WASHINGTON, DC Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), today made the following statement responding to Donald Trump's "foreign policy" speech:
"The same Donald Trump who today railed against ISIS hate stood shoulder-to-shoulder with anti-LGBTQ activists five days ago in Orlando, just miles from Pulse nightclub," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "This is the same Donald Trump whose campaign manager is in the headlines today for allegedly taking millions from allies of one of the world's worst anti-LGBTQ dictators, and who has campaigned on promises of more anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court justices. This is also the same Donald Trump who put Mike Pence, one of the most prominent faces of discrimination in America today, on the ticket. Meanwhile, we don't have to guess at how Hillary Clinton will advance LGBTQ equality on a global stage because that's exactly what she did as Secretary of State. Long before Donald Trump struggled to read the letters 'LGBTQ' off a teleprompter, Secretary Clinton went before the international community to declare that "gay rights are human rights," launched the Global Equality Fund, and pioneered the first-ever UN resolution protecting LGBTQ people."
On the two-month anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting last week, which took the lives of 49 LGBTQ people and allies, Trump courted anti-LGBTQ activists just 10 miles from the site of the tragedy in Orlando. Among the organizations attending was Liberty Counsel, which supports and defends archaic laws criminalizing homosexuality with harsh punishments around the world, and has condemned President Obama and the U.S. government for speaking out against such laws, saying, "America should not be trying to make that country act in an immoral way."
In 2011, Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver said that American opposition to the criminalization of homosexuality is "immoral." He said, "More than sixty countries have laws criminalizing homosexuality and virtually every country in the world has laws that criminalize pedophilia and child incest. Malawi was doing what it was doing in its own best interest and America should not be trying to make that country act in an immoral way."
In 2013, Staver said that Russia was "reaffirming marriage….and rejecting this radicalized Homosexual agenda." Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber went further in 2014, praising Russia, by saying it was trying to, "...stop this homosexual activist propaganda from corrupting children in our nation, and we need to see that right here in the United States.'"
Trump has also doubled down on his anti-LGBTQ agenda by putting Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on the ticket. Pence became a national disgrace in 