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Anti-LGBTQ

A central theme of anti-LGBTQ organizing and ideology is the opposition to LGBTQ rights, often couched in demonizing rhetoric and grounded in harmful pseudoscience that portrays LGBTQ people as threats to children, society and often public health.

Top Takeaways

Despite lockdowns related to the pandemic, 2020 saw further entrenchment of influential anti-LGBTQ hate groups in the Trump administration, and a continued appointment of anti-LGBTQ judges to the federal judiciary.

The Supreme Court of the United States  ruled in June in favor of not discriminating against LGBTQ people in employment in Bostock v. Clayton, which determined that prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex extends to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Amy Coney Barrett was named to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who died in September. Coney Barrett, who was approved by the Senate, has ties to a small Christian group, People of Praise, founded in the 1970s in Indiana. The group enforces a male-dominant hierarchy. Coney Barrett also served as a speaker five times for the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, a secretive legal training program of anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom.

Key Moments

Internationally, the Trump Department of State released a report in July 2020 via its controversial Commission on Unalienable Rights (launched in 2019), which demonstrated an alternative view of human rights that emphasizes property rights and puts primacy on certain rights over others, specifically religious liberty.

The commission, launched to allegedly examine the role of human rights in foreign policy, is stacked with anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ thinkers. A GLAAD analysis determined that 7 of the 10 members have a history battling LGBTQ rights. More than 160 groups signed a letter expressing grave concern about the commission in 2019 when it launched.

In March, several groups filed a lawsuit to stop the commission’s work, alleging it was created and operates in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972. The act stipulates, among other things, that members of such committees be “fairly balanced” in terms of points of view.

2020 also saw the ramping up of anti-trans work. According to the ACLU, a record number of anti-trans bills directed at trans youth were proposed in at least 23 states (according to the ACLU map on its site). The most common bills included attempts to restrict access to gender-affirming healthcare for minors and excluding trans youth from school athletics.

Another prong in the anti-LGBTQ movement is the pushback against comprehensive sexuality education in public schools. Smaller state coalitions, often with “parent” in the names, are organizing against school districts and enlisting state legislators and organizations to implement abstinence-only programs. The groups often claim that comprehensive sexuality education “sexualizes” children and “indoctrinates” them into being LGBTQ.

2020 has been the deadliest year on record in the U.S. for murders of trans- and gender-nonconforming people. At least 37 people have died, and those are the ones that are known.

What’s Ahead

A Biden-Harris administration will be able to slow, stop and rollback anti-LGBTQ policies across federal admininstrations, perhaps including one that the Department of Health and Human Services implemented a week before the Trump administration left office, which allows social services that receive federal funding to deny services on the basis of religious beliefs.

The Biden administration did start rolling some policies back immediately, including ending the ban on transgender people serving in the military.

The anti-trans movement will continue to attempt to enact legislation and policy to ensure the criminalization of gender-affirming care and further marginalize trans- and gender-nonconforming youth.

We will also see a continued crossover between anti-trans feminist groups and anti-LGBTQ groups in that regard. The anti-LGBTQ movement will also attempt to undo LGBTQ rights via federal courts and the Supreme Court. Because of all the Trump-era judicial appointees, they have a much better chance at getting lawsuits before the Supreme Court to inform federal law.

Background

Anti-LGBTQ groups on the SPLC hate list often link being LGBTQ to pedophilia, claim that marriage equality and LGBTQ people, in general, are dangers to children, that being LGBTQ itself is dangerous, support the criminalization of LGBTQ people 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 being LGBTQ as unbiblical or simply opposing marriage equality does not qualify an organization to be listed as an anti-LGBTQ hate group.

Anti-LGBTQ 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-LGBTQ groups in America have employed a variety of strategies in their efforts to oppose LGBTQ rights, including defamation. Many leaders and spokespeople of anti-LGBTQ groups have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBTQ people as "perverts" with "filthy habits" who seek to "convert" or “recruit” the children of straight parents into a “homosexual lifestyle.”

Others link being LGBTQ to pedophilia and claim that LGBTQ people are threats to home and society. Others disseminate disparaging "facts" about LGBTQ 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-LGBTQ groups have promoted “religious freedom” and “religious liberty” legislation and legal challenges to justify anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

2020 anti-LGBTQ hate groups

View all groups by state and by ideology.
*Asterisk denotes headquarters.

All Scripture Baptist Church
Knoxville, TN*

Alliance Defending Freedom 
Scottsdale, AZ*

American College of Pediatricians
Gainesville, FL*

American Family Association
Tupelo, MS*
Franklin, PA

American Vision
Powder Springs, GA*

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
Naperville, IL*

ATLAH Media Network
New York, NY*

Bible Believers Fellowship
Worthington, OH*

Campus Ministry USA, The
Terre Haute, IN*

Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM)
New York, NY*

Chalcedon Foundation
Vallecito, CA*

Church Militant/St. Michael’s Media
Ferndale, MI*

Concerned Christian Citizens
Temple, TX*

D. James Kennedy Ministries
Fort Lauderdale, FL*

Faith Baptist Church
Violet, LA*
Baton Rouge, LA

Faithful Word Baptist Church
Tempe, AZ*
Tucson, AZ

Family Research Council
Washington, DC*

Family Research Institute
Colorado Springs, CO*

Family Watch International
Gilbert, AZ*

First Works Baptist Church
El Monte, CA*

Illinois Family Institute
Tinley Park, IL*

Liberty Baptist Church
Rock Falls, IL*

Liberty Counsel
Orlando, FL*

Mass Resistance
Waltham, MA*
Austin, TX
Dallas, TX
Detroit, MI
Downey, CA
Houston, TX
Las Vegas, NV
New York, NY
San Diego, CA
Torrance, CA

Mission: America
Columbus, OH*

Pacific Justice Institute
Sacramento, CA*
Salem, OR
San Jose, CA
Santa Ana, CA
Seattle, WA

Pass the Salt Ministries
Hebron, OH*

Pilgrims Covenant Church
Monroe, WI*

Pray in Jesus Name Project, The
Colorado Springs, CO*

Probe Ministries
Plano, TX*

Public Advocate of the United States
Merrifield, VA*

Revival Baptist Church
Clermont, FL*
Jacksonville, FL

Ruth Institute
Lake Charles, LA*

Save California
Sacramento, CA*

Scott Lively Ministries
Springfield, MA*

Stedfast Baptist Church
Fort Worth, TX*
Oklahoma City, OK

Strong Hold Baptist Church
Norcross, GA*

Sure Foundation Baptist Church
Vancouver, WA*
Honolulu, HI
Spokane, WA

Tom Brown Ministries
El Paso, TX*

True Light Pentecost Church
Spartanburg, SC*

United Families International
Gilbert, AZ*

Verity Baptist Church
Sacramento, CA*

Warriors for Christ
Bristol, TN*

Westboro Baptist Church
Topeka, KS*

World Congress of Families/International Organization for the Family
Rockford, IL*