Anti-LGBT Roundup of events and activities 3/22/18

The following is a list of activities and events of anti-LGBT organizations. Organizations listed as anti-LGBT hate groups are designated with an asterisk.

Family Research Council*

The Family Research Council* (FRC) is gearing up for a tour of Israel (April 17-27), in which attendees will join FRC president Tony Perkins and other FRC representatives to “walk the ancient paths” and meet Israeli leaders.

Others on the tour include former congresswoman Michele Bachmann; Avi Melamed, the Salisbury Fellow of Intelligence and Middle East Affairs for the Eisenhower Institute; Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a member of the Knesset; and Ambassador David Friedman, who is serving as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the State of Israel.

An FRC video advertising the tour comments that attendees will hear from Israeli religious and “political defense” leaders while an email FRC sent out January 5 notes that “rocket scientist” Ari Sacher will be joining the tour and will brief attendees on the so-called “Iron Dome,” a missile defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Sacher, according to his bio at the tour site, is an Iron Dome Systems Engineer.

FRC president Tony Perkins does a daily radio show, “Washington Watch.” Guests from February 22 through March 19 have included Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA); Greg Fares (ret. chief of police, Baton Rouge, LA); Ned Ryun (CEO, American Majority); David Maxwell (fellow, Institute for Corean-American Studies); Tobin Grant (professor of political science and sociology, Southern Illinois University); Chris Wilson (CEO, WPA Intelligence); Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK); Polycarp Gbaja (pastor, Strong H ouse Abuja in Nigeria); Kelly Wright (Fox News reporter); Steve Cleary (film producer); Kim Davis (county clerk, KY); Jerry Johnson (president and CEO, National Religious Broadcasters); Carol Swain (retired Vanderbilt professor); Joel Rosenberg (Joshua Fund); David Parsons (VP, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem); Star Parker (Center for Urban Renewal and Education); Stephen Baldwin (actor); Mark Hancock (CEO, Trail Life USA); Tim Timken (CEO, Timken Steel); Christian Robey (Media Research Center); Brian Mullins (executive director, National Bible Bee); Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ); Rob Chambers (VP, American Family Association Action*); James Chen (executive director, Institute for Global Engagement); Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA); Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (GA); Scott Rasmussen (author, Ballotpedia); Rabbi Jonathan Hausman; Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN); Josh Hawley (attorney general, MO); Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS); Justin Danhof (director, Natioanl Center for Public Policy Research Free Enterprise Project); Chad Merrill (CEO, Fellowship of companies for Christ International); Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX); Tim Graham (executive editor, NewsBusters and director of media analysis, Media Research Center); Bill Bennett; Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH); Rick Santorum (chair, Patriot Voices); Nancy Pearcey (author); Gov. Phil Bryant (MS); State Sen. Joseph Silk (R-OK); Everett Piper (president, Oklahoma Wesleyan University); Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK); Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC); State Sen. Greg Treat (R-OK)

HazteOir/CitizenGO

The Madrid-based HazteOir, along with its more globally active arm CitizenGO, held what was called “The Gender and Sex Conference” in Madrid February 23.

The conference included several American anti-LGBT/anti-trans speakers, all of whom warned of the evils of so-called “gender ideology,” a conspiracy theory peddled on the anti-LGBT right that claims the LGBT “agenda” seeks to erase biology and biblical gender and persecute Christians.

American speakers at the gathering included Miriam Ben-Shalom (who holds dual citizenship with Israel), an anti-trans radical feminist lesbian activist who linked transgender activists to pedophilia; Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians*, whose presentation urged people not to affirm “trans delusion” in schools; and endocrinologist Paul Hruz, who is a current favorite on the anti-LGBT right for his opposition to puberty blockers in helping young trans people deal with gender dysphoria. Hruz, who is an expert in childhood diabetes, has never treated transgender or gender dysphoric individuals nor has he conducted peer-reviewed research about either.

Rubén Navarro, head of the Geneva office of Alliance Defending Freedom* (ADF) also spoke, and raised concerns about how “gender ideology” is entering the law and the United Nations.

