U.S. President Donald Trump is set to speak at an anti-LGBTQ group’s Value Voters Summit in Washington on Friday.
Trump will become the first sitting U.S. president to address the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, making it his third appearance in the 12 years of the forum.
“Values voters have waited eight years for a leader who puts America’s mission first and respects the values that made America into a great nation,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said in a statement.
“Values voters are coming to our nation’s capital thankful to hear from a president who is fulfilling the promises that he campaigned on. Since the early days of the campaign, president Trump allied himself with values voters, promising to put an end to the eight years of relentless assault on the First Amendment.”
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Last week, the Family Research Council, a non-profit Christian group, praised Trump’s decision to allow employers to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women by claiming religious or moral objections.
“President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to undoing the anti-faith policies of the previous administration and restoring true religious freedom,” Perkins said.
Critics have called out the Family Research Council as being anti-LGBTQ. On its website, which boasts “Our vision is a culture in which all human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives,” the council says it believes homosexuality is “harmful” to people.
“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,” the website reads. “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.”
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The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups, has deemed the council as a hate group because of its “intention is to denigrate LGBT people as the organization battles against same-sex marriage, hate crime laws, anti-bullying…”
Trump’s former senior aide Steve Bannon and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise are also among the weekend speakers.