A print advertisement paid for by the Broward County chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans includes the body of the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was killed in what has lately been called a terrorist attack.
The ad was reported on by Bilerico Project and printed in an LGBT newspaper called the Florida Agenda. It attacks President Obama as unable to protect Americans.
"If the Obama Administration isn't going to protect Gay/Gay-friendly American citizens from the terror of Islamic radicalism," the ad asks, "what makes you think they will protect us from Shariah Law… ANYWHERE?"
The leaders of the national Log Cabin Republicans have already condemned the chapter's inclusion of Christopher Stevens' body in the attack ad as "obscene." "We reject it completely," wrote executive director R. Clarke Cooper in a letter to the newspaper's editor in which he described himself as "deeply embarrassed" by it.
It has never been confirmed whether Stevens is still alive in the photo, though he is unconscious. And several newspapers were criticized for including it in reports after the attack.
The advertisement implies Stevens was gay, which is an unsubstantiated rumor being circulated by the same oddball blog that claims President Obama is secretly gay. The Advocate contacted the State Department about the rumor some time ago and a spokesman opted against commenting on "the ambassador's personal life."
Cooper swatted down the idea that the attack on the consulate was related to Stevens' sexual orientation — a notion put forward in the ad.
"To suggest that the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb attack on the US consular mission in Benghazi was connected to homophobia is just as ridiculous as US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, claiming the attack in Benghazi was prompted by a film critical of Mohammed," Clarke wrote. "Violence against the LGBT community is a challenge to civil society throughout the world, and America is a beacon for freedom for all minority voices. There are plenty of reasons to vote Republican to protect US interests and human rights abroad, but the obscene ad in this publication is fallacious, grossly inappropriate and irresponsible."
The National Stonewall Democrats countered with a comment calling the ad "shameless and callous," and they called on the local chapter to retract the ad an issue an apology.
"The confused hatchet men at Log Cabin are conflating a number of unrelated issues in order to attack Democrats and President Obama," said executive director Jerame Davis in a statement. "First, they latch onto right-wing rumors that Ambassador Stevens was gay and then they insinuate that President Obama is responsible for the attack because he did not protect the Ambassador from 'Sharia Law'…. It is simply unimaginable to me how any political message, let alone the muddy and ludicrous message of this ad, in any way justifies disgracing the memory of a man who gave his life in service to his country."
Correspondent JULIE BOLCER contributed to this report.