Another American speaker, Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, also addressed the gathering, claiming that “gender theory” is a lie. He insisted that gender is not a spectrum and attempted to support his contention with examples, including using MSNBC news host Rachel Maddow. Because she wears women’s blazers (and, apparently, not men’s), Stanton said, this is somehow “proof” that the idea of a gender spectrum is false. Stanton also argued that because lesbians only want to have sex with other women, this, too, “proves” a gender spectrum is false because, according to Stanton’s logic, if there were a spectrum, lesbians apparently wouldn’t distinguish between men and women as sexual partners, which thus “proves” a binary gender system is the “truth.” 


Michelle Cretella, president of American College of Pediatricians speaking at The Gender and Sex Conference in Madrid, February 2017. Screenshot from Gender and Sex Conference website.

Anti-trans activist Walt Heyer also spoke. He transitioned to female in his forties, then transitioned back to male eight years later and now spends his time on the anti-LGBT (specifically anti-trans) lecture circuit claiming that the majority of trans people who transition will regret their decisions (they don’t). He thus advocates against surgery and hormone therapy.

Attendees at the conference were provided not only a program, but also a copy of the conference’s “Madrid Declaration,” which attempts to paint Christians as somehow victimized by “gender ideology” and also to further marginalize LGBT — especially trans — people by calling for people who are dealing with gender dysphoria not to be treated with hormones or puberty blockers. The Declaration also claims that antidiscrimination laws (that include sexual orientation and gender identity) suggest mandatory indoctrination of minors on sexual diversity.

Janet Boynes Ministries

Janet Boynes of the ex-gay Janet Boynes Ministries (JBM), will be headed to Nigeria April 27 through May 8, according to an email JBM sent out March 20, to minister for the “Glory of God in Nigeria.”

Boynes claims to be an “ex-lesbian” and is touted by anti-LGBT people as “proof” that LGBT people can “be straight.” Boynes has likened homosexuality to drug addiction and pointed to a variety of causes for it, from domineering mothers to having too many gay friends. She has also claimed that acceptance of same-sex marriage is a sign of the end times and recommended that parents not allow same-sex partners of their LGBT adult children into their houses.

Liberty Counsel*

The Liberty Counsel (LC)* is targeting the Girl Scouts as a “politically divisive, pro-abortion organization that has abandoned its mission years ago.”

According to a March 22 press release on the Liberty Counsel website, the Girl Scouts of the USA is the largest member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which, LC claims, “aggressively promotes abortion and promiscuous sex.” LC takes exception to WAGGGS’ support of comprehensive sex ed for all young people, its memberships in organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls and its support of the women’s marches, which LC calls “a vulgar and profanity-laden event that clearly stated ‘safe, legal, and affordable abortion and birth control for all people’ among its core principles.”

LC president Mathew “Mat” Staver stated in the press release

The once great Girl Scouts USA took a tragic fall when it became a political advocacy group that promotes abortion and sexual promiscuity to innocent girls. It’s important that people understand that the profits from cookie sales go toward harming young girls rather that helping them.

Staver has also bashed the Boy Scouts, claiming in 2015 that allowing gay members and Scout leaders in the Boy Scouts will create a “playground for pedophiles.”

Westboro Baptist Church*

Westboro Baptist Church* (WBC), known for its virulently anti-LGBT protests of various events, including military funerals, has posted on its picket schedule that it will be protesting March 25 in Walnut Creek, California at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, First Church of Christ, Scientist and St Mary of the Immaculate Conception. On March 27, they’ll be at Rancho Romero Elementary School in Alamo, California.

According to a press release at the WBC website, they will “peacefully preach Jesus Christ, with great zeal, love & fervour [sic].” Further on in the release, WBC claims that

In neglecting to warn mankind of sin, death and hell, these churches are guilty of unparalleled hatred, therefore, Westboro Baptist Church comes to Walnut Creek, CA to call men to repentance, and name the sins now accepted or downplayed by false prophets aka ravening wolves (Matthew 7:15) – think fag marriage, trannyism, divorce, adultery, fornication, murder, revelry, drunkenness, the list goes on and on and on.


