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Romney to Share Stage with Bryan Fischer; PFAW Urges Candidates to Denounce Bigotry
At next week’s Values Voter Summit, Mitt Romney is scheduled to take the stage immediately before Bryan Fischer, an American Family Association spokesman with a long and shocking record of bigotry against gays and lesbians, American Muslims, Native Americans and other minority groups. Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum are also scheduled to speak at the event, which is sponsored by the anti-gay Family Research Council, the AFA, and other Religious Right groups.
Last year, People For the American Way called on Romney and other prominent GOP leaders to denounce Fischer’s bigotry before appearing with him at the Values Voter Summit. This year, the event’s organizers kept Fischer off the list of “confirmed speakers,” but listed his Oct. 8 speech on an event schedule posted yesterday, PFAW’s Right Wing Watch reports.
· Fischer, the chief spokesman for the AFA, has insisted that American Muslims have no First Amendment rights,
· Fischer has written that “gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism,” thinks gays and lesbians should be “disqualified from public office,” claims that gays are responsible for the Nazi Partyand that gay people today will "do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany".
· Fischer has insisted that Native Americans are “morally disqualified” from controlling American land and insists that American Indian communities are “mired in poverty and alcoholism” because not all have converted to Christianity. He has written that African American welfare recipients “rut like rabbits.”
· Last year, Fischer insulted Medal of Honor winner Sal Giunta, who saved the lives of two fellow soldiers under heavy fire in Afghanistan, saying “we have feminized the Medal of Honor” because "we now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them."
People For the American Way president Michael Keegan urged Romney and his fellow presidential candidates to denounce Fischer’s bigotry before appearing with him at the event.
“Bryan Fischer’s stunning record of public bigotry would make him a pariah in any sane political movement,”Keegan said. “But his long record of hate speech doesn’t seem to bother the supposed ‘mainstream’ GOP politicians like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry who are sharing the stage with him at an event sponsored by his employer. Candidates don’t have to agree with the views of everyone they appear with – but they should be wary of lending legitimacy to those who peddle hate and fear of their fellow Americans.
“If Mitt Romney wants to appeal to mainstream audiences, he should publicly disassociate himself from Fischer’s bigotry before handing him the podium.”
For more information on Bryan Fischer, see PFAW’s report, The GOP’s Favorite Hate-Monger: How the Republican Party Came to Embrace Bryan Fischer and the video Four Minutes of Hate: The Naked Bigotry of the AFA’s Bryan Fischer.
People For the American Way works to build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. We fight against right-wing extremism and the injustice it fosters.