July 20, 2016 at 6:36 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Republican lawmakers attend Family Research Council luncheon

Virginia Foxx, Family Research Council, Susan B. Anthony List, gay news, Washington Blade

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) speaks at a Family Research Council and Susan B. Anthony List luncheon in Cleveland on July 20, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

CLEVELAND — The co-chair of the Republican Party’s platform committee was among those who spoke at a Family Research Council luncheon that took place in Cleveland on Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) described the platform that delegates to the Republican National Convention approved earlier this week as “one of the most conservative in the party’s history.”

The North Carolina Republican who represents the state’s 5th Congressional District said the platform “recognizes” that “traditional marriage is the anchor for family and society.”

“Its daily lessons of love, patience, mutual respect, responsibility, self-reliance are fundamental to moving forward and the progress of our economy,” said Foxx. “It’s families, relying upon God and each other, that is the foundation of our country and of our civil society.”

Foxx did not discuss the platform’s support of so-called conversion therapy or the First Amendment Defense Act, a religious freedom bill that critics say would allow anti-LGBT discrimination. She also made no mention of the provision against the use of federal law to ensure that transgender people can use restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

“This administration will do everything possible to get rid of civil society,” said Foxx.

Miss. governor defends religious freedom law

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) David and Jason Benham were among those who also spoke at the luncheon that the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group, co-hosted with the Susan B. Anthony List, an organization that opposes abortion rights.

“It’s time that we stop being silent about core principles,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins before he introduced the Benham brothers.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry made broad statements about diversity as he criticized the Obama administration’s foreign policy. The former presidential candidate also spoke in support of Donald Trump, who formally became the Republican Party’s presidential nominee on Tuesday.

“We’re a diverse country,” said Perry. “We’re a diverse population. We have diverse ideas and philosophies.”

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant defended his state’s religious freedom law that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination in his state.

The anti-LGBT Republican referenced the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld boxer Muhammad Ali’s refusal to be drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War because of his Muslim beliefs. Bryant also noted the U.S. has also given “religious accommodations to the terrorists” who remain in custody at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

The law — known as House Bill 1523 — was to have taken effect on July 1, but U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves issued a last-minute injunction against it. Bryant appealed the ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans after Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who is a Democrat, announced that he would not.

“We’re going to prevail,” said Bryant.

The Washington Blade earlier this year reported that Bryant’s son was once attacked because he is gay.

Bryant did not mention him or the alleged incident during his remarks at the luncheon.

Phil Bryant, Family Research Council, Susan B. Anthony List, gay news, Washington Blade

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant speaks at a Family Research Council and Susan B. Anthony List luncheon in Cleveland on July 20, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Beach Bro

    Sometimes I ask myself…how can good people who are Republicans, allow themselves to associate with known members of a hate group, and try to band together as one. Then I remember: a good person wouldn’t do that. A good person would never go to a luncheon held by an anti-gay hate group (which thrives on making their paychecks by trying to take away the rights of people) and give a speech acknowledging and showing approval for that group. A good person would have torn their luncheon invitation up and thrown it in the trash.

    • lnm3921

      It’s all about winning to the GOP. You have to kiss the ring of groups like the FRC to get anywhere in the GOP. They constantly threaten to splinter off into a third party which scares the GOP as it sucks away their base and with it votes they need to win elections. That’s why it’s so important to vote for Hillary in November. It’s not even about her, it’s about voting against them!

      These people under a Trump Presidency will have a lot of influence on public policy through Pence. They will have a say in SCOTUS appointments, imposing a litmus test, and push for Religious Freedom Law, constitutional amendments against marriage equality and Oppose an Equality Act in Congress. Trump won’t sign it assuming it can even get out of Congress but he would sign a Religious Freedom Law.

      What kind of AG do you think you’d get under Trump? Not one like Loretta Lynch that supports GLBT people without a doubt! One of the very people attending the FRC election could be nominated.

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