–People For the American Way Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery, in a statement responding to the lineup for this year’s Values Voter Summit. The conference — which starts Friday, Sept. 9 — is organized by anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council, and often features conservative and right-wing speakers who have histories of anti-LGBT statements and actions.
Naturally, Donald Trump and Mike Pence will be appearing at this year’s conference — further chipping away at the facade that Trump will help LGBT people as president.
Eager to lock down the evangelical and conservative voters in his party, Trump will share the stage with known bigots such as Michele Bachmann and Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson — who believes STIs are God’s punishment for gays, among other things.
— FRC (@FRCdc) September 8, 2016
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said in a statement that Trump and Pence would “underscore not only the importance of this election, but the important role conservative Christian voters have in influencing the outcome of the November election.”
Perhaps a sign of the hardcore conservative influence of Pence and others in Trump’s anti-LGBT campaign, theirs will be the first presidential ticket to attend Values Voter Summit since its inception ten years ago — something Perkins was keen to tout, saying it “demonstrates an understanding of the importance of values voters in the general election.”
Perkins has a history of outlandish and aggressively anti-LGBT statements. “[He] defended Uganda’s infamous Anti-Homosexuality Act — at a time when it was known as a ‘kill the gays’ bill because it included a death penalty – as a ‘laudable’ effort to ‘uphold moral conduct,'” notes PFAW’s Miranda Blue. He also equated gay people with drug addicts and predicted a “revolution” after marriage equality was realized, among other things.
Trump’s attendance at Values Voter Summit comes just weeks after he attended another conference that featured known anti-LGBT attendees. In August, Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio both spoke at the “Rediscovering God in America” conference in Orlando, a decision blasted by LGBT groups because of the involvement of several prominent figures known for their staunch opposition to LGBT rights.
“That the GOP standard bearer is choosing to rub shoulders with some of the most extreme anti-gay voices in the country speaks volumes about the Republican party today,” PFAW said in a statement at the time.
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