FRC, Members of Congress, Governors, and Conservative Leaders Release Open Letter Calling for Civil Debate, End to Character Assassination

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter  in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080930/FRCLOGO)

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

The text of the open letter is as follows:

"The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal fundraising machine whose tactics have been condemned by observers across the political spectrum, is doing just that. The group, which was once known for combating racial bigotry, is now attacking several groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

"How does the SPLC attack? By labeling its opponents 'hate groups.' No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate! These types of slanderous tactics have been used against voters who signed petitions and voted for marriage amendments in all thirty states that have considered them, as well as against the millions of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement. Some on the Left have even impugned the Manhattan Declaration – which upholds the sanctity of life, the value of traditional marriage and the fundamental right of religious freedom – as an anti-gay document and have forced its removal from general communications networks.

"This is intolerance pure and simple. Elements of the radical Left are trying to shut down informed discussion of policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts. Tell the radical Left it is time to stop spreading hateful rhetoric attacking individuals and organizations merely for expressing ideas with which they disagree. Our debates can and must remain civil – but they must never be suppressed through personal assaults that aim only to malign an opponent's character.

"We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family. We support the vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

A PDF of the ad can be viewed at www.startdebatingstophating.com.

SOURCE Family Research Council



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http://www.frc.org
http://www.startdebatingstophating.com/

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