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."