Gay rights groups call for repudiation of antigay convention speakers
Gay rights groups Human Rights Campaign and the National Black Justice Coalition on Tuesday jointly called on President Bush to repudiate antigay speakers at the Republican National Convention. HRC executive director Cheryl Jacques and National Black Justice Coalition strategic director H. Alexander Robinson sent the following letter to the president:
Dear Mr. President,
As advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Americans, we are writing to you on a matter of grave concern. We are deeply disturbed to learn that Donnie McClurkin, Sheri Dew, and Bishop Keith Butler, who have made deeply offensive comments about GLBT Americans, will be featured at the Republican Convention, and we urge you to repudiate their divisive and appalling comments. Mr. McClurkin, who will be entertaining from the convention stage on Thursday, has accused gay Americans of "trying to kill our children" (The 700 Club, September 23, 2003) and has called homosexuality a "curse" (Charisma Magazine, June 2002). In an article about same-sex marriage, Ms. Dew, who [spoke] before the convention on Monday, called for "a comparison between the atrocities of Hitler and what is happening in terms of contemporary threats against the family" (Meridian Magazine). In talking about the "gay lifestyle," the Bishop Keith Butler, who is appearing on the convention stage on Thursday, has claimed that it "endangers family, children, and the core of society" (October 2003 press conference).
Mr. President, featuring individuals on the stage of your convention who compare a group of Americans to Hitler and accuse them of killing children is divisive and irresponsible. The American people abhor discriminatory, false, and inflammatory language against any group of Americans. Uniting America comes with helping families, not by promoting those who want to divide us. We urge you to immediately repudiate these comments.
Cheryl A. Jacques, President of the Human Rights Campaign
H. Alexander Robinson, Strategic Director of the National Black Justice Coalition