Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118

It is Disgraceful that Perry and the GOP Are in Bed With The American Family Association, a Certified Hate Group, Says TWO

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Truth Wins Out demanded today that Texas Governor Rick Perry immediately cancel his exploitative and sectarian call to prayer for the nation’s governors. The August 6 “day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our troubled nation” threatens the separation of church and state and ties the Republican Party to the American Family Association and The International House of Prayer, two of America’s most notorious hate groups.

“This opportunistic and divisive publicity stunt unwisely marries politics and fundamentalism at the expense of our nation’s unity,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “This offensive event should be immediately cancelled. If not, we will consider organizing a counter action to mobilize the masses who believe in a free and diverse nation that celebrates pluralism.”

The International House of Prayer and the American Family Association, which is a Southern Poverty Law Center certified hate group, are sponsoring Perry’s event. In the New York Times, Perry unwisely defended the AFA: “The AFA is a group that promotes faith and strong families, and this event is about bringing Americans together in prayer.”

In May, 2010 the AFA’s Bryan Fischer said:

“Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”

On April 5, the AFA’s Bryan Fischer said on his radio show:

“Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete. Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits.”

On February 10 Fisher wrote on AFA’s website:

“In all the discussions about the European settlement of the New World, one feature has been conspicuously absent — the role that the superstition, savagery and sexual immorality of native Americans played in making them morally disqualified from sovereign control of American soil.”

“It is time the Republican Party is held accountable for its partnership with one of the most insidious groups in America,” said TWO’s Besen. “The American Family Association’s inflammatory rhetoric is dangerous, and it is unconscionable that Perry and the GOP are embracing such a fringe organization. Is this what the modern GOP stands for?”

TWO is also profoundly disturbed that the AFA is behind influential Pastors’ Policy Briefings in Iowa and other states that are intended to galvanize the Religious Right in a presidential election year. They are organized by David Lane and have attracted politicians including Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.).

The AFA is a Tupelo, Mississippi-based organization known for launching failed boycotts against The Walt Disney Company, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Ford Motor Company and McDonalds. The group once accused Mighty Mouse of snorting cocaine.

The AFA also peddles “It’s Not Gay,” a DVD featuring Michael Johnston, who claims that he went from gay to straight through prayer. The AFA conveniently omits the fact that Johnston had to be shuffled off to a sex addiction facility in 2003 for allegations of group sex with men.

Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.

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