For the social conservatives who gathered in Washington, D.C., today for this year’s Values Voter Summit, the first day’s speeches must have been a bit disappointing. There was hardly a peep about the LGBT people who are so often the target of vicious rhetoric and false propaganda used by the summit’s host, the Family Research Council, and some of its co-sponsoring groups.
In fact, the star attraction, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, stuck mostly to foreign policy and the economy – as did House Majority leader Eric Cantor.
That clearly frustrated American Family Association’s (AFA) Bryan Fischer, an unrelenting gay-basher who has blamed gay men for orchestrating the Holocaust and claimed that the HIV virus doesn’t cause AIDS.
“The biggest mistake is they put a bag over Paul Ryan’s head,” he told Talking Points Memo. Fischer added that he was “deeply disturbed” that the congressman from Wisconsin did not even mention his campaign’s opposition to gay marriage. “I got to believe that there was some kind of directive from the top of the campaign: We don’t want you to deal with this issue.”
There may be some truth to what Fischer says – though that would be a rarity.
In his speech, Tim Wildmon, Fischer’s boss at the AFA, told the crowd he “had to stick to his script” and “stay on message.” As a result he read from prepared remarks that mostly involved discussions of historical figures.
It seems everyone wanted to be on their best behavior.
Even Muslim-bashing appeared to be off-limits, perhaps because of the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya and the spreading anti-American violence triggered by an anti-Islam propaganda film made in the U.S. that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad in particularly offensive ways.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann couldn’t help herself, though. She warned of looming speech codes enforced by Muslims and of a 10-year plan led by an international Islamic institute to install Shariah law in America
Meanwhile, Terry Jones, the Koran-burning pastor of the tiny Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., had planned an anti-LGBT protest outside the White House tomorrow, perhaps timed to take advantage of the social conservatives who be in town for the summit.
Jones is among the extremists who promoted “The Innocence of Muslims,” the amateurish film that triggered mob violence across the Middle East this week. Earlier, his burning of a Koran led to deadly riots in Afghanistan.
But on Thursday, Jones released a press release saying his protest had been postponed “due to the current international events.”
Maybe he got the memo, too.