While some members of Congress will spend Friday working to end the government shutdown, Rep. Randy Forbes plans to raise money for the American Family Association, an anti-gay hate group. As the Virginian-Pilot reports, Forbes is “scheduled to speak at a $40-a-plate American Family Association luncheon” at the Values Voter Summit that begins Friday in Washington.
That’s why Faithful America, a progressive Christian organization, launched a TV ad this week calling on Forbes to cancel the appearance. Watch:
Faithful America noted that Forbes, who founded the Congressional Prayer Caucus, “holds himself up as a Christian leader” but “there’s nothing Christian about the hateful rhetoric of the American Family Association.” In a related effort, the Southern Poverty Law Center joined with Faithful America, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, and People For the American Way to call on public officials, including Forbes, to avoid the Values Voter Summit altogether. Read the groups’ letter [PDF].
When asked about the letter by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Forbes spokesperson Dean Petrone defended the American Family Association, saying that the group was being criticized for opposing same-sex marriage. He also suggested that the group’s critics were “engaging in highly inflammatory rhetoric that diminishes civil public discourse.”
Both charges are laughable. There wouldn’t have been a letter or TV ad directed at his boss if the American Family Association actually held traditional views. Instead the group demonizes and lies about LGBT people, going so far as to blame them for the Holocaust. The group’s chief spokesman, Bryan Fischer, has said, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”
Forbes has until Friday afternoon to decide where he stands. In the meantime, Faithful America is continuing to run its ad and collect petition signatures.