Wisconsin congressman and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is among the Republicans being called on not to attend the Family Research Council's (FRC) Value Voter Summit, because the FRC and the American Family Association (AFA), a co-sponsor of the event, are anti-gay.
In a letter addressed to 15 Republican elected officials, a coalition of groups states that their presence at the 3-day conference would "legitimize anti-LGBT extremism."
"Given the FRC's and AFA's public statements, we urge you not to lend the prestige of your office to the summit," the letter stated.
"The FRC is far outside the mainstream. It has engaged in repeated, groundless demonization portraying LGBT people as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted and a danger to the nation. One of its officials has gone so far as to say that homosexuals should be criminalized."
"The FRC's extremism is vividly illustrated by the fact that it has invited the American Family Association (AFA) to co-sponsor the Summit at which you have been invited to speak. Here is what Bryan Fischer, the AFA's Director of Issue Analysis, wrote in 2010: 'Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.'"
The letter was sent to Governors Jan Brewer of Arizona and Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Senators Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, and Representatives Michele Bachmann, Eric Cantor, Jeff Fortenberry, Tim Huelskamp, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Jim Lankford, Paul Ryan and Allen West.Signers to the letter
include the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), People for the American Way Foundation (PFAWF), the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF), the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Faithful America.
Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in a statement: "Our message is a simple one. Pubic officials should not lend the prestige of their office to groups that spread demeaning and false propaganda about other people."