Westboro Baptist Church picketer at Shawnee Mission East High School in Shawnee, Kansas. Screenshot from WBC website.

World Congress of Families*

The World Congress of Families (WCF)* is on the road this spring. The organization has scheduled a “family forum” May 11 and 12 in Lisbon, Portugal, that will be hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Braganza, according to an email sent out by International Organization for the Family*, the parent group of WCF.

WCF is known for its now-annual large convenings in European cities (it met in Budapest in 2017), primarily, but it also conducts smaller gatherings throughout the year in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.

Along those lines, On May 15, WCF is co-sponsoring a conference in Nairobi, Kenya, titled “Seizing the Future, Protecting the Family.” The other sponsors are the Kenyan Christian Professionals Forum (KCPF) and the Foundation for African Cultural Heritage. The director of the latter is WCF’s African regional director Theresa Okafor, who has advocated for and supported harsh anti-LGBT laws in her area that support prison terms for gay sex and ban LGBT people from meeting in public.

KCPF has held similar events in conjunction with WCF in the past such as an event in 2015 on May 15 called the National Conference of the Family, with help from WCF and the Kenyan Ministry of Labor and Social Services.

WCF’s parent, the International Organization for the Family* (IOF) is busy in May; it’s a sponsor of the Global Home Education Network conference in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, May 15 through 19, which claims to be “a leadership conference for policy makers, researchers, movement readers, and parents interested in home education.”

Many of the current sponsors of the event lean Christian and/or hard right, including IOF and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)*. Others include the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), an organization co-founded by current ADF president Michael Farris. HSLDA has a reputation for derailing any state legislation that attempts to regulate homeschooling.

And another sponsor is the Home School Support Center, which bills itself as the “leading promoter and proponent of home school education in Russia.” The founder is WCF’s Russian director, Alexey Komov. Komov has been heavily involved with pushing Russia’s current anti-LGBT climate.

Judicial, legislative, federal

HHS removes health resources for LGBT people from its website

Politico reported March 21 that the Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project discovered that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) removed pages and links that provided resources for LGBT people from its website last fall. HHS claimed that some of the information had been posted in 2012 and that the health content was “integrated into the relevant health topics pages across the website.”

The Sunlight Foundation found, however, that the information has not been updated and has not been integrated elsewhere. The Foundation also discovered that lesbian and bisexual women’s health materials have been removed from the women’s health page (WomensHealth.gov) at HHS, changes that particularly stand out. Andrew Bergman, who helped lead the Sunlight Foundation’s study, said that, “We’ve seen nothing this targeted at one HHS site. The removal of lesbian and bisexual health materials in particular, without advance notice and in a targeted way, raise concerns that they’ve targeted information for vulnerable populations.”

Politico detailed in February how HHS has taken steps to dismantle LGBT health initiatives, stripped LGBT-friendly language from documents and reassigned a senior adviser dedicated to LGBT health issues.

Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson admit their departments are abandoning trans people

Both Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson were on Capitol Hill March 20 to testify before the House Appropriations Committee.

When questioned about the Department of Education’s (DOE) recent announcement that it would no longer consider Title IX complaints from trans students, DeVos confirmed she does not believe Title IX applies to them and stated that DOE does not make law, but rather enforces existing law. However, DOE can interpret the law, as the Obama administration did when it interpreted Title IX as including trans students. DeVos reversed that policy.

Carson admitted that HUD has delayed implementing homeless shelter protections for trans people because, according to him, it’s “complex.” Carson was quoted in ThinkProgress as saying that we (HUD) believe in equal rights for everybody, “including the LGBT community, but we also believe in equal rights for the women in the shelters and shelters where there are men and their equal rights.”

When pressed, Carson claimed that there are some women “who said they were not comfortable” with the idea of being in a shelter with “somebody who had a very different anatomy.” However, the guidance that Carson’s HUD has refused to implement, ThinkProgress noted, actually addresses those concerns. The guidance was published three years ago and says that if shelters have concerns about privacy or safety, it must take steps to address them without refusing service to trans people. The guidance also provided suggestions for such situations and noted that funding is available.

