Washington, D.C. -- The Human Rights Campaign warned religous political broadcaster Pat Robertson that his remarks made earlier this week about Orlando, Fl., expose him and his media empire to civil and criminal charges should the city experience a terrorist attack. Robertson said that Orlando could suffer from terrorist bombs, hurricanes, earthquakes and even a meteor for allowing gay pride flags to be flown along city streets. His remarks were made Monday on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "700 Club" following a news report on "Gay Days" at Walt Disney World, which took place Saturday, June 6.
"Pat Robertson practically invited a terrorist attack on the city of Orlando." said David M. Smith, HRC's communications director and senior strategist. "In the wake of last year's bombings at Olympic Park, the Atlanta gay nightclub, and a number of attacks on women's reproductive health care facilities, his remarks are an outrageous act of irresponsibility that have the potential to incite more violence."
"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you," Robertson said. "This is not a message of hate; this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor."
"Pat Robertson has exposed himself and the Christian Broadcasting Network to significant legal action should such a terrorist attack take place," said Tony Varona, HRC's chief counsel. "These remarks clearly indicate a reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of the people of Orlando."
Despite these irresponsible remarks, three days later Pat Robertson was granted a meeting with House Republican leadership to discuss issues of concern to the Christian Coaltion, the religious political organization he founded. Robertson and Christian Coalition Executive Director Randy Tate met with House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, and Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas late Wednesday according to news reports.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay political organization, with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support, and educates the public to ensure that lesbian and gay Americans can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in the community.