Former PA Senator Rick Santorum was just one of the speakers being protested this weekend at the Value Voters Summit in Washington D.C. this weekend. Members of the civil rights organization GetEQUAL protested at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Not only were they a visible presence outside the anti-gay event, but activists infiltrated the conference carrying a simulated coffin draped in a rainbow American flag while reading anti-LGBT quotes from Tony Perkins (head of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of the event) before being dragged outside. They also projecting the names and photos of LGBT young people who have committed suicide in this country.
“The ‘values’ promoted at this summit alienate millions of LGBT Americans from full and equal citizenship,” says GetEQUAL organizer Erica Keppler, “deny us our dignity; seek to prevent us from enjoying the basic joy and security of marriage; create an unsafe environment that leads suicide, violence, and hate crimes; and, too often, result in violence toward and even the murder of our LGBT brothers and sisters.”
GetEQUAL charges that suppressing LGBT equality is a direct violation of the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and creates a hostile atmosphere for at-risk youth. But many of the speakers at the event – including Michele Bachmann (she operated a reparative therapy program that championed “turning” gay people straight), Mike Huckabee (he led the Chick-fil-A appreciation day), and Paul Ryan (the vice presidential nominee who has voted against LGBT rights – including laws protecting gay parenting and workplace discrimination) – would like to see anti-gay laws written into the U.S. Constitution, banning everything from marriage to parenting and adoption.