Vice President Pence speaks at anti-LGBT conference

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Donald Trump and Mike Pence at RNC July 2016
Donald Trump and Mike Pence at RNC July 2016
The Family Research Council is considered an antiLGBT hate group

Vice President Mike Pence, following in President Trump’s footsteps, recently spoke at the annual Values Voter Summit. It is a conference hosted by the Family Research Council a Christian activist group. The group is classified as an “anti-LGBT hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Last year, Trump became the first sitting President to address the conference. Many Republicans and supporters of the Trump administration were in attendance as well. They included: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

“Once again, Mike Pence has made clear that he stands with many organizations and leaders who promote hate and fear,” Human Rights Campaign Government Affairs Director David Stacy said. “We know those are not true American values.”

Vice President Pence said  he would “protect the religious liberty of everyone”

Pence addressed the conference Saturday. He was reassuring Trump’s evangelical Christian supporters that he is taking efforts to “protect the religious liberty of everyone.” Preceding Pence’s appearance was a panel titled “How Gender Ideology Harms Children.” The panel included Dr. Michelle Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians. Cretella has attracted blistering criticism from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine for an article she wrote titled, “I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated my Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.” The American College of Pediatricians is similar in name only to the mainstream American Academy of Pediatrics, with the former taking an extreme view on the transgender community, and is also designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Other speakers at the conference included Seb Gorka, former presidential advisor who support Trump’s transgender military ban; Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding; and Elizabeth Johnston, a ‘Activist Mommy’ blogger who has defended gay conversion therapy.

Trump promised in 2016 to “do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens” 

The Family Research Council was founded in 1983 and is staunchly anti-LGBT civil rights. Since 1992, the Fgroup has had a lobbying arm called FRC Action. That branch has fought legislation to expand the rights of sexual and gender minorities. The FRC leaders have repeatedly compared members of the LGBT community to pedophiles, saying they pose a risk to children.

Donald Trump promised during his 2016 campaign to “do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful, foreign ideology.” But since becoming president, Trump has seemingly forgotten that promise. His State Department has removed a section about violence and discrimination against LGBT people from its annual human rights report. His Justice Department rescinded guidance put forth by the Obama administration that instructed public officers on how to interpret sexuality and gender discrimination under federal prohibitions on sex discrimination. He has also twice declined to celebrate LGBT Pride Month and he sought to ban transgender people from serving in the country’s armed forces. The armed forces ban is currently being fought in the courts.