USA Today reports that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is headlining Cornerstone Action’s annual dinner on Oct. 28 in New Hampshire, a sign that he may be strengthening his ties with extremist conservative groups ahead of a possible bid for the White House.
Cornerstone — which has been instrumental to opposing same-sex marriage in New Hampshire and leading the charge to repeal it — is closely linked to anti-gay groups like The Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the National Organization for Marriage and has “endorsed the discredited ‘ex-gay’ therapy groups such as Exodus International, Love Won Out, PFOX, and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).” In fact, as Good As You’s Jeremy Hooper has reported, Cornerstone still links to these groups from its website:
Perry has courted the radical right for years and regularly associates with radical social conservatives like Rev. John Hagee — the televangelist who believes that Katrina was God’s punishment to New Orleans for hosting a gay pride parade and has said, “Hitler was a hunter” sent by God in order to get “the Jewish people” to “come back to the land of Israel.” Recently, Perry came under some fire for partnering with the American Family Association (AFA) for a large prayer event this August called The Response. The AFA is an SPLC-designated hate group whose spokesman Bryan Fischer has called gays “Nazis” who commit hate crimes and “virtual genocide” against Christians.
The Response will also feature Doug Stringer, the Texas “apostle,” who publicly declared the United States had only itself to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks because of its acceptance of homosexuality and the general “licentiousness or moral looseness” it brings to society.