We reported yesterday that American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer will not only be speaking at the upcoming Values Voter Summit but will immediately follow Mitt Romney. Today, People For the American Way released a statement urging Romney and fellow Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum to condemn Fischer’s unmitigated bigotry rather than lending it legitimacy by appearing with him:
• Fischer, the chief spokesman for the AFA, has insisted that American Muslims have no First Amendment rights, has said that Muslims should be banned from the U.S. military, and has called for a ban on the building of new mosques in the U.S.
• Fischer has written that “gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism,” thinks gays and lesbians should be “disqualified from public office,” claims that gays are responsible for the Nazi Party and that gay people today will “do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.”
• Fischer has insisted that Native Americans are “morally disqualified” from controlling American land and insists that American Indian communities are “mired in poverty and alcoholism” because not all have converted to Christianity.
• He has written that African American welfare recipients “rut like rabbits.”
• Last year, Fischer insulted Medal of Honor winner Sal Giunta, who saved the lives of two fellow soldiers under heavy fire in Afghanistan, saying “we have feminized the Medal of Honor” because “we now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them.”
People For the American Way president Michael Keegan urged Romney and his fellow presidential candidates to denounce Fischer’s bigotry before appearing with him at the event.
“Bryan Fischer’s stunning record of public bigotry would make him a pariah in any sane political movement,” Keegan said. “But his long record of hate speech doesn’t seem to bother the supposed ‘mainstream’ GOP politicians like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry who are sharing the stage with him at an event sponsored by his employer. Candidates don’t have to agree with the views of everyone they appear with – but they should be wary of lending legitimacy to those who peddle hate and fear of their fellow Americans.
“If Mitt Romney wants to appeal to mainstream audiences, he should publicly disassociate himself from Fischer’s bigotry before handing him the podium.”