Call to action: Urge Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan to skip right-wing summit


Civil rights activists are encouraging people to ask lawmakers – including a familiar name in Wisconsin – to skip a far right-wing summit set to take place Oct. 11-13.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Human Rights Campaign, are encouraging people to ask U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and others to not attend the Values Voter Summit held by the far-right Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

The FRC has been characterized as a hate group in the progressive community for the organization’s demonizing of gay people and campaign against basic civil liberties for LGBT people. The FRC repeatedly has portrayed gays and lesbians as sick, evil, incestuous, violent and perverted threats to the nation.

And the Values Voter Summit, year after year, has featured politicians, pundits and Christian right leaders who go beyond opposing LGBT equal rights legislation to advocate criminalizing same-sex sex and treating homosexuality as a disease.

Organizers expect Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage to attend and speak at the event.

Brown will join FRC president Tony Perkins on a panel called “The Future of Marriage.”

In addition to the SPLC and HRC, the NAACP, National Council of La Raza, GLAAD, People for the American Way Foundation and Faithful America have called on lawmakers to skip the summit.

“Elected officials shouldn’t lend the prestige of their office to hate groups that have a long history of telling incendiary lies about the LGBT community and spreading other forms of bigotry,” said an announcement from the SPLC.

The SPLC provided links to contact lawmakers set to speak at the summit:

Sen. Rand Paul

Sen. Marco Rubio

Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Tim Scott

Rep. Paul Ryan

Rep. Randy Forbes

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Rep. Jim Bridenstine

Rep. Louie Gohmert

Rep. Jim Jordan

Rep. Steve King

Rep. Steve Scalise

Rep. Scott Turner