Values Voter Summit: Whose Values?

The Family Research Council (FRC) is hosting its annual Values Voter Summit Oct. 13-15, a rogues' gallery of the radical right, this year keynoted by President Trump himself.

The FRC is an organization that has relentlessly vilified LGBT people – portraying them as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to children and the nation. Because of its demonizing lies about the LGBT community, it has been named as a hate group by the SPLC. 

Like its host, the Values Voters Summit claims it stands for “values.” But whose values?

1. What's the Values Voter Summit?
2. What can you do?

Here's what speakers at the 2017 Values Voter Summit actually value

*Organizations with an asterisk are listed by the SPLC as hate groups. View the full list.

Stephen Bannon
Executive Chairman, Breitbart News

In his words

“We’re the platform for the alt-right."

"Are there anti-Semitic people involved in the alt-right? Absolutely. Are there racist people involved in the alt-right? Absolutely.”


Tony Perkins
President, Family Research Council*

  • Perkins has claimed that gay men are more likely to molest children. This is false. 
  • Perkins has written that “only 16 percent of Islam is a religion.” The rest, he claims, is made up of economic, judicial, political and military systems.
  • Perkins claims that gay rights advocates intend to round up Christians in "boxcars."
  • Read the SPLC profile on Tony Perkins.

In his words

“The videos are titled 'It Gets Better.' They are aimed at persuading kids that although they'll face struggles and perhaps bullying for 'coming out' as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. …It's disgusting. And it's part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle."


"Jerry" Boykin, Jr.
Executive Vice President, Family Research Council*

  • Boykin has called Islam “evil” and said it should not be protected by the First Amendment.
  • Boykin threatened physical violence against people who don't use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth.
  • Boykin has said the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy would lead to the destruction of the American military.
  • Read the SPLC profile on Jerry Boykin, Jr.

In his words

“No mosques in America. Islam is a totalitarian way of life; it’s not just a religion.”


Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel*

  • Liberty Counsel works to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination under the guise of "religious liberty."
  • Staver has stated that he would personally advocate for disobedience to any U.S. Supreme Court that favored marriage equality.
  • Liberty Counsel claimed that the brutal murder of Matthew Shepherd in Laramie, Wyoming, was not an anti-LGBT hate crime but rather a bungled robbery.
  • Read the SPLC profile on Liberty Counsel.

In his words

“Now [the Boy Scouts of America will] allow homosexual young boys in the Scouts and allow homosexual leaders in the Scouts, and what are you going to have? You are going to have all kinds of sexual molestation. This is a playground for pedophiles to go and have all these boys as objects of their lust."


Brigitte Gabriel
Founder and Chairman, ACT for America*

  • Gabriel heads the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in the country.
  • She's a regular guest on the radio shows of anti-LGBT figures such as Sandy Rios, who has a lengthy history of demonizing Muslims.
  • Gabriel promotes wild anti-Muslim conspiracy theories that portray all Muslims as the enemy.
  • Read the SPLC profile on Act for America. 

In her words

“If a Muslim who has—who is—a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day—this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.”


Frank Gaffney, Jr
President, Center for Security Policy*

  • Gaffney has repeatedly opposed allowing LGBT people to serve in the military.
  • The Center for Security Policy has called for congressional hearings, reminiscent of the McCarthy era, to expose the infiltration of the U.S. government by Muslim extremists. 
  • Gaffney co-authored the "Team B Report," claiming that Islam itself, rather than a tiny minority of violent extremists, is a threat to American democracy.
  • Read the SPLC profile on Frank Gaffney, Jr.

In his words

“There is mounting evidence that the president [Obama] not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.”


Roy Moore
Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice

  • Moore claims Islam is a false religion.
  • Moore has stated same-sex parents are "detrimental to children."
  • Moore has appeared on the radio show of Pastor Kevin Swanson, who said being gay should be punishable by death.
  • Moore wrote that Muslim-Americans should not be allowed to serve in Congress.

In his words

“Homosexual behavior is crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one's ability to describe it.”


Gary Bauer
Founder of American Values and the Campaign for Working Families PAC

  • Bauer led anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council from 1988 to 1999.
  • Bauer has cited junk science and stated “homosexual conduct is three times more deadly than smoking.” This is false.
  • In 2010, Bauer voiced anti-Muslim sentiments at VVS, saying: “Islamic culture ... keeps hundreds of millions of people on the verge of violence and mayhem 24 hours a day.”

In his words

“If the United States is going to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees, they should be Christians and we should make no apologies for that.”


Peter Sprigg
Senior Fellow for Family Studies, Family Research Council*

  • Sprigg supports conversion therapy for LGBT people.
  • Sprigg wrote that “homosexuals are less likely to enter into a committed relationship” and “less likely to be sexually faithful to a partner.”
  • Sprigg has long defended his anti-LGBT claims by citing junk science or cherry-picking from reports.

In his words

“I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.”

What's the Values Voter Summit?

The Values Voter Summit is an annual political conference bringing together some of the most extreme groups on the right, including multiple designated hate groups. It was founded in 2006 and is hosted by the Family Research Council.

Who's Family Research Council?

The Family Research Council (FRC) is an organization that often makes false and intentionally dehumanizing claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people as the organization battles against same-sex marriage, hate crime laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. To make the case that the LGBT community is a threat to American society, the FRC employs a number of “policy experts” whose “research” has allowed the FRC to be extremely active politically in shaping public debate. Its research fellows and leaders often testify before Congress and appear in the mainstream media. It also works at the grassroots level, conducting outreach to pastors in an effort to “transform the culture.”

Here's their statement on "homosexuality:"

Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health the effects. While the origins of same-sex attractions may be complex, there is no convincing evidence that a homosexual identity is ever something genetic or inborn. We oppose the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools.

Read more about the Family Research Council.

What can you do?

Bigotry is not an American value. You can stand up for equality and speak out against the bigotry displayed by the Family Research Council. Here's how:

  • Let people know that President Trump is lending the legitimacy of his office to a hate group that relentlessly demonizes LGBT people and works to deny them of their equal rights. Share this message on social media.
  • Expose the Family Research Council's true values. Download this image and share.
  • Educate yourself. Read our profile on the Family Research Council.
  • Take action against hate in your community. Follow our 10 Ways to Fight Hate guide.

Main photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images