For the next three days, some of the United States’ most renowned anti-gay extremists will gather for the Values Voter Summit.
Expecting to draw more than 2000 activists from the religious right, the conference kicked off today aiming to promote ‘pro-family values, the economy, and social conservative issues’.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will be a featured speaker at the Family Research Council (FRC) event in Washington DC.
In his speech today (14 September), Ryan will tell the crowd of conservatives ‘just about every segment of society is worse off’ under the president.
FRC head Tony Perkins celebrated the beginning of the conference yesterday (13 September) with a luncheon at the National Press Club.
He reiterated his rebuke of the Southern Poverty Law Center designating the FRC as a hate group, and proceeded to compare homosexuality to drug abuse.
When Perkins was asked if he would disown one of his children if they came out as gay, he said he would not disown them, but just like a ‘lifestyle of drugs’, he would not condone it either.
In the past Perkins has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and alcoholism, called Islam ‘evil’, and insists gay and lesbian teens must know they are ‘abnormal’.
Ryan, a devout Catholic, has voted against marriage equality and adoption by same-sex couples.
In his first speech as vice president nominee, he said: ‘Our rights come from nature and God, not from government.’
Right Wing Watch reports other right-wingers will be appearing at the conference, who they say have ‘made careers demonizing gays and lesbians, attacking the freedoms of Muslim-Americans and promoting wild conspiracies about President Obama.’
Among the speakers, actor Kirk Cameron has called homosexuality ‘destructive’ to civilization, former Republican presidential nominee Rick Santorum’s campaign included excessive anti-gay rhetoric, and Tea Party supporter Michelle Bachmann has consistently campaigned against gay issues.
Values Voter Summit will run from 14-16 September.