GLAAD exposes 50 worst anti-LGBTQ statements from 2017 Values Voter Summit Speakers before President Trump’s speech

President Trump becomes the first sitting president to address Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, released research on anti-LGBTQ public statements from virtually every speaker at Family Research Council’s (FRC) 2017 Values Voter Summit as part of a call on media to put the host organization and the collection of activists and public officials speaking at the event into context by accurately reporting on their anti-LGBTQ records. It is up to responsible media not to normalize hate speech by holding Trump, and the anti-LGBTQ activists he aligns himself with, fully accountable for their words and actions.

When President Trump speaks at the event on Friday, October 13—just prior to Michele Bachmann who has referred to homosexuality as “part of Satan” and the Benham Brothers—who claim hurricanes are a sign from God that we must repent for LGBTQ rights—he will become the first sitting president to appear at the conference.

“The Values Voter Summit is a convening of fringe groups united around discrimination against LGBTQ Americans and serves as a place for them to actively strategize on rolling back and erasing hard-fought LGBTQ progress,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Though it is reprehensible that a sitting President would headline this gathering of hate and fearmongering, it is no longer surprising, as President Trump continues to lead a culture war against LGBTQ Americans and other marginalized groups at every turn."

From US Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has directly stated that homosexuality should be illegal, to John Stemberger, a Florida activist who insists that transgender people have a “mental disease,” the Values Voter Summit speaker roster embody and lead ideologies that go far beyond mainstream conservative voices. Trump’s appearance at the event further strips credibility from this administration and solidifies his standing as the figurehead of the most anti-LGBTQ administration in recent history.

The Values Voter Summit website describes the three day convening as a "forum to help inform and mobilize citizens across America to preserve the bedrock values of traditional marriage, religious liberty, sanctity of life and limited government that make our nation strong," and includes a verity on anti-LGBTQ panels and breakout sessions, including on the that explicitly targets transgender youth.

Read more about the hateful anti-LGBTQ statements made by this year’s Values Voter Summit speakers below, also included is information on the anti-LGBTQ panels that will be happening throughout the event. Other profiles on Donald Trump and the anti-LGBTQ activists inside the Trump Administration through GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:  Anti-LGBTQ Public Statements from 2017 Values Voter Summit Speakers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann: Former United States Representative

Called LGBTQ people ‘part of Satan’: “It's a very sad life. It's part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It's anything but gay."

  • Joseph Backholm: President, Family Policy Institute of Washington

    Insisted that marriage equality is “wrong in the eternal sense,” and compared it viewing bloodletting as a sound medical practice: “Redefining marriage in this way, saying that there is no difference between men and women, that it’s not important for children to have both a mother and a father, that’s not just bad policy, it’s wrong in the eternal sense. So because it’s untrue, it will ultimately be proven as untrue and we will come around to recognize the error of our ways. We used to believe in bloodletting as good medical practice, culture has embraced a lot of things temporarily until they realized it’s based on things that are not true. This is one of those, it has to be temporary, not just because I want it to be temporary, but because it’s untrue in the eternal sense."
  • Hunter Baker: Associate professor of political science at Union University

    Claims children are naturally repulsed to gay relationships the same way they are naturally repulsed by racism: “Just as a child’s natural understanding tilts away from racism, I would suggest that it tilts toward a complementary view of the sexes. In other words, men go with women and women go with men. Just as bigotry must be cultivated, so, too, must the appreciation of same sex pairings.  In other words, bigotry is the result of intentional cultural work and so is the appreciation of same sex pairs. Neither is a natural understanding from the child’s point of view.”
  • George Barna: Executive Director, American Faith & Culture Institute

Co-wrote a book with anti-LGBTQ activist David Barton in which the two framed gay acceptance as “behavior that indisputably weakens and undermines its culture.”

  • Gary Bauer: President, American Values

Believes marriage equality could lead to “God taking his hand of protection off our country.”

  • Andrew Beckwith: President, Massachusetts Family Institute

Advocated in favor of so-called conversion therapy and criticized Massachusetts ban on the dangerous practice: ““What this means for parents, is that if you have a child (under 18) who is struggling in this area, and you take them to see a licensed Christian therapist to figure out ways to work through those issues from a Biblical perspective, THAT would be classified as ‘child abuse.”

  • David and Jason Benham: Authors and Reality TV Personalities

Claim hurricanes are a sign from God that we need to repent for LGBTQ rights.

  • Bill Bennett: Author and Radio Host

Longtime anti-LGBTQ activist who framed “gay culture” as destroying manhood in today’s culture.

  • Jerry Boykin: Executive Vice President of Family Research Council

Argued LGBTQ people are not ‘normal:” “You believe that homosexuality is normal—I do not...their behavior and their chosen lifestyle is not consistent with the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

  • Rob Chambers: National Field Director, AFA Action

Claims Satan causes LGBTQ activists to distort the truth about anti-LGBTQ laws.

  • Chuck Donovan: President, Charlotte Lozier Institute

Former VP of FRC who has opposed every LGBTQ right of the past four decades. Said: “If certain behaviors produce a lethal and untreatable disease like HIV, the natural response of a population would be,‘well, we need to discourage that.’ Well, we’ve turned around and are encouraging that.” (40 min mark; turn on closed captioning)

  • Jeremy Dys: Deputy General Counsel, First Liberty

Wrote a lengthy piece condemning openly gay basketball player Jason Collins: “But, I am also unwilling to encourage his behavior that his conscience will (if it hasn't already) instruct him is unhealthy, unwise, and immoral.”

  • William Federer: President, Amerisearch

Fringe Christian “historian” who pushes rabid anti-LGBTQ myths and misinformation on his “American Minuet” radio series. In a recent one, he covered the history of the Boy Scouts by framing it as a downward spiral from “morally straight to transgender.”

  • Frank Gaffney: Founder, Center for Security Policy

Known more for his extreme anti-Muslim views but also has also targeted transgender service members:  “The most egregious example of such social engineering is a requirement to integrate “transgender” individuals and pay for their sex change operations and other, vast healthcare requirements,” (and was a strong opponent of open LGB+ service before that).

  • Sebastian Gorka: Former Deputy Assistant to President Trump

Former Trump Administration official who insists Trump’s transgender ban is there to “help those people” from attempting suicide.

  • Rep Vicky Hartzler

    One of the Congress’s most anti-LGBTQ members, has recently taken on blocking open transgender service in the U.S. military as her big cause: “At a time when we should be focusing on the threats from North Korea, and Putin, and ISIS, we’re having to deal with a threat here at home — a domestic threat — of allowing transgenders [sic] in our service, which is a real problem because it impacts their readiness, and it’s a huge cost for our military.”
  • Rep John Hostettler: Former United States Representative

    Former congressman who opposed the so-called Federal Marriage Amendment of 2004 because he felt it didn’t go *far enough* to ban same-sex unions.
  • Laura Ingraham: Conservative radio host

    Called transition-related care “child abuse.”
  • Alveda King: Former Georgia State Representative and Fox News contributor

    Has linked marriage equality to “genocide,” natural disasters, and much more.
  • Dana Loesch: Conservative radio host and NRA spokesperson

    Mocked transgender protections as creating a “crazy world” and compared being a transgender youth to her own childhood wish to be a flower.
  • Jennifer Marshall: VP for the Institute of the Family, Community and Opportunity, The Heritage Foundation

    While not known for extreme quotes, she has pushed reams of flawed, skewed, and outright fallacious “data” in order to smear LGBTQ people, families, and children as a longtime Heritage Foundation staff member.
  • Emmett McGroarty: Education Director, American Principles Project

    Recently co-authored an article titled “Transgenderism: A Leftist Weapon Against the Family” in which he claims “confused children” are being used as an “evil” plot of the government to take the family’s place.
  • Rep Mark Meadows

