President Donald Trump made history last week, when he became the first sitting president to address the annual Values Voter Summit hosted by the conservative Family Research Council (FRC). But rather than focus on the content of Trump’s speech, news outlets like Newsweek chose to malign the president’s decision to attend the event by citing a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), in which the progressive think tank labels the FRC as a “hate group” and “rouges’ gallery of the radical right” for its “anti-LGBTQ” positions.
“Donald Trump To Speak At Hate Group’s Annual Event, A First For A President” read the headline of the Newsweek piece that ran on Thursday. The article quoted SPLC president Richard Cohen, who told The Independent that Trump’s appearance at the event “is lending the legitimacy of his office to a hate group that relentlessly demonizes LGBTQ people and works to deny them of their equal rights.”
“His appearance puts the lie to his campaign promise to be a friend to the LGBTQ community,” he said. “Bigotry is not an American value, and our president should speak out against it.”
As Faithwire has reported, the SPLC “Active Hate Groups” list includes many conservative and Christian organizations and the dubious designation has inspired some to take violent actions. In 2012, a gunman burst into FRC offices, killing a security guard. Court documents show the attacker chose his target after seeing it listed as an anti-gay group on the SPLC website.
The president of the FRC, Tony Perkins, meanwhile, praised the president for not shying away from talking to the very voters who supported his run and whose ideals and values he vowed to protect on the campaign trail.
“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,” Perkins said in a statement reported by The Hill. “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.”
During his speech on Friday, the president drew cheers when he once again promised to protect Judeo-Christian values and asserted that faith and family always supersede government.
“We know that it’s the family and the church — not government officials — who know best how to create strong and loving communities,” Trump said. “We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.”
(H/T: Daily Wire)