Texas governor partners with anti-gay hate group AFA in calling for day of prayer

Rick Perry

Rick Perry

In another blatant disregard for the separation of church and state, Texas Governor Rick Perry is partnering with an anti-gay hate group American Family Association in calling for a day of “fasting and prayer.”

Rick Perry

Perry’s prayer plan includes co-hosting a major Christian worship event to be held in a Houston stadium on August 6, where worshipers will pray for a “historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.”

Described by organizers as a “non-denominational, apolitical, Christian prayer meeting,” the gathering is being organized and funded by the American Family Association (AFA), a controversial conservative Christian advocacy group.

The governor is doing more than merely participating in the day-long prayer rally: He is described by organizers as “the initiator” — and listed first on the roster of “leaders.”

In his official prayer proclamation, the governor invites his “fellow Texans” to join him at the stadium to pray for “unity and righteousness.”

Critics, including the Texas Freedom Network and the Anti-Defamation League, contend that the event is exclusive to Christians and raise questions about the event’s backing by the AFA, which is notorious for its anti-gay sentiments.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the AFA as a hate group on par with Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church, the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations,” said the Texas Freedom Network.

“Instead of uniting people of faith in prayer for our nation, this event will actually sharpen divisions among Americans along religious and political lines.”

The Anti Defamation League called Perry’s role in the event “misguided and inappropriate.”

The AFA’s Bryan Fischer has recently said “gays are Nazis” and the “#1 perpetrators of hate crimes in America.”

And on Thursday, Fischer told his radio listeners that the Nazi Party in Germany was formed in a Munich gay bar by “homosexual thugs.”

In response, Gov. Perry’s spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said, “AFA is an organization that promotes safe and strong families. […] This event is about prayer focused on bringing America together for challenges faced, these comments don’t have anything to do with this event.”

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