talking about sex. As for the guy describing filthy acts. Please note that the acts described in that way are non procreative. When Anita Bryant was moral crusading in Miami her group published the filthy act of the week in the newspaper. All were non procreative and common to both gays and straights.

  • Mitch Beales

    Right wing nuts show up with bombs and kill people. They make no attempt to discourage conferences or worship services because they bring decent people together which increases the opportunity for mass murder. Right wingers prefer white hoods to black masks.

  • Reynardine

    That’s right, little Annie. I wear black gloves and black thigh boots and a black cape that turns into functional batwings and I would show up at midnight and smash your windows with my black brass knuckles and fly in and suck your little brains out, only I can’t eat sawdust.

  • aadila

    It is very telling that the sturm und drang Republicans who consistently deny having racists and bigots in their ranks enjoy the full support and complicity of racists and bigots such as Annie.

    Until such time as the Republicans prove themselves by taking a firm stand against the bigots and racists who populate their ranks, they will always be considered a racist and bigoted organization.

  • Annie

    Reynardine, Aadila, Mandy,

    I do not deny your right to organize. I would not try to shut down any conference. I am not trying to shut down this website. I simply would not attend a conference I disagree with because I probably wouldn’t be interested.

    Leftists actually try to shut down conferences they disagree with. Leftists try to shut down websites they disagree with. Leftists deny the right of those they disagree with to organize. Leftists show up wearing black masks and attack people, smash store windows, and riot. These are not peaceful people. They do not believe in freedom of speech and assembly; I do. If a group of Leftists want to have a conference or demonstration I’m not going to try to stop them. I simply wouldn’t attend because I am not interested. Leftists on the other hand show up wearing black masks and shout and scream and throw rocks and smash windows. They do this whenever a group of people have a peaceful demonstration or conference they disagree with.

  • Kathy

    It’s important, Annie, that someone know what hate groups are espousing and to whom……….Otherwise their claims will not be proven incorrect and hateful. I am increasingly disturbed that Christians espouse to hate a group because of things that are written by fallible human beings claiming to know what an unconditionally loving Energy dictates. The bible was written in a time when women were considered to be property and property was handed down from father to son. I believe this is the one of the reasons Paul wrote that homosexuality is wrong. It didn’t make sense in the reality of the day.

  • Reynardine

    Little Sawdust-head, right on cue.

  • aadila

    Just as no one is forcing you to come here Annie-boy. But you sure do, don’t you?

  • Mandy Barre

    Unbelievable hate will be spewing at this ‘gathering’…hate speech..hmm..what good or positive force does that lead to? Nothing, that’s what! Annie no one is forcing you to read SPLC blogs either.

  • Annie

    Are you saying they don’t have a right to organize because you disagree with them? Do you want to try to shut them down? If you don’t like the FRC then just don’t go to their conference. Don’t visit their website or read their literature. No one is forcing you.