Several prominent social justice groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, and National Council of La Raza, have sent a letter discouraging public officials from participating in the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit this weekend. Among the confirmed speakers are vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Ann Romney, among many other prominent Republican lawmakers and conservative voices.
The letter highlights FRC’s anti-gay smears, as well as that of affiliate American Family Association, both groups the Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed “hate groups:
The FRC is far outside of 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 homosexuality should be criminalized. [...]
We urge you to decline the FRC’s invitation and not share the stage with and lend your credibility to an organization that spreads demonizing falsehoods about other people.
The letter may not deter any of these speakers, but it does hold them accountable for their affiliation. The speakers’ rhetoric will likely cater to the social conservative base, but their mere presence at the conference will speak volumes to the general public.