The Trump administration provided safe haven for anti-LGBT groups and individuals throughout the year, with a particular onslaught on transgender people in 2018. Anti-LGBT evangelical groups continue to enjoy unprecedented access to the White House and are intimately involved in forging public policy.
With help from a panel of pseudoscientific anti-LGBT “experts,” the White House issued a memo in March seeking to ban transgender troops from the military. Included on that panel was Tony Perkins of the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council, who has a long history of disparaging LGBT people. “If you’re a male — genetically you are a male, biologically you’re a male — and you say ‘Well, I’m not a male. I’m a female.’ I mean, what’s to keep you from saying you’re an animal?” Perkins said on his “Washington Watch” radio show last May. Obama-era policies recognizing gender identity in schools and prisons were rolled back. The State Department banned diplomatic visas for unmarried same-sex partners of diplomats or employees of international agencies who work in the U.S. The Department of Justice issued an amicus brief in support of a Colorado baker at the heart of the Masterpiece Cakeshop lawsuit against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after the baker refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
The midterm elections of 2018 slowed the momentum of anti-LGBT groups as several LGBT and other progressive candidates were elected to office, but the impetus may not be large enough to counter the wave of anti-LGBT lawsuits and federal appointments that should continue well into 2019. Look for more federal policies to continue to marginalize LGBT people, with a particular emphasis on transgender people.
Anti-LGBT groups on the SPLC hate list often link homosexuality to pedophilia, claim that same-sex marriage and LGBT people, in general, are dangers to children, that homosexuality itself is dangerous, support the criminalization of homosexuality and transgender identity, and that there is a conspiracy called the “homosexual agenda” at work that seeks to destroy Christianity and the whole of society.
Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical or simply opposing same-sex marriage does not qualify an organization to be listed as an anti-LGBT hate group.
Anti-LGBT groups primarily consist of Christian Right groups but also include organizations like National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) that purport to be scientific. Anti-LGBT groups in America have employed a variety of strategies in their efforts to oppose LGBT rights, including defamation. Many leaders and spokespeople of anti-LGBT groups have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as "perverts" with "filthy habits" who seek to "convert" or “recruit” the children of straight parents into a “homosexual lifestyle.”
Others link homosexuality to pedophilia and claim that LGBT people are threats to home and society. Others disseminate disparaging "facts" about LGBT people that are simply untrue — an approach no different to how white supremacists and nativist extremists propagate lies about black people and immigrants to make these communities seem like a danger to society.
More recently, hardline anti-LGBT groups have promoted “religious freedom” and “religious liberty” legislation and legal challenges to justify anti-gay discrimination.