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Where Does the GOP Stand on Gay Bashing?

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In 1999, Republican National Committee Chair Jim Nicholson called for party members to shun the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group that described African Americans as "a retrograde species of humanity."

"A member of the party of Lincoln should not belong to such an organization," Nicholson said at the time.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Rep. Bob Barr, who had both spoken at Council events, immediately distanced themselves from the group, saying they had been unaware of its racism.

Last weekend, several prominent GOP members, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. Paul Ryan spoke at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by the Family Research Council and co-sponsored by the American Family Association -- groups that have publicly accused LGBT people of engaging in everything from pedophilia to orchestrating the Holocaust.

Where does the party of Lincoln stand in 2012 on vilifying the LGBT community?

Will current RNC chair Reince Priebus follow his predecessor's example and tell the members of his party to shun groups that demean other people?

Will Cantor and Ryan distance themselves from the Family Research Council and the American Family Association?

Earlier this year, Priebus said that "people in this country, no matter straight or gay, deserve dignity and respect."

Did he mean it?

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