NAACP LDF and six other leading civil rights and human rights organization today sent an open letter to Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus calling for him to repudiate the Values Voter Summit based on its sponsoring groups’ virulent attacks on the LGBT community. Scheduled speakers at this year’s event, which begins this Thursday in Washington, include Republican Party members Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.)

In the letter, published in today’s Washington Post and The Hill, the groups said that the sponsors of the summit, which include the Family Research Council and American Family Association, “engage in repeated, groundless demonization of LGBT people — portraying them as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.” 

Noting that RNC leaders had previously called for Party members to shun the Council of Conservative Citizens because of the group’s racist views, the letter asked, “Will you live up to your own words and tell the members of your party to shun groups that demean other people and deny them dignity? Will the GOP condemn anti-LGBT bigotry as vigorously as it opposed racism 15 years ago?”

“LDF has long stood with the LGBT community in the quest for equal rights and dignity under the law,” said LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn A. Ifill.  “We know too well that the struggle for civil rights is a long one, and that bold leadership at key moments, from all corners, can make all the difference when it comes to securing equal justice.”

In addition to LDF, the signatories to today’s letter are Faithful America, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, People for the American Way, and Southern Poverty Law Center.

Read the statement here: