New Evangelical Advisory Board Disproves Trump’s Claim Of Being An LGBT Ally

New Evangelical Advisory Board Disproves Trump’s Claim Of Being An LGBT Ally

››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

Nearly a week after declaring himself a “real friend” to the LGBT community, GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump participated in a “conversation” with hundreds of conservative Christians organized in part by two anti-LGBT hate groups. Then his campaign announced an “Evangelical Executive Advisory Board,” a 26-member group featuring several well-known anti-LGBT extremists who have a well-documented history of opposing LGBT equality and making inflammatory comments, such as calling LGBT families “discombobulated, Frankenstein structures” and blaming the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on marriage equality.

Mainstream Outlets Have Uncritically Repeated Trump's Claim That He Is A “Friend” To LGBT People

In His Speech Responding To The Orlando Massacre, Trump Said He Was A “Better Friend” Than Clinton To The LGBT Community. Immediately after the June 12 massacre at an Orlando, FL, LGBT nightclub, Trump tweeted, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.” During a speech the following day, Trump claimed he is a “better friend” than presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to the LGBT community. [Twitter, 6/12/16; Towleroad.com, 6/13/16]

Media Outlets Have Repeatedly Parroted Trump’s Claim That He Is An LGBT Ally. Following Trump’s claim that he is a “better friend” of the LGBT community, Politico helped rebrand Trump as an advocate for LGBT rights with a glowing profile that did not mention his history of opposing LGBT rights or the many LGBT advocacy organizations that have declared their opposition to him. Similarly, ABC’s Jonathan Karl whitewashed Trump’s long track record of anti-LGBT statements and positions to call him “the most pro-gay rights" Republican candidate ever. Even before Trump’s speech following the Orlando, FL, massacre, NBC News ignored Trump’s anti-LGBT history, calling him “LGBT-friendly.” [Media Matters, 6/15/15; 6/18/16; 4/22/16]

Trump Announces “Evangelical Executive Advisory Board”

Anti-LGBT Hate Groups Helped Organized A “Conversation” Between Trump And Evangelicals. Trump met with hundreds of conservative Christians and told them“religious liberty” is the “number one question” and that he would appoint anti-choice Supreme Court justices. The Family Research Council and the American Family Association helped to organize the June 21 meeting. Both organizations have been identified as anti-LGBT “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2010 for their propagation of known falsehoods about LGBT people. [Washington Post, 6/21/16; National Review, 5/24/16; Southern Poverty Law Center, 11/4/10]

After The Meeting, Trump Announced An “Evangelical Executive Advisory Board.” At the end of the June 21 gathering, Trump’s campaign released the names of the people who would be on his “evangelical executive advisory board,” saying the “list represents Donald J. Trump’s endorsement of those diverse issues important to Evangelicals and other Christians, and his desire to have access to the wise counsel of such leaders as needed.” [Politico, 6/21/16

Advisory Board Features A Number Of Well-Known Anti-LGBT Extremists

Retired GOP Representative And Notoriously Homophobic Michele Bachmann Has Made “Opposition To Gay Rights A Cornerstone Of Her Career.” Michele Bachmann, former GOP representative from Minnesota and previous Republican presidential candidate, has made “opposition to gay rights a cornerstone of her career.” Bachmann has claimed that being gay is a “part of Satan” and “personal despair and personal enslavement,” and she has accused the “gay community” of pushing “deviancy,” “tyranny” and child rape. Her 2011 presidential bid also brought to light a 2005 incident where Bachmann filed a police report claiming a lesbian and former nun were trying to hold her “against [her] will” when the women approached her in a bathroom to discuss same-sex marriage. [The Guardian, 6/22/11; Right Wing Watch, 7/25/14; The Daily Beast, 6/14/11]

Fox News Pastor Robert Jeffress Has A Long History Of Attacking LGBT People, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, And Mormonism. Robert Jeffress is a Fox News contributor and pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. Jeffress has attacked LGBT people as leading "miserable" and "filthy" lives and said that “homosexuality is perverse, it represents a degradation of a person’s mind.” In 2015, Jeffress cited approval of gay marriage as a sign of the coming apocalypse. In addition to his anti-LGBT rhetoric, Jeffress has called Catholicism a "cult-like, pagan religion," Islam an "evil, evil religion," Mormonism a "cult" from the "pit of hell," and Judaism and Hinduism religions that lead people to "an eternity of separation from God in Hell." [Media Matters, 9/15/15]