    Anti-LGBTQ congressman who ran for office on his support for North Carolina’s marriage amendment, and who is credited as a key force in pressuring the Trump administration to enact its transgender military ban.
  • Roy Moore: Alabama U.S. Senate candidate

    Has said “homosexual conduct should be illegal” and is “the same thing” as having sex with a cow.
  • Jerry Newcombe: Senior Producer, D. James Kennedy Ministries

    Anti-LGBTQ fringe pundit who promotes the scientifically discredited concept of gay “change” and refers to homosexuality as “sexual brokenness.”
  • Oliver North: Conservative Columnist

    Claimed that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell meant soldiers being “treated like lab rats in Mr. Obama’s radical social experiment.”
  • Tony Perkins: President, Family Research Council

    Said LGBTQ people are “pawns of the enemy,” and called the ‘It Gets Better’ project supporting LGBTQ youth "disgusting."
  • Everett Piper: President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University

    Sought a Title IX waiver from the federal government for Oklahoma Wesleyan University to discriminate against transgender people and later boasted that he was “proud” of doing so.
  • Phil Robertson: Reality TV Personality, Duck Dynasty

    Has referred to marriage equality as “evil...wicked..sinful” and linked LGBTQ rights to mass murder.
  • Lila Rose: Founder and President, LiveAction

    While she usually limits her comments exclusively to abortion, she has joined the most extreme anti-LGBTQ activists on any number of occasions. For instance, decrying “unjust rulings” on marriage equality with Tony Perkins and Mat Staver.
  • Cathy Ruse: Senior Fellow for Legal Studies, Family Research Council

    Refers to trans kids as “opposite-sex students who claim a gender contrary to their biology.” Ruse is a parent in Fairfax County, VA, where she has joined the fight against trans rights and made it into a huge FRC focal point. She will be the on an anti-trans panel titled “TRANSGENDER IDEOLOGY IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS: PARENTS FIGHT BACK” at this year’s Values Voter Summit.
  • Kamal Saleem: President and Founder, Koome Ministries

    Anti-Islam and anti-LGBTQ fearmonger: “Is this the beginning of Islamicization of the US by the current administration?  Christians in America are being Shamed, Jailed and Penalized for their religious beliefs, convictions and/or conscientious objections that arise from deeply held personal moral and ethical codes (ie. Kim Davis the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue gay marriage licenses, and/or Wes Modder the Navy chaplain who voiced his biblical beliefs about homosexuality.) What is next? Millions of Muslim radicals and none-radicals suddenly become justified by Sharia Law (Islamic Constitution)??”
  • Rep Steve Scalise

    Has longtime connection to white supremacist David Duke, reportedly once describing himself as “like David Duke without the baggage,” and voted against Violence Against Women Act largely because it added sexual orientation and gender protections.
  • Elizabeth Schultz: Fairfax County School Board Member

    Recently retweeted an article in which a conservative writer referred to trans women as “men who struggle with mental illness and sexual perversion.”
  • Rep Chris Smith

    Said LGBTQ rights are not human rights: “I am a strong believer in traditional marriage and do not construe homosexual rights as human rights."
  • Kevin Sorbo: Actor

    Has tweeted conservative anti-LGBTQ attacks, like one condemning Disney for including gay characters and one knocking McDonald’s for creating a Pride month milkshake.
  • Peter Sprigg: Sr. Fellow for Family Studies, Family Research Council

    Suggested he’d like to “export homosexuals from the United States.”
  • Erick Stakelbeck: Host of “The Watchman”, CBN News

    Claims gays and liberals are working with “radical Islamists” in order to destroy “traditional America” and Christianity.
  • Todd Starnes: Conservative radio host

    Fox News personality who has made opposing LGBTQ rights his regular beat, including using his twitter account to mock attendees at Pride Parade and comparing same-sex marriages to man-on-dog unions.
  • Mat Staver: Founder and President, Liberty Counsel

