Mike Pence set to address anti-LGBT hate group summit
Vice President Mike Pence is to represent the Trump administration at an anti-LGBT hate group summit which President Donald Trump was criticised for attending last year.
Trump became the first sitting president in modern history to address the summit of a listed anti-LGBT hate group, when he spoke at the Family Research Council (FRC)’s Values Voter Summit in October.
The president’s host, FRC leader Tony Perkins, has been condemned by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League for repeatedly linking gay rights to the Holocaust and comparing gay people to Nazis.
Trump’s attendance was condemned by LGBT+ rights groups like GLAAD, yet this year’s summit again lists among its speakers high-ranking members of the administration as well as senior Republicans.
Monitoring blog Right Wing Watch notes that Vice President Mike Pence is listed as a speaker on the 2018 lineup, alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson is also set to speak, though he is listed as “Neurosurgeon, Best-selling Author” on the programme with no reference to his Cabinet role.
Other attendees listed in the 2018 line-up have expressed unrepentantly extreme anti-LGBT views.
These include “The Activist Mommy” blogger Elizabeth Johnston, who claims LGBT+ groups “sneak into schools” to “rape the minds of our children”, internet pastor Lance Wallnau, who believes homosexuality can be cured with cake baking, and conservative commentator Star Parker, who has claimed that the B in LGBTQ actually stands for bestiality.
Dean Cain, who played Superman in 90s TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and has since become a vocal Trump supporter, is also set to attend.
A gift bag handed to every attendee that heard Trump speak least year included a leaflet promoting a book titled “The Hazards of Homosexuality.”
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The leaflets say: “The sexual revolution and mainstreaming of homosexuality have created a public health crisis affecting us all. But the media give little attention to the danger of gay and lesbian sexual practices and the resulting health problems experienced by the gay-lesbian-bisexual population.
“Worse, the medical authorities deliver mixed messages to those at high risk while failing to protect the broader public.
“Homosexual and bisexual men are most severely affected and are driving the recent increases in STDs. Lesbians, heterosexuals and youth are increasingly at risk by imitating dangerous ‘gay’ practises.
“The book brings together widely dispersed facts, carefully documenting the disproportionate incidence of disease and mental disorders in the GLB community. A brief survey of the ‘transgender’ phenomenon is included.”
The Trump administration has rolled back civil rights protections for transgender people, and made uninvited interventions into discrimination cases to argue against employment protections for gay employees.