HUD recently released a new mission statement that removed language about creating communities that are inclusive and free from discrimination. Other language removed included reference to working to strengthen the housing market to protect consumers.

Trump administration hosts “millennial event” at White House that includes anti-LGBT hate group

On March 22, the Trump White House hosted a youth engagement event this week. Titled “Generation Next: A White House Forum.” The White House invited Tyson Langhofer of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)*. Langhofer is director of ADF’s Center for Academic Freedom, which represents college students and student organizations to defend “freedom of speech, freedom of association, and free exercise of religion.”

The event was live-streamed and included an interview with Turning Point, USA president Charlie Kirk and the president. Turning Point, which bills itself as a conservative group interested in promoting “free market ideas” is currently embroiled in controversy over racism, ties to white nationalism and illegal campaign activity.

Kansas bill could allow certain adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT people

A bill currently before the Kansas state legislature would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to place children (either for fostering or adoption) in families if such would conflict with the religious values of the organization. That could include LGBT people, single parents and unmarried people.

HB 2687 would also ensure that organizations that did discriminate and that refused to place children with families that they deemed in conflict with their religious values would face no repercussions under state or local law and the organizations would also still be eligible for government contracts.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) supports the bill. DCF president Gina Meier-Hummel claims that passing the bill would provide an opportunity for additional child placement agencies that had concerns about working in Kansas in the past to come to the state.

However, Meier-Hummel claimed late last year that DCF would have “zero tolerance” for discrimination, following allegations that her predecessor had dismissed such claims against same-sex couples in adoption and foster care cases.

Georgia governor signs adoption bill; senate working on anti-LGBT amendment

Governor Nathan Deal signed an adoption bill (HB 159) March 5, but it did not include the religious exemption provision that would have allowed faith-based organizations to deny service to same-sex couples, unmarried people, and single parents.

That measure will have to be pursued separately.

The bill, as it was signed, streamlines processes for people wishing to adopt children in Georgia. Previously, the process was often so onerous that potential parents would travel to other states to adopt.

However, the Georgia Senate passed legislation last month that provides a religious exemption for adoption agencies. SB 375, or the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act,” would ensure that taxpayer-funded adoption agencies can turn away same-sex parents or anybody else they deem conflicts with their religious beliefs. The legislation also would prevent the department from “discriminating against” the child-placing agency or take action against it for its religious beliefs. The bill is now pending in the Georgia House.

Several of the Republican lawmakers involved with SB 375 also have histories of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim legislation, including Representatives William Ligon, Steve Gooch, Jesse Stone, David Shafer, Jeff Mullis and Greg Kirk.

Oklahoma Senate passes anti-LGBT adoption bill

On March 13, the Oklahoma Senate passed SB 1140, which would allow private child-placing agencies to deny placing children into foster care or adoption “when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”

The bill, the “Child Welfare Protection Act,” also exempts the refusing agencies from legal repercussions.

The bill’s primary sponsor is Republican state senator Greg Treat (co-chair of the Religious Freedom Caucus), who appeared on “Washington Watch” radio with Family Research Council* president Tony Perkins March 19 to briefly discuss the bill, which Treat claimed is a response to “activists” working against faith-based organizations and filing lawsuits in other states.

Anchorage gearing up to vote on anti-trans bathroom bill

In the city’s first vote-by-mail ballot, Anchorage voters will decide on Proposition 1, which would overturn an antidiscrimination ordinance that allows people to use public restroom facilities in accordance with their gender identities.

The anti-LGBT Alaska Family Council (AKFC) has been spearheading anti-trans efforts in the city, in keeping with its years-long history of battling equality for LGBT people in general. The AKFC, in conjunction with support from Alliance Defending Freedom*, has been working to get measures like this on the ballot, using scare tactics and drawing on the harmful “bathroom predator” myth.

If enacted, Proposition 1 would erase the current law that pertains to bathrooms and changing rooms and require city-owned buildings like public venues and libraries to designate them for persons of the same sex, defined by a person’s “immutable biological condition of being male or female” as determined by “anatomy and genetics at the time of birth” with an “original birth certificate” as “definitive evidence” of an individual’s sex.