The Value Voter Summit kicked off today. The event is hosted every year by the Southern Poverty Law Center listed hate group The Family Research Council and often brings representatives from several other known hate groups including the American Family Association as well as several Republican politicians including, this year, House Minority Leader Eric Canter and GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Representative Paul Ryan.
The anti-gay tone of the summit was apparent rather quickly when the FRC began with a prayer that tried to attack not only the SPLC, but gays in general saying:
In mid-August, following a shooting assault on FRC’s D.C. headquarters, FRC President Tony Perkins made a public appeal to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to end its ceaseless campaign falsely characterizing FRC as a “hate group.” Leo Johnson, FRC’s courageous building manager, took a bullet yet managed to prevent what would almost certainly have otherwise been a mass shooting.
The gunman’s actions came after a two year effort by the SPLC, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and a network of homosexual advocacy groups to marginalize FRC and some of our pro-family allies as “hate groups.” Sadly, because they cannot prevail in civil debate, these groups have resorted to name-calling.
But the dedicated Christian staff at FRC does not hate homosexuals. Indeed, by publishing Biblical and scientific truth, our aim is redemptive. We pray for those caught in this destructive lifestyle for their liberty. We labor to advance public policy that strengthens faith, family and freedom, and physical, moral and spiritual safety for our children (Accusation, Liberal Defense,Speaker’s Answer, FRC Response).
Please pray that God will give FRC and our friends courage ceaselessly to proclaim truth as it pertains to marriage and human sexuality. May God grant us favor in fashioning public policy that fosters marriage and human sexuality that reflects God’s wisdom and righteousness! (Dt 17:18; Ps 5:11; Is 10:1; Mt 19:3 ff; Eph 5:22-33; Titus 1:8 ff; Heb 13:4; Jude 7)
The SPLC listed the Family Research Council as a hate group due to their constant misuse of scientific research and their constant use of misleading statistics and often bald-faced lies.
Today, Eric Cantor played to the people at the Value Voter Summit by stating:
Eric Cantor: We all know, as do most Americans in their hearts know, that the way for us to allow the pursuit of happiness is through individual effort. It is not through government program. And that is why we believe in traditional marriage, because marriage, more than any government program ever has or ever will, has lifted up people out of poverty, even those who felt there was no hope. Marriage has proven to be that formula which has been more successful at allowing for that pursuit of happiness. And that is why we stand tall and stand proud for traditional marriage.
Several pro-equality groups, though, called on the speakers and attendees of the Values Voter Summit “to begin an honest discussion ofh ow to value the millions of American families with members who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.” They went on to say:
The groups said the Values Voters Summit, which opens today in Washington D.C., represents an opportunity for social conservatives to stop hiding anti-gay rhetoric by using the term “traditional family values” and instead uphold family values for all Americans.
“I say enough. It’s time for fair-minded Americans to reclaim the term family values and use it in a way that unites our country instead of dividing it,” said Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler. “America is a vibrant and diverse nation of blended and multi-generational families, adoptive and foster families, families headed by single parents, divorced parents, unmarried parents and yes LGBT parents raising children. All these families share common values including the love of our country, respect for our neighbors and the greatest hopes for our kids. We can disagree on some things, but we must agree to respect all American families. That is a core American value that every group, every candidate, every campaign and every voter can and should support.”
“Regardless of your political affiliation, aligning yourself with the most extreme anti-LGBT voices in America is a losing proposition,” said National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director Jerame Davis. “Right, left, or center, Americans know that every family is valuable – including LGBT families. Americans agree that LGBT families are as loving, caring, and deserving of freedom and prosperity as their own. These are the true ‘values voters’ in any election.”
“LGBT or straight, Republicans are united in the belief that strong families are critical to a free and prosperous society,” said Log Cabin Republicans executive director R. Clarke Cooper. “As Log Cabin Republicans reminded Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council in Tampa last month, as fellow conservatives we believe that the freedom to marry and to protect our families is directly in line with the core ideals and principles of the Republican Party – less government, individual freedom, religious freedom, personal responsibility and the importance of family. Family values means valuing all families.”
Chrisler also added that Family Equality Council recently highlighted some of the areas of American life where LGBT parents and their children face legal, economic and social barriers in Modern Families: Ensuring the American Dream for All Families – a platform for LGBT families that was released to coincide with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.