Washington (CNN) - Gay rights group Human Rights Campaign is blasting House Speaker John Boehner for scheduling a room on Capitol Hill for a meeting of individuals the organization accuses of supporting Russia's anti-LGBT "propaganda" law.
Speakers from a variety of groups that support things like traditional marriage took part in a symposium on Friday by the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society – a traditional marriage group.
The event was called "Family Policy Lessons from Other Lands: What Should America Learn?"
Human Rights Campaign argued in a statement the event was used "to promote using Russia's anti-gay laws as a model for the U.S."
Boehner's office said in a statement that the scheduling was a routine item and in no way a political move.
"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," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.
"This administrative task obviously does not imply endorsement of any particular point of view."
Reacting to a Buzzfeed article that first reported the event, HRC President Chad Griffin blasted the scheduling.
"Speaker Boehner's embrace of these ambassadors of hate is shameful and despicable," Griffin said in a statement.
"These individuals have supported the subhuman treatment of LGBT people around the world, and now they want to do the same here."
Several of the panelists have travelled to Russia in support of the anti-gay "propaganda" law, HRC charges.
In a release announcing the symposium, the Howard Center laments what it calls persistent attempts by the Obama administration "to redefine marriage and family," and wonders what lessons might be gained from other countries, including the Russian law that makes any Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender "propaganda" illegal.
Gay rights groups say the law is part of a broader crackdown on the country's gay and transgender community.
"Here in America, what can our pro-family legislators learn-positively and negatively-by studying our colleagues' actions abroad?" the Howard Center statement asks.
Howard Center Vice President Larry Jacobs told CNN the group has held events in the Capitol in the past without incident.
Based in Illinois, the organization had originally gone through Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, to schedule a room although neither Kirk nor any member of his staff were scheduled to attend, Jacobs said.
The scheduling "does not imply endorsement," Jacobs said.
Kirk cancelled the reservation at the last minute, prompting the group to reschedule through Boehner's office.
Jacobs rejected the notion that any of the panel speakers advocate for violence or discrimination against the LGBT community.
"We are against violence. All forms of violence," he said.
Jacobs also sought to defend the Russian law itself, arguing that it merely seeks to protect Russian children from pornography of all forms.