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09/09/2008

Thespian accepts invite to lesbian-unfriendly powwow

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 2-178And now in "damn, we wish actresses we like wouldn't appear at conferences that are traditionally filled with anti-gay aggression" news: Academy Award-nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo -- who caught American audiences' attention in the House of Sand and Fog, had a memorable character arc on "24", and even did a guest turn on "Will & Grace" -- has signed up to appear at the Family Research Council's so-called "Values Voters Summit." She will appear next week alongside such queer-unfriendly "pro-family" figures as Gary Bauer, Chuck Colson, Jonathan Falwell, and Star Parker:

Values Voters Lineup [FRC]

Now to be fair, we should mention that Ms. Aghdashloo was on the Honorary Board of the The Black and White Gala, a recent event designed solely to raise fund for Barack Obama. So her appearance at the FRC banquet doesn't mean she herself is an anti-gay social conservative, or even a Republican for that matter. However, when it comes to an event where virtually every single speaker in the past few years has gotten up and brazenly lashed out against the "homosexual agenda" (see video from 15 of last year's speakers), we can't help but think presenteeism itself is a step too far. After all, this isn't a "big tent" event where one will have the opportunity to create exchange from the inside. It's also not like FRC's recent panel on marriage, at which point we applauded a pro-gay person's invite and appearance. No, no -- the "Values Voters Summit" is a social conservative pep rally in which the surefire way to get a standing ovation, historically, has been to say something anti-gay or anti-Clinton (though this year it'll surely be anti-Obama). And it's an event where a social justice-minded person's decision to decline an invitation is not an act of cowardice, but rather a reasoned act of objection!

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**In addition to the extensive video we captured from the '07 summit, Max Blumethal also shot an insightful video that went pretty viral around a year ago. Relive it:

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