Conservatives Bash Gays (Again)

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, speaks during the Western Conservative Summit in D
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, speaks during the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Friday, June 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Reporters covering the Western Conservative Summit, a gathering that attracted 4,000 people to the Colorado Convention Center over the weekend, did a good job spotlighting the gay bashing that permeated the event.

The Denver Post got the money quote for irony from Sen. Bill Armstrong, the president of Colorado Christian University, which sponsored the summit.

"I do think that the homosexual agenda in part is to shut down further discussion of the [morality of the gay] issue. That will not happen," he told the Post.

Who's shutting down the discussion? Armstrong is the guy who refused to let the Log Cabin Republicans have its own booth at the event to discuss the issue with participants, saying the pro-gay organization doesn't fit well with his group.

The Post reported that Rick Santorum, who's again running for president, shared Armstrong's views during his Summit appearance.

"Why are we losing the public debate? You can't win an argument you don't make," Santorum said. "We have been bullied into silence, in not standing up for the truth and here's where we are."

Of course, the anti-gay side of the discussion was well represented at the event, with presidential hopefuls slamming last week's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

And, as I reported today for RH Reality Check, the official registration packets for the Summit contained a booklet titled "Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality," published by the Family Research Council:

The "myths" included that "homosexual conduct is not harmful to one's physical health," "children raised by homosexuals are no different than children raised by heterosexuals, nor do they suffer harm," "homosexual relationships are just the same as heterosexual ones, except for the gender of the partners," and, maybe the worst, "homosexuals are no more likely to molest children than heterosexuals.""

Summit organizers did not shut down the pro-gay side of the debate completely. They allowed the Log Cabin Republicans to share a table with the Colorado GOP, and progressive bloggers covered the event. And the Post reported that younger Republicans at the event supported the Supreme Court's decision.

Still, if you attended the Summit and opened you ears, you heard gay bashing.

"I have nothing against gay people," Ben Carson said at one evening session, adding, "Like everybody else, they don't get extra rights. And they don't get to change things for everybody else."

No, but the Supreme Court can.