Trump to address anti-LGBTQ Heritage Foundation this evening

The Heritage Foundation promotes anti-LGBTQ policy including the push for so-called “religious exemptions” and holds close ties to the White House

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today released research on the anti-LGBTQ record of the Heritage Foundation and their deep connections within the Trump Administration prior to President Trump’s speech tonight at their annual meeting. This speech comes less than one week after Trump became the first sitting president to appear the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, a gathering of some of the most extreme and fringe anti-LGBTQ activists in the country.

"President Trump is actively courting organizations who use hatred and fearmongering to target the rights of the LGBTQ community,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “As Trump continues to push for religious exemptions to legalize discrimination against the LGBTQ community against the will of the American people, he must be held accountable for his ties to these fringe anti-LGBTQ groups.”

Former Heritage Foundation staffer Roger Severino has been credited with helping champion the Trump Administration’s so-called “religious exemptions” in healthcare from his post as the head of the Health and Human Services’ Civil Rights Office. This anti-LGBTQ agenda run counter to a recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) which showed that a majority of Americans oppose anti-LGBTQ “religious exemption” laws.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Heritage Foundation’s Connections to the Trump White House

  • Trump appointed anti-LGBTQ activist and former Heritage Foundation employee, Roger Severino, to lead the Health and Human Services Civil Rights Office.
  • Trump nominated Heritage Foundation’s Former Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, Mark Esper, for Secretary of the Army.
  • Trump recently hosted a private dinner with Heritage Foundation founder Ed Feulner.
  • Heritage materials hosted on the official White House website by Heritage Foundation's Senior Legal Fellow, Hans von Spakovsky, who was selected to spearhead the Commission on Election Integrity tasked with investigating Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations that “millions of people” voted illegally in the 2016 election.
  • Heritage Foundation fellows appointed to roles as Director of the National Institute of Justice at the Department of Justice and Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Heritage Foundation’s Anti-LGBTQ Activism

  • Hosted a “gender dysphoria in children” panel rooted in the rejection of trans youth that featured a panelist from the fringe, discredited, extremely anti-LGBTQ American College of Pediatricians [October 2017].
  • Published a report (co-authored by Roger Severino) that targeted the trans inclusive non-discrimination protections under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it would threaten “freedom of conscience and the independence of physicians [January 2016].
  • Heritage panelist defended the discredited and dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy” therapy [March 2015].
  • Attacked NJ Gov. Chris Christie for banning so-called conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth in an article authored by senior research fellow Ryan Anderson [September 2013].
  • Argued against LGBTQ inclusive employment non-discrimination protections by targeting the trans community: “Finally, especially related to issues surrounding “gender identity” and “transgender” employees, this law could require employment policies that, with regard to a number of workplace conditions, undermine common sense.” [November 2013].
  • Peddled a very flawed and discredited anti-LGBTQ Regnerus study that argued, against the consensus of social scientists and profession child welfare groups, that children of gay parents are worse than those raised by two parents of the opposite sex [June 2012].
  • Came out against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act arguing that it workplace protections for LGBTQ workers is a step for marriage equality [September 2009].
  • Argued that legislators should not “appease” the LGBTQ community by allowing even civil unions because it would open the door to full LGBTQ equality: “It's time to hold accountable those lawmakers who have opened the door for this court ruling by trying to appease homosexual rights activists with laws that allow civil unions. You cannot have peace at any price with those who seek to conquer and vanquish our values.” [May 2008].