#HateWatch: Trump-Pence Endorse Agenda of Anti-LGBTQ Organization

by Stephen Peters

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) condemned the Trump Administration’s plans to celebrate an organization dedicated to undermining LGBTQ people and families. Tomorrow, Pence — who has his own long and extensive record opposing LGBTQ equality — will speak on behalf of the Trump Administration at an anniversary celebration of Focus on the Family, a right wing organization that peddles harmful junk science like conversion therapy and lobbies for the erosion of rights for LGBTQ people and families. The Trump Administration’s ceremonial endorsement of Focus on the Family’s agenda during Pride Month is yet another clear indication of their hostility and opposition to LGBTQ equality.

“Mike Pence has spent his career attacking and undermining LGBTQ people and our families, and now, as Vice President he’s continuing the crusade,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “This is an extreme organization that promotes the dangerous and abusive practice of ‘conversion therapy,’ lobbies against allowing LGBTQ people to adopt children who need homes, and opposes anti-bullying efforts in schools. These views are not just antiquated — they are dangerous and wrong. And for the Vice President of the United States to lend credibility to them is beyond shocking.”

Focus on the Family threatened that marriage equality will bring the destruction of civilization, and it has referred to the children of same-sex couples as “human guinea pigs.” They continue to promote the junk science behind conversion therapy, advocate for discriminatory policies and engage in other actions that cause real harm to LGBTQ people and families. Mike Pence has repeatedly praised the organization’s founder, James Dobson, and even called him his mentor at a gathering of anti-LGBTQ activists in June.

Over the years, Focus on the Family has made anti-LGBTQ activism a cornerstone of its work. In 2014, HRC highlighted 10 things you should know about Focus On The Family. The organization and its leaders have continued their harmful actions by:

  • refusing to acknowledge transgender people, saying they “disagree with revisionist gay and transgender theologies.”

  • endorsing dangerous and harmful so-called “conversion therapy,” a barbaric and abusive practice that has been condemned by every major medical organization.

  • saying psychiatrists who oppose “conversion therapy” are driven by politics.

  • comparing educational efforts surrounding the Supreme Court of the United States’ nationwide marriage equality ruling to remarks made by Hitler.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community


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