Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:
1. The Human Rights Campaign is calling on members to write letters to their governors asking them to decline Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s invitation to a Day of Prayer at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Aug. 6. The Day of Prayer, dubbed “The Response,” is being bankrolled by the American Family Association, designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition, HRC notes that David Lane, who’s listed as fundraising director for the Response, played a major role in last year’s recall of three Iowa state Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of major equality. HRC also says the Day of Prayer involves leaders associated with the International House of Prayer and Lou Engle’s TheCall, which “played an active role in supporting anti-gay sentiment in Uganda, where legislation under potential consideration would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death in some circumstances.” HRC’s full press release from Wednesday afternoon is after the jump. To take action, go here.
2. Also issuing a statement Wednesday about Gov. Perry’s Day of Prayer was Michael Mitchell, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats: “If there is a worse partner than the American Family Association for Texas Governor Rick Perry’s day of prayer event, I certainly can’t think of one,” Mitchell said. “As a certified hate group hell-bent on rolling back every bit of progress lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have made, this is certainly not going to be an uplifting event for LGBT Texans, especially those of faith. Rick Perry’s presidential aspirations seem to be getting the best of him. Rather than organize an event worthy of all Texans, he has chosen to ally himself with the deep pockets of the AFA. Let’s hope the 49 other governors he has invited turn down their invitations. We would urge all Texans who care about the rights of LGBT people to steer clear of this event.”
3. Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, acknowledged in an interview with the Houston Chronicle that one of the purposes of the Response is to pray for an end to the increasing acceptance of homosexuality in American society:
Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, rejected the label of “hate group” and characterized his organization’s position on homosexuality as representative “of a lot of people who have traditional values.”
“They want somebody to speak for them,” he said. “We try to do that. We are reaching the Christian community with the truth about what is going on in our country.”
He acknowledged that a stated purpose of the August prayer event initiated by Perry – to pray for an end to the “debasement of our culture” – refers to the increasing acceptance of homosexuality by American society.
HRC Calls Out Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Collaborating with Anti-Gay Groups on Day of Prayer
American Family Association, individuals from TheCall and International House of Prayer among those working on Perry’s “response” for a “nation in crisis”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – today condemned Texas Governor Rick Perry’s collaboration with anti-LGBT groups like the American Family Association (AFA) and individuals from TheCall and the International House of Prayer as part of “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis.”According to the Response’s website, America is mired in economic, social and “most of all” – moral crises. The day of prayer is scheduled to take place August 6 at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
“Governor Perry’s decision to work with such blatantly anti-LGBT groups on an event billed as a day of prayer is disturbing,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Despite his horrendous track record on matters of equality, Perry is an elected official with a responsibility to work for the rights and protections of all Texas citizens. Aligning with groups who, on a daily basis, seek to demonize LGBT Americans sets a dangerous precedent.”
HRC is alerting its members and supporters through Call It Out – a new online platform that calls attention to homophobia and transphobia. The campaign can be viewed at www.hrc.org/callitout .
Governor Perry is working directly with some of the most rabidly anti-LGBT groups in the nation on the Response . The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the AFA “one of the most strident voices spreading malicious anti-LGBT propaganda.” The AFA’s Bryan Fischer has said LGBT individuals “have as many as 300 to 1,000 sexual partners over the course of a lifetime,” associated homosexuality with Nazism, and suggested LGBT advocates would push for the reinstatement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as a means of escaping military service should the draft ever return.
TheCall is a movement spearheaded by the International House of Prayer’s (IHOP) Lou Engle. Engle is known for spreading his anti-gay message far and wide . In 2010, TheCall played an active role in supporting anti-gay sentiment in Uganda, where legislation under potential consideration would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death in some circumstances. Earlier this year, HRC hand-delivered 70,000 petitions to Engle, calling on him to retract his dangerous rhetoric that was driving anti-gay hate in Uganda.
Other anti-gay leaders involved in the Response include David Lane, who played a major role in last year’s recall of three Iowa state Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of major equality, and Jim Garlow, who earlier this month claimed efforts to advance marriage equality would destroy families in the same way as families who lost a parent on September 11.
Governor Perry has called on governors from all other states to join him in recognizing the day of prayer. HRC is calling on governors across the nation to not support the August 6th event, and take a stand against the hijacking of religious values by those who actively work to suppress LGBT Americans.