President Donald Trump reportedly held a White House meeting with a hard-right group who condemned transgender people and same-sex marriage.

The activists, who were led by conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas‘s wife Ginni Thomas, spent an hour talking to Trump last week in the Roosevelt Room, according to The New York Times.



Ginni Thomas is on the extreme fringes of the Republican Party. Her husband voted against same-sex marriage in 2015 and said last year that gay rights were favoured over gun owners’ rights, just days after a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

During the meeting at the White House, one of the attendees reportedly told Trump that same-sex marriage, which has been legal in the US since 2015, was harming the fabric of the country.

Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who met with Donald Trump at the White House in January 2019, smiles with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Ginni Thomas sat down for the meeting with Donald Trump after meeting White House staff like Sarah Huckabee Sanders last year (GinniLThomas/facebook)

The NYT‘s sources also reported that a female member of the group said women shouldn’t serve in the military because they don’t have as much muscle mass or lung capacity as men.

A different activist dismissed the idea that sexual assault was pervasive in the military, a view that has been debunked by multiple reports—including at least once by the US government itself.

The meeting, which reportedly took place after being delayed for months, happened after the president and his wife Melania Trump had dinner with Clarence and Ginni Thomas, three of the aides involved said.

President Donald Trump makes a statement announcing that a deal has been reached to reopen the government through Feb. 15 during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House January 25, 2019 in Washington, DC
Donald Trump reportedly sat quietly as he was told that women shouldn’t serve in the military (Olivier Douliery/Getty)

Other attendees at the meeting included Connie Hair, the chief of staff to anti-LGBT Republican congressman Louie Gohmert.

Gohmert, who represents Texas in the House of Representatives, has compared gay rights activists to Nazis and said gay people shouldn’t serve in the military because they’d “sit around getting massages all day.”

Also present in the Roosevelt Room were Frank Gaffney and Rosemary Jenks, who work for anti-immigration groups the Centre for Security Policy and NumbersUSA, respectively.

Donald Trump has met with far-right activists in the past

Trump has a history of agreeing to meet with hard-right anti-LGBT activists.

In 2017, less than a year after being elected, he became the first US president to address the Values Voter Summit, a conference hosted by recognised anti-LGBT hate group the Family Research Council.

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

— Donald Trump

During his chilling defence of “religious liberty,” the president said: “I pledged that in a Trump administration, our heritage would be cherished, protected and defended like you have never seen before.”

He has since moved to attack LGBT+ rights by signing an executive order which launched an initiative to strengthen the influence of religious groups in government.

The Establishment of a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative, signed in May 2018, was aimed at ensuring “the faith-based and community organisations that form the bedrock of our society have strong advocates in the White House and throughout the Federal Government.”




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