UPDATE: Here is video from GetEQUAL.
Here is a video of Charles Butler of GetEQAL. He was dragged out of the Values Voter Summit for what seemed like several minutes of sometimes borderline violent confrontation with security. The security was too rough and treated the demonstrators with no respect — prodding, pulling, and pushing them out of the hotel — while many attendees shouted at them and a few took the opportunity to land cheap shots, throwing vicious elbows at the protesters.
It was quite a scene for sure and definitely got the attention of the people at the event. On a depressing note, I had filmed the entire action up close and thought I had captured it in great detail. But for some reason, the video did not record. However, we have Butler outside the hotel, still panting form his ordeal of being brutally dragged and hustled away from the fundie festivities. I’m glad I got a front row seat.
The press release from GetEQUAL:
WASHINGTON – Just minutes ago, GetEQUAL – a national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization – protested inside the “Values Voter Summit” at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Activists walked into the conference carrying a simulated coffin, draped in a rainbow American flag, while reading anti-LGBT quotes from Tony Perkins (head of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of the event) and projecting the names and photos of young people who have taken their lives based on similar religion-based bigotry.
This protest is being organized to send a clear message that the organized bigotry against LGBT people that this event both represents and deliberately attempts to promote is an affront to our shared American values of justice, liberty, and equality and is a direct violation of the “equal protection” clause in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Values Voter Summit has featured a vast array of high profile anti-LGBT leaders, including Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan, and Tony Perkins, as well as seminars and plenary sessions on the subject of how to deny equal rights to LGBT Americans.<
The ‘values’ promoted at this summit alienate millions of LGBT Americans from full and equal citizenship; deny us our dignity; seek to prevent us from enjoying the basic joy and security of marriage; create an unsafe environment that leads suicide, violence, and hate crimes; and, too often, result in violence toward and even the murder of our LGBT brothers and sisters,” said GetEQUAL organizer Erica Keppler.
This action harkens back to the words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said, “We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all our citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.”
For more information about the protest, follow events on Twitter at #notmyvalues. Video from the protest action will be available soon on GetEQUAL’s YouTube page: www.youtube.com/getequal.