    Recently compared the marriage equality ruling to the notorious Dred Scott ruling permitting slavery, suggesting that both deserve to be in the “trash bin of history.”
  • John Stemberger: President and General Counsel, Florida Family Policy

    Applauded Trump for his discriminatory trans military ban: “Gender dysphoria is a mental disease. These folks need help, they need care, they don’t need to be put in the military. It’s a bad public policy, and we applaud the president for reversing it.”
  • Carol Swain: Author and Former Professor, Vanderbilt University

Said: “If we must live side-by-side with gay couples in a culture with a strong crusading homosexual agenda, our only hope is to strengthen ourselves spiritually and intellectually for the battle that awaits us.”

  • Nicole Theis: President and Executive Director, Delaware Family Policy Council

    Opposed banning scientifically-discredited so-called conversion therapy, dismissing it as “part of a larger agenda we are seeing across the country with bills attempting to give government officials the power to unconstitutionally censor the speech of licensed mental health professionals, usurp their professional judgment, and take away the right of parents to raise and care for their children."
  • Donald J. Trump: President of the United States of America

    Has used the presidency to push a ban on transgender service members in the United States Military, reverse Title VII workplace protections for LGBTQ people, and rescind Title IX protections for transgender students in our nation's schools.
  • Rep. Mark Walker

    Led the charge against the Obama administration’s transgender public school guidance saying: “It is the responsibility of our schools and teachers to create a safe and effective learning environment for every student and this action makes that goal unattainable.”
  • Lathan Watts: Director of Community Relations, First Liberty

    Agreed with a claim that trans women are “all severely mentally ill,” saying “True. Larger point: on behalf of .03% of the pop. libs opened the bathroom door to any sexual predator who "identifies" XX”
  • Dan Weber: Founder and CEO, AMAC

    Said he was “sickened” by SCOTUS marriage ruling.
  • Travis Weber: Director, Center for Religious Liberty, Family Research Council

    Argued: “If LGBT policies are elevated above freedom of conscience, it will be to the detriment of all human rights. Our consciences are the basis of our dignity upon which we can claim to have universal and inalienable rights that are not derived from the State. We should not be too quick to alter the existing structure that so many built so carefully over such a long span of time. Moral convictions in the human conscience led to the recognition of the inalienable and inherent nature of human rights for all. Demoting freedom of conscience to elevate LGBT policies will cause irreversible damage to the entire human rights system.”
  • Frank Wolf: Former U.S. Congressman

    Staunch anti-LGBTQ record from his time in Congress; once rose on the House floor specifically to condemn his church for supporting marriage equality.
  • Frank Wright: EO, D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship

    Said: “When we become so blinded and confused that we can no longer even acknowledge and respect the obvious differences between men and women, boys and girls, we have gone to the other side of Lewis Carroll’s looking glass. A society this deluded on such fundamental issues simply cannot survive.”


BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Anti-LGBTQ Panels at the Values Voter Summit

Saturday Oct 14 – 3:15-4:15pm EST

Speakers: Jeremy Dys, Deputy General Counsel, First Liberty Institute; Toni Richardson, First Liberty Client; Lathan Watts, Director of Community Relations, First Liberty Institute

Saturday Oct 14 – 4:30-5:30pm EST
Speakers: Josh Hetzler, Legislative Counsel, Family Foundation of Virginia; Meg Kilgannon, Executive Director, Concerned Parents and Educators of Fairfax County; Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies, Family Research Council; Elizabeth Schultz, Fairfax County School Board Member; Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow, Policy Studies, Family Research Council

Saturday Oct 14 – 4:30-5:30pm EST
Speakers: Hunter Baker, Professor of Political Science, Union University; Chuck Donovan, President, Charlotte Lozier Institute; Jeanne Mancini, President, March for Life; Patrina Mosley, Deputy Director, FRC Action* (Moderator)