WASHINGTON — MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported last night that the American Family Association (AFA) has fired its longtime spokesman, Bryan Fischer, from his position as the organization’s director of issues analysis. However, AFA reportedly plans to keep Fischer as the host of a daily program on its radio network.
Fischer has a long record of bigotry and extremism, chronicled by People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch. He repeatedly blames gay men for the Holocaust, says that non-Christians have no right to First Amendment protections, has derided African American welfare recipients as “people who rut like rabbits,” and once attacked a Medal of Honor recipient for having “feminized” the honor.
"The AFA has for years tolerated Fischer's bigotry, and Republicans have for years been perfectly willing to associate themselves with Fischer and the AFA," said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. "What changed is not that they stopped agreeing with his views but that he finally became too great a political liability."
Fischer was removed from his position under apparent political pressure related to a trip to Israel that AFA is organizing for dozens of members of the Republican National Committee, which begins this weekend. The other organizer of the trip is David Lane, a Christian-nation activist whose views are just as troubling as Fischer’s.
"Bryan Fischer is one of the most colorful bigots in the game," said Keegan. "But changing Fischer's title can't hide the fact that the AFA remains an extreme group that was willing to tolerate his abhorrent statements until they became too politically inconvenient."
"The RNC is still partnering with a group that wants to send LGBT people back into the closet and claim the U.S. government for Christians and Christians only."
People For the American Way Resources on Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association, and David Lane:
• Right Wing Watch’s archive of articles on Fischer
• PFAW Report: The GOP’s Favorite Hate-Monger: How The Republican Party Came To Embrace Bryan Fischer
• RWW Post: RNC Teams Up With Anti-Gay Extremist And Hate Group
• RWW Post: David Lane: Republican Presidential Hopefuls’ Favorite ‘Christian Nation’ Extremist