A Florida chapter of the pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans has published an attack ad against the Obama administration that prominently features a picture of slain Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya last month. Accompanying the picture is the claim that the President refuses to protect gay and gay friendly Americans against “Islamic radicalism.”
Funded by the Broward County Log Cabin Republicans, the ad calls for LGBT voters to support the Republican Party because of its support for Israel. Israel, according to the flyer, is the “one beacon of hope in the Middle East protecting our communities human rights.” The ad further insinuates that President Obama will impose sharia law on the United States in a second term. The full ad as published in the Florida Agenda, an LBGT newspaper (see right photo).
In making its assertions, the ad perpetuates two rumors surrounding the death of Stevens. The first, that the group shown in the picture was proudly dragging his body through the streets, has been roundly debunked. Translated video of the moments captured in the picture shows that the group was taking the Ambassador to the hospital for treatment. The second is that Stevens was himself gay, an unsubstantiated claim that right-wing blogs have seized on to claim that the Obama administration “needlessly enraged the passions of protesters” in the Middle East.
Pro-gay groups from both parties have condemned the ad. The National Stonewall Democrats released the following statement:
The Log Cabin Republicans of Florida have cravenly disrespected the life and legacy of a United States civil servant with this ad. Put bluntly, they have crossed the line of civil discourse and good taste by including an image of the corpse of slain US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens being carried through the streets of Benghazi, Libya. …
It is simply unimaginable to me how any political message, let alone the muddy and ludicrous message of this ad, in any way justifies disgracing the memory of a man who gave his life in service to his country. This level of depravity and moral indifference must not be allowed to enter our political discourse.
The Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans also denounced the ad’s contents as “fallacious, simple minded and irresponsible.”