Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
The name itself – the “Values Voter Summit” – is revealing. At least by implication, it sounds as if the only voters who have “values,” defined in a specific way, would, if not attend, at least agree with, what the list of speakers will be saying. The 2012 edition of this gathering will take place September 14 – 16, in DC. Where else would you gather to show your “there’s no separation of church and state” values?
Among the lengthy list of confirmed (with a good number of unconfirmed) speakers is Paul Ryan. Last year Mitt Romney spoke to the “values” crowd. At this point, he’s listed as “unconfirmed,” and my bet is he won’t attend, in an attempt not to appear completely out of touch with “mainstream” GOPers. But VP wannabee Ryan will fill in for him, going where the top of the ticket doesn’t want to be photographed. Or, maybe R&R will both be there, photo ops and all.
You can see a complete list of confirmed, and unconfirmed, 2012 speakers here. A partial list, in addition to Ryan: Rep. Michele Bachmann; Gary Bauer, President, American Values; Dr. Bill Bennett, Best-selling Author and Host, ‘Morning in America’; Gov. Jan Brewer; Majority Leader Eric Cantor; Sen. Jim DeMint; Rep. Steve King; Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council and FRC Action; (former) Sen. Rick Santorum; Mat Staver, Chairman, Liberty Counsel, Dean, Liberty University School of Law; Tim Wildmon, President, American Family Association.
Sponsoring the event is the Family Research Council, with president Tony Perkins. Just think of the possibilities Perkins has with this platform, to keep his use of the shooting at the FRC offices going for his anti-Southern Poverty Law Center/Planned Parenthood/Obama/Etc., all of which are tainted by their support of, among other less or non-valued persons, LGBTs. Other sponsors: Tim Wildmon, American Family Association; Gary Bauer, American Values; Ed Feulner, The Heritage Foundation; Jerry Falwell, Jr., Liberty University; Mathew Staver; Liberty Counsel.
Not all Republicans are pleased with the Summit, nor with the use of anti-LGBT rhetoric in general, and as always, I think they deserve recognition.
From Ron Hill, who writes “For the rational wing of the Republican party,” at Republicans4Freedom:
Republican VP Candidate Paul Ryan to Attend Hate Group Conference
… Gonna be hard for Romney to pretend he’s a mainstream candidate when his VP is addressing the … ‘Values Voters Summit’. … Want to paint Republicans as mean-spirited and divisive? Just tie Romney to leaders of America’s hate groups … .
This story deserves to be all over the news until Ryan is shamed into canceling his appearance. Being a Republican should be about uniting our nation instead of dividing it … about freedom and respect for every law-abiding American. …
The whole purpose of this site is to help bring the Republican party back to the mainstream by highlighting the extremism of the far right. … Responsible Republicans need to work toward making it shameful to be seen associating or collaborating with leaders of hate groups.
And at Metro Weekly, Justin Snow writes:
Young Conservatives Urge GOP To Support Marriage Equality as Log Cabin Nears Endorsement
A group of young conservatives urged the platform-drafting committee for the Republican National Committee to endorse marriage equality in a letter sent earlier this week.
Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, which is under the umbrella of the national organization Freedom to Marry, wrote that if the Republicans ‘truly believe in family values, then we must value all families.’
Of course, as the article states, there isn’t any expectation that the Republican Party will, as the Democratic Party has, add support of marriage equality to their platform. Romney’s pick of anti-LGBT equality Ryan as his running mate signals exactly the opposite thinking.
There’s another group (this one from outside the GOP) pushing Republicans, in specific, the Log Cabin Republicans, not to endorse the Romney/Ryan ticket. I wrote earlier about “Mitt Gets Worse” here. The effort was organized by The Courage Campaign, an online “multi-issue advocacy organization,” and American Bridge 21st Century, a “progressive research and communications organization.”
In a letter sent to (LCR) Executive Director R. Clarke Copper and the board of directors for Log Cabin Republicans, David Brock of American Bridge 21st Century and Rick Jacobs of Courage Campaign Super PAC urged the group of gay Republicans to withhold their endorsement for Romney.
Citing Log Cabin Republicans’ decision to not endorse George W. Bush in 2004 by a 22-2 margin, Brock and Jacobs write, ‘We believe Mitt Romney’s record shows there is little daylight between him and George W. Bush when it comes to our rights …’
Responding to the letter, Cooper said the petition would have no impact on the group’s internal deliberations.
If LCR really won’t listen to voices like Ron Hill, “Mitt Gets Worse” and Young Conservatives, they are, even if by default, supporting “Values Voters,” people who are unlikely to welcome them to their Summit. Tony Perkins and company will clearly show, again, that their values include a great deal of judging people not like them, and warmly welcoming people very much like them, including speakers.
(God Hates Everyone sign via Wipeout Homophobia on FB
Values Voter graphic via Values Voter Summit)