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President Trump headlines a Festival of Bigotry and Hate

This week, some of the nation’s most extreme anti-LGBTQ groups, leaders and elected officials are gathering in Washington D.C., for the Family Research Council’s “Values Voter Summit” — a festival of bigotry and hate.


Hosted by the FRC — an anti-LGBTQ hate group — this annual event brings together a rogues’ gallery of far-right extremists, including hate groups like ACT for America, the American Family Association and the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

This year, President Trump will return to headline the event, as he did in 2017. He is the only sitting president to lend the prestige of the White House to this gathering of extremists.

The Southern Poverty Law Center named the FRC a hate group in 2010 because it spread demonizing lies about LGBTQ people – portraying them as sick, evil, perverted, incestuous and a danger to the nation. Its president, Tony Perkins, has said that pedophilia “is a homosexual problem,” a claim that has been debunked by the American Psychological Association. He has also called the “It Gets Better” campaign “disgusting” and claimed it’s an effort to recruit children “into that lifestyle.”

"Donald J. Trump is not inclined to address the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry against him, but he apparently has plenty of time to speak at the 2019 Values Voter Summit. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is set to make his speaking debut as well, providing this administration with a captive audience that shares similar views.

Heidi Beirich, director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, said:

President Trump is not inclined to answer questions raised by the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry, but he apparently has plenty of time to speak at the 2019 Values Voter Summit. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is set to speak, too, making his debut before a captive audience that shares similar views.

Given the fact that this gathering reunites some of the most extreme groups on the right under the guise of “pro-family” issues, Trump’s attendance exposes the Family Research Council’s annual event as a vehicle used to promote this administration’s hate-filled agendas against immigrants and American Muslims, among many others.

This is also illustrated by a roster of speakers and exhibitors who frequently target the LGBTQ community with abusive innuendos and blatant lies. Their determination to dehumanize LGBTQ people has forced the need for legislation like the Equality Act, which will secure basic human rights such as fair housing, financial equity, health care equality, and physical safety for LGBTQ people.

Trump is the only sitting president to ever speak at the Values Voter Summit and to unapologetically support the hateful rhetoric on display at the conference. His supporters claim to defend old-fashioned American values, but their rhetoric and actions embody modern-day bigotry – and Trump is their ringleader.

SPLC defines a hate group as an organization that, based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities, has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. The organizations on our hate group list vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity — prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines. The FBI uses similar criteria in its definition of a hate crime.

Here is more information about FRC and why it is a hate group and the Values Voter Summit:

Trump returns to Values Voter Summit

Family Research Council

Tony Perkins

Read our Open Letter Against Hate

Lieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin

10 Things to Know About FRC and Tony Perkins

Yes, the FRC and ADF Are Hate Groups. Here’s Why!

Anti-LGBTQ ideology

Explore our Hate Map—In 2018, we tracked 1,020 hate groups across the U.S.

FAQ on Hate groups

Photo credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images