December 9, 2011 | by Chris Johnson
White House responds to Perry’s anti-gay ad

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday that President Obama likely isn’t “even aware” of attacks from Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry accusing him of being at war with religion for undertaking pro-LGBT efforts.

Under questioning from the Washington Blade, Carney said Obama is both a man of faith and proud of his LGBT advocacy in response to recent attacks Perry has leveled against the president that include an anti-gay TV ad that has been widely circulated online.

“I’m fairly certain the president’s not even aware of those accusations, and I think that I’ll limit my comments on the struggling state of some presidential campaigns,” Carney said. “I will say that the president is a man of faith, as you all know, and I will also say that our record on LGBT issues is one that we’re very proud of.”

On Wednesday, Perry debuted an Iowa TV ad in which he says he’ll end the war on religion that Obama has perpetuated over the course of his first term for taking action on such issues as repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“There’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school,” Perry says in the ad.

Perry has since said in an interview on CNN that he’d “absolutely” reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” if he were elected president.

Earlier this week on Tuesday, after President Obama unveiled a six-point strategy to combat anti-LGBT human rights abuses overseas, Perry issued a statement condemning the move and saying the president has undertaken a “war with people of faith.”

“Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money,” Perry said.

A transcript of the exchange between the Blade and Carney follows:

Washington Blade: In the past week, Rick Perry has taken it upon himself to attack the president for his LGBT advocacy over the course of his first term. After the administration unveiled its new strategy on Tuesday to combat anti-gay abuses, Perry issued a statement saying it’s an example of the president being at war with people of faith. And there’s a widely spread TV ad circulating on the web in which Perry says, “There’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.” Does the president object to these accusations that his LGBT advocacy is inconsistent with principles of faith?

Jay Carney: I’m fairly certain the president’s not even aware of those accusations, and I think that I’ll limit my comments on the struggling state of some presidential campaigns. I will say that the president is a man of faith, as you all know, and I will also say that our record on LGBT issues is one that we’re very proud of.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

4 Comments
  • Rick Perry isn't a man of faith, he's a man of hate

    Perry exposes his inner most bigot with his latest statement. “War on faith”? What a joke! Faith in what? The good ol’ boy system of injustice and inequality is more like it. Rick Perry is so far behind Romney and Newt that he’s resorting to his baseline qualities and his baseline backers. Sick ass hole.

  • Gee-whiz. I swear, I pray (pun intended) for the day when proclaiming that one is a person of faith is irrelevant to your fitness for public office or to your morality or to your trustworthiness or to…anything, really. Then again, students of history, observers of the present, and atheists and others who have more than a passing familiarity with reality are already there. I mean, really, these fools are trying to out-faith each other; meanwhile their faith apparently hasn’t inspired them to feed the hungry, house the homeless, end racial and other prejudice and discrimination, give comfort and aid to the sick, etc., etc., etc. They make me sick. –Signed, a gay, black, atheist Jew of Southern heritage.

  • Our elected leaders need to be more in touch with the American people. Attitudes have changed and will continue to do so. Ask any young person, under 18, their views on gay rights. They are in favor of everyone being treated equally and fairly. They are also going to be voting very soon. These old(er) blow hards won’t be able to get elected to pick up dog c**p. Let them continue to make fools of themselves.

  • I remember watching one of the earlier debates and Rick Perry was asked about the fact that the State of Texas (by far) has the most executions of any State. He was asked about this. It wasn’t that he verbally stated his strong confidence in ALL these executions, it was something more subtle yet more devious. That in his body language he was very gleeful, proud and boastful during this response. So is he a Christ like Christian???? I’m strongly inclined to think he is not.

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