Anti-LGBT Hate Group Founder James Dobson Blames Sandy Hook Shooting On Acceptance Of Gay Marriage. James Dobson, host of My Family Talk, formed the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council in 1981 as well as the anti-LGBT group Focus on the Family in 1973. Dobson has a long history of anti-LGBT extremism, including attributing the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school to acceptance of gay marriage, opposing advancement of federal LGBT hate crime legislation by claiming it would lead to protection of “incest,” “necrophilia,” and “pedophilia,” and declaring that marriage equality will lead to a “civil war.” [Right Wing Watch, accessed 6/23/16; Right Wing Watch, 12/17/12; People For The American Way, accessed 6/22/16; Right Wing Watch, 4/8/15]

Richard Land, Who Claims Being Gay Is Due To The Devil And Says The “Homosexual Lifestyle” Destroys Societies. Richard Land is the president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC. In a 2012 radio appearance, Land blamed “the devil” for the “homosexual lifestyle,” which he also linked to the decline of the Persian, Greek, Roman, and British empires. In a 2014 speech, Land lambasted gay couples using surrogates to have children as a “travesty” and “child abuse,” and called upon Christians to stop the “blasphemous redefinition of marriage.” Land has also accused LGBT activists of seeking the “outright sexual paganization” of society. [Right Wing Watch, 5/29/12; Baptistnews.com, 2/21/14; Right Wing Watch; 9/26/11]

Harry Jackson, Leader Of Failed Fight To Halt Marriage Equality In D.C., Called LGBT Families “Frankenstein Structures.” Harry Jackson, the senior pastor at Hope Christian Church in Maryland, was the leader of the failed effort to oppose marriage equality in Washington, D.C. Jackson has called LGBT families “discombobulated, Frankenstein structures,” and said that marriage equality is part of “a satanic plot to destroy our seed.” [GLAAD, accessed 6/22/16]

Ronnie Floyd, Author Of The Gay Agenda, Claims “Homosexuality” Is A “Con Job” On America By Satan. Ronnie Floyd is the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the author of the 2004 book The Gay Agenda: It’s Dividing the Family, the Church, and a Nation. As the Southern Poverty Law Center notes, the book includes the assertion that “if left unopposed [the gay agenda] will annihilate the family as we know it” and that “proponents of the gay lifestyle have declared war against our culture and they have an agenda.” In 2003, Floyd preached a sermon on gay marriage in which he claimed that “Satan has taken his tool of homosexuality, a gross and evil sin, and done a con job on the American Culture.” [Southern Poverty Law Center, 3/25/16]

Longtime Anti-Gay Activist Ralph Reed Called LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections A “Dagger Aimed At The Heart Of Religious Freedom.” Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, is a longtime opponent of LGBT rights. Recently, the Faith and Freedom Coalition launched a petition in support of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law that denounced the “chokehold of political correctness” and “anti-Christian bigotry” of the “gay lobby.” Previously, Reed has compared the fight against same-sex marriage to the fight against slavery, called the federal LGBT hate crime law a “War on Christianity Law,” and said federal workplace nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people are a “dagger aimed at the heart of religious freedom for millions of Americans.” [ffcoalition.com, 4/6/16; Mediaite, 6/21/14; GLAAD, accessed 6/22/16

Kenneth Copeland Has Previously Been Investigated For Fraud By The Senate, Compared Himself To Osama Bin Laden. Kenneth Copeland, founder of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, has conflated being gay with “murder” and “stealing.” He has also claimed that Jesus brought someone back from the dead in the foyer of his church, and told soldiers with PTSD returning from war that they should stop taking their medicine. In a 2015 discussion with televangelist Pat Roberston, he compared Robertson and himself to Osama Bin Laden:

The reason they call us extremists is because we take the words of Jesus literally and with all of our effort, all of our faith, all of our finances, whatever it takes, we do our utmost to obey those words and bring them to pass. Now, that’s what is happening in Islam.

An extreme Islamist is just one that takes the words of Mohammad and with all of his strength, all of his finances and everything he has, he does his best to bring those things to pass, and that’s what we’re seeing on the evening news. But let me tell you who wins here, we win.” [Right Wing Watch, 9/7/11, 11/12/13, 4/28/15, The Daily Beast, 8/17/15 ]

James Robison Is A Long-Standing Supporter Of So-Called “Ex-Gay” Conversion Therapy. James Robison, founder of Life Outreach International, believes that “Satan himself” and “demonic forces” were behind the push for marriage equality. He said that if Christians failed to fight marriage equality it “would be like stepping back when suddenly the public has decided to allow pedophiles to play in the public parks." In a 2014 speech, Robison said that “homosexuality, sodomy, sexual impurity” are “almost too repulsive to imagine and to attempt to describe.” [Right Wing Watch, 9/24/12, 6/11/2013, GLAAD, 1/2/14, JamesRobison.net, accessed 1/2/14]

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.