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Donald Trump to speak at second anti-LGBT group summit in a month

Nick Duffy October 16, 2017
ROCHESTER, NH - SEPTEMBER 17: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to a question during a town hall event at Rochester Recreational Arena September 17, 2015 in Rochester, New Hampshire. Trump spent the day campaigning in New Hampshire following the second Republican presidential debate. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

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Donald Trump is to address a second anti-LGBT summit in a month.

The Republican became the first sitting President in modern history to address the summit of a listed anti-LGBT hate group last month, when he spoke at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.

Trump heaped praise on FRC leader Tony Perkins, who has been condemned by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League for repeatedly linking gay rights to the Holocaust and comparing gay people to Nazis.

He was widely condemned by LGBT rights groups for speaking to the FRC activists, who accused him disgracing the office of President of the United States.

US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence speak to the press on August 10, 2017, at Trump's Bedminster National Golf Club in New Jersey before a security briefing. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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But that hasn’t deterred the leader – who was confirmed to be speaking at another anti-LGBT summit this week.

The anti-LGBT Heritage Foundation confirmed that Trump “will be speaking to Heritage members at our annual President’s Club Meeting this Tuesday, October 17”.

The group said: “Heritage has been instrumental in providing the Trump administration with sound policy advice and experts who now serve in key government positions.

“We are honored to have the President of the United States as our keynote speaker.”

The group cited a report that states: “No group is more responsible for helping to craft Trump’s agenda than the Heritage Foundation…Today the group’s fingerprints are on virtually every policy Trump advocates.”

The Heritage Foundation is an aggressive opponent of LGBT equality, having lobbied strongly against protections for LGBT workers and equal marriage.

The group’s website says: [Same-sex marriage] makes marriage primarily about adult desire, with marriage understood primarily as an intense emotional relationship between (or among) consenting adults. This revisionism comes with significant social costs.

“Redefining marriage… will only lead to more broken homes, more broken hearts, and more intrusive government.

“Americans should reject such revisionism and work to restore the essentials that make marriage so important for societal welfare: sexual complementarity, monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency.”

It has also pushed the First Amendment Defense Act, a law that would grant religious people an unlimited license to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Foundation claims: “FADA protects the rights of individuals and the associations they form—small businesses and charities, schools, and social services—to speak and act in accordance with their belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman in the public square and the marketplace.

“It enacts a bright-line rule that government can never penalize certain individuals and institutions for acting on the conviction that marriage is the union of husband and wife or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a union”.

The Foundation added: “It is critical to protect the right to dissent and the civil liberties of those who speak and act in accord with what Americans had always believed about marriage—that it is the union of husband and wife.

“At the federal level, the First Amendment Defense Act would help achieve civil peace amid disagreement and protect pluralism and the rights of all Americans, regardless of what faith they may practice.”

Trump sparked anger by addressing the FRC summit earlier this month.

“I am honoured and thrilled to be the first sitting president to address this gathering of friends, so many friends,” Trump explained.

He added: “I pledged that in a Trump administration, our heritage would be cherished, protected and defended like you have never seen before.”

Trump praised a bombshell directive that gave the go-ahead for religious businesses to discriminate against LGBT people.

The ruling effectively permits anti-LGBT discrimination across the US.

He told the cheering crowds: “To protect religious liberty, including protecting groups like this one, I signed a new executive action in a beautiful ceremony in the White House on our national day of prayer.

“Among many historic steps, the executive order followed through on one of my most important campaign promises, important to so many of you.

“To prevent the horrendous Johnson Amendment interfering with your First Amendment rights.

“We will not allow government workers to censor sermons or target our pastors, our ministers, our rabbis.

“These are the people we want to hear from and they’re not going to be silenced any longer.”

The federal government directive was issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had been tasked by Trump to head a ‘review’ of religious liberty protections, after pressure from anti-LGBT lobbying groups.

Trump told the group he had kept his promise to appoint a conservative to the Supreme Court, in Neil Gorsuch, the new Supreme Court justice who opposes LGBT equality.

“I appointed and confirmed a Supreme Court justice in the mould of the late great Justice Antonin Scalia.”

Justice Scalia dissented on the Supreme Court’s 2002 judgement that struck down laws banning gay sex.

He also said he salutes every person serving in the armed force, despite introducing a ban on transgender soldiers serving.

Trump caused controversy for speaking at the event while a presidential candidate in 2016.

However no elected president had spoken at the summit – making Trump the the first to endorse the hate group.

Speaking alongside Trump at the summit is former Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, who made shocking comments that he wants to “rid the Earth” of “wicked” gays.

And he’s not the only anti-gay extremist to speak alongside the 45th president.

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has said he doesn’t know whether or not gays and lesbians should be put to death, will also be addressing the event.

Moore, now backed by Trump, was recently removed as a state supreme court justice for instructing state employees to ignore the US Supreme Court ruling in favour of marriage equality.

Roy Moore

In addition, Moore also has ties to an extremist pastor who has called for gay people to be put to death.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre lists FRC as an extremist group with an anti-LGBT ideology.

Its own website in 2016 said: “Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed.

“It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects.”

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, is also set to speak.

Four months ago, Republican congressman Steve Scalise had his life saved by a heroic lesbian police officer.

Now fully recovered from the attack, one of Scalise’s first actions on his return to action will be to give a speech to the Family Research Council next week.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27: U.S. Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner listens as U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during an event in the East Room of the White House recognizing the first responders to the June 14 shooting involving Congressman Steve Scalise July 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Scalise was among four people shot by James Hodgkinson during a congressional baseball team practice. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Tony Perkins, the FRC’s president, said that Scalise’s return to health was not down to the brave actions of a lesbian police officer, but “an answer to prayer.”

“His fighting spirit in overcoming the odds is a source of inspiration for those who are fighting for the heart and soul of our nation and our culture.

“I look forward to welcoming my friend and former colleague back to the Values Voter stage.”

Perkins once speculated that flooding was God’s punishment for homosexuals.

However, when his own home was destroyed in what he called a flood “of near biblical proportions,” the homophobic pastor insisted it happened because of God’s love.

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