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07/19/2011

Video: The Values Voters Summit = line in the anti-gay sand. Tread carefully, elephants

by Jeremy Hooper

The Family Research Council positions gay human beings as kid-threatening disasters in need of "ex-gay" therapy. The organization churns out brochures that compare same-sex marriages to those bonds which might exist between a man and a horse (complete with horse photo), they directly liken us to terrorists, call LGBT rights a battle of "good versus evil," say Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal proponents are "willing to jeopardize our nation’s security to advance the agenda of the radical homosexual lobby," claim gay teens kill themselves because they know that they're "abnormal," say the gay activists who challenge FRC are "held captive by the enemy," write that same-sex marriage will be "opening the door to all manner of moral and social evil, accuse equality advocates of having a "destructive agenda" that "will invade every corner of the nation," and call on U.S. gays to be either "exported" or criminalized.

Honing in on just the scientifically-discredited "ex-gay" therapy: FRC president Tony Perkins recently defended GOP star Michele Bachmann by even more fully pushing the flawed and offensive idea that gays can and should "change." Tony also recently told an "inspiring" story of saving "big women" from gay "bondage." Because that's where it *AWLAYS* culminates for FRC. It's not about policy for this group -- it's always, at its core, about "converting" gay and lesbian people into their vision of acceptability.

This beyond-the-pale rhetoric is the reason why the respected Southern Poverty Law Center designated FRC with an "anti-gay hate group" label, one of only sixteen American groups to earn such a distinction. FRC will tell you that it's simply because of an all-out witch hunt from SPLC and LGBT activists. But the truth is that the vast majority of conservative groups opposed to LGBT rights are not on the SPLC's list. The truth is that FRC made the list because they have met a very high bar that few other groups have managed to meet. I assembled the above list of FRC slights in about ten minutes from just going back a year or so into my own archives. If I took a day looking back through this group's decades of engagement, I could quite literally fill up this entire site with nothing but FRC attacks. That is not an overstatement. Of all the religious right groups that earn mainstream credence, FRC's track record is perhaps the most hostile.


So why I am I rehashing all of this now? Oh, because conservatives are now lining up behind FRC, eager to court voters at the group's forthcoming Values Voters Summit:

So I just want to remind these GOP stars: By touting this event and its virtues from that D.C. stage, they are willfully hopping in bed with all that we've listed above. FRC has put LGBT-centric aggression front and (far from) center, determined to keep a hurtful and divisive "culture war" at the heart of the Republican party. The Values Voters Summit is a rally cry for this form of conservatism. A rally cry for a world where LGBT people are cruelly cast off, portrayed not only as flawed and therefore undeserving of rights, but also as some sort of innate threat to the state of our country and world. Is this really where the GOP is headed?

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