Illinois Senator Mark Kirk on Nov. 14 cancelled meeting space in a Senate office building for World Congress of Families, a Rockford-based conservative group that has widely spoken out against gay rights, when he found out the intent of the meeting.
The group was able to secure space later thanks to the intervention of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, according to BuzzFeed.
World Congress of Families had scheduled a forum several months ago in the Dirksen Senate office building that strategized on educating U.S. legislators about anti-gay laws in nations such as Russia and Uganda.
Three of the scheduled speakers at the conference had traveled to Russia in the days leading up to the implementation of anti-gay laws there, according to a press release from Human Rights Campaign. A fourth speaker has publicly praised anti-gay laws in Uganda.
Kirk's press secretary, Lance Trover, told Windy City Times in an emailed statement that Kirk "will not host groups that advance a hateful agenda."
Kirk has been supportive of LGBT rights. He was the first sitting Republican senator to speak out in favor of gay marriage, and a cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Michael Steel, a spokesperson for Boehner, told BuzzFeed, "One of the duties of the Speaker's office is scheduling rooms throughout the Capitol complex, and we routinely provide a forum for discussion of public policy issues from across the political spectrum, including for liberal causes. This administrative task obviously does not imply endorsement of any particular point of view."