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Supreme Court justices met with leader of homophobic hate group ahead of judgements on landmark LGBT rights cases

Emma Powys Maurice November 4, 2019

Justices Kavanaugh and Alito met with religious extremist and anti-LGBT+ activist Brian Brown (far right) (Twitter/@briansbrown)

Before announcing their judgement on three critical LGBT+ rights cases, US Supreme Court justices Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito chose to meet with the leader of a notorious anti-LGBT+ hate group.

Kavanaugh and Alito met with Brian Brown, who is the co-founder of the National Organisation for Marriage (NOM) and the president of the World Congress of Families (WCF).

Both groups actively campaign against basic LGBT+ rights in the US and beyond. Brown himself has long organised against LGBT+ communities, promoted harmful laws and emboldened other hate groups and extremists.

Recently, he boasted of his close relationship with autocratic Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán and met with activists in Tbilisi, Georgia, to praise them as “men of faith” after threats of extreme violence led to Tbilisi Pride being cancelled.

Worryingly, the two Supreme Court judges seemed to indicate which side they’re likely to be on as they proudly posed for a photo alongside Brown on Tuesday, October 29.

Although the tweet doesn’t state what the meeting was for, it was probably in connection to a major brief NOM has just filed with the US Supreme Court.

According to NOM’s website, the brief is “urging SCOTUS to protect people of faith from governmental discrimination because of their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman”.

This directly relates to the cases currently being considered by the Supreme Court, which will determine whether LGBT+ people are covered by existing federal laws that protect against discrimination.

It’s not the first time Brian Brown and NOM have tried to pressure the Supreme Court on LGBT+ rights – in 2010, NOM was involved in successful efforts to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges who had ruled in favour of same-sex marriage in the state.

A day after being pictured with the Supreme Court justices, Brown was in Ghana for a two-day conference hosted by the WCF, where he and other anti-gay extremists sought to influence African political and religious leaders against LGBT+ rights.

Brian S Brown at a WCF conference in Verona, Italy (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/ Getty)

The conference was strongly condemned by the Human Rights Campaign for its attempts to “further endanger LGBTQ people, women and others in Ghana and throughout the world”.

Speakers at the conference are said to have advocated for the adoption of public policies supporting so-called “conversion therapy” and an understanding of LGBT+ people as “deviant.”

“We urge allies to help us shine a spotlight on the group’s hateful agenda and hold the World Congress of Families accountable by sharing news on social media about the group’s harmful messages and amplifying the positive work of local LGBTQ communities and their allies,” the HRC warned.

More: Brett Kavanaugh, hate groups, National Organisation for Marriage, Samuel Alito, US Supreme Court, world congress of families

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