Press

Rhetoric of religious right continues to fuel violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Date: 
February 02, 2006

Task Force: Today's attack on men in New Bedford gay bar points to climate of hate created by right-wing obsession with homosexuality

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 — A man went on a rampage early this morning at a gay bar in New Bedford, Mass., wounding three patrons in what police said appeared to be a hate crime. According to media reports, one victim was in critical condition with head wounds.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"The hatred and loathing fueling this morning's vicious attack on gay men in New Bedford is not innate, it is learned. And who is teaching it? Leaders of the so-called Christian right, that's who. Individuals like James Dobson of Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, the Rev. Pat Robertson and their ilk are obsessed with homosexuality. They use their vast resources, media networks and affiliated pulpits to blame lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for all the ills of society. They disguise their hatred as 'deeply held religious beliefs.' We have witnessed seven years of vicious anti-LGBT organizing in Massachusetts — and endured the hate-filled rantings of Brian Camenker of the Article 8 Alliance and Parents Rights Coalition and Ed Pawlick of MassNews. The blood spilled this morning is on their hands."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.