The anti-LGBTQ groups behind today's anti-trans rally at the Texas State Capitol

Texas anti-LGBTQ activists have worked with hate-group the Family Research Council (FRC), called the HIV and AIDS epidemic “God’s judgment as a result of an immoral act” 

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today released background information on Texas Pastors Council Action, Texas Values, Vision America Action, and Texas Right to Life – anti-LGBTQ groups behind this morning’s rally in support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s anti-trans “special discrimination session.” The session includes Abbott’s call to pass anti-transgender legislation including Senate Bill 3, a bill which would bar transgender and gender non-conforming Texans from access to restrooms and students from participating in athletics in accordance with their gender identity.  

Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have a record of turning to anti-LGBTQ hate groups to publicly promote their anti-transgender agenda, even at a time when a majority of Texans oppose such harmful measures. The Texas Pastors Council Action, for instance, has worked closely with anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council (FRC) and once claimed LGBTQ rights are as “equally offensive” to God as slavery. Vision America Action once claimed the HIV and AIDS epidemic was “God’s judgment as a result of an immoral act.” Anti-trans groups like the Texas Pastors Council Action and the Vision America Action have fueled a debate that has already put the safety of trans Texans and the economic well-being of the state in jeopardy.  

Just last month, Gov. Abbott himself showed the true intentions of his “special discrimination session” when he described SB 3 as “Transgender Bathrooms” in a tweet. Abbott’s agenda is in direct opposition with Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican, who voiced his opposition to the anti-trans bills by saying he was “disgusted by all this” and did not want “a suicide of a single Texan on [his] hands.” If an anti-trans bill like SB 3 is signed into law, it could drain about $3 billion from the state’s economy while also putting the safety of transgender Texans in jeopardy.  

Take a look below to see the full anti-LGBTQ history of today’s anti-trans event organizers.  

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Anti-LGBTQ Record of Texas Pastors Council Action, Texas Values, Vision America Action, and Texas Right to Life 

Texas Pastors Council Action: 

  • President is Dave Welsh; who claims LGBTQ rights are "equally offensive" to God as slavery and refers to LGBTQ equality advocates as "purveyors of perversion" while equating LGBTQ rights with demolition. 
  • Works closely with the Family Research Council, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an anti-LGBTQ hate group. 
  • Believes and teaches that homosexuality is “contrary to natural law,” “contrary to Darwinism,” “contrary to the beliefs of Western Civilization,” and “contrary to the morality and laws throughout the history of America” 
  • Website hosts a commentary from a member pastor declaring that “homosexual lifestyle is genocide”: “As People living in this lifestyle have convinced themselves that they can raise up a child in this culture and it would be healthy, even if by example, it is reinforcing an infectious cancer, a life promoting a continuous conduct of Genocide. This is child abuse in one of the most despicable forms of child abuse. To impose this lifestyle upon innocent children is a crime against humanity, a crime against morality, a crime against God.” 

Texas Values:

  • President is Jonathan Saenz who defends dangerous and debunked practice of so-called "conversion therapy" as valid science, claims marriage equality will lead to people marrying their own stepchildren and was a major opponent of inclusive Boy Scouts.
  • Works closely with the Family Research Council (FRC), a group the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Saenz is a regular guest on Tony Perkins’ anti-LGBTQ radio show Washington Watch
  • Publicly supports so-called "conversion therapy" and argues that “the reality is that people can leave the homosexual lifestyle behind.” 
  • Currently running fear-mongering anti-trans radio ads in Texas. 

Vision America Action: 

  • Founded by Rick Scarborough who calls the AIDS epidemic God's "judgement as a result of an immoral act” and has suggested the filing of a class action lawsuit against homosexuality. 
  • Current President John Graves serves on the board of Jack Hayford Ministries, an organization that sells an anti-LGBTQ book (penned by Jack Hayford himself) teaching people “How to Live in a Perverted World.” 
  • Website hosts anti-LGBTQ content calling LGBTQ rights “evil,” linking Sandusky’s behavior to homosexuality, and attempting to reduce transgender identity to a “currently chic label,” and equating transgender rights to the “triumph of evil.” 

Texas Right to Life: 

  • They have lobbied against same-sex adoption in the state.