US: Civil rights groups urge RNC to disassociate with anti-gay groups

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Wednesday, a coalition of civil rights groups, lead by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), urged the head of the Republican National Committee to disassociate from the groups behind the upcoming Values Voter Summit, because of their demonisation of LGBT people.

The coalition made the request in an open letter to RNC head, Reince Priebus, published in the Washington Post and The Hill.

The letter reminded Priebus of his predecessor, Jim Nichols’, remarks that the RNC should distance itself from the Council of Conservative Citizens, because of that group’s racist views.

The letter said: “Will the GOP condemn anti-LGBT bigotry as vigorously as it opposed racism 15 years ago?”

The summit is co-sponsored by the Family Research Council (FRC), The American Family Association (AFA), and the Liberty Counsel.

The letter states that these groups “engage in groundless demonisation of LGBT people – portraying them as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation”.

Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the letter is asking the RNC to stand against these extremist groups and be on the right side of history.

He said: “Our elected officials should not legitimize hate speech by appearing before extremist groups that vilify entire groups of people… We are asking the leaders of the GOP to take a stand against the politics of division.

“These views are far outside the mainstream, and those who continue to associate with anti-LGBT extremists will find themselves on the wrong side of history.”

The coalition that the letter with SPLC includes GLAAD, The Human Rights Campaign, Faithful America, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc., People for the American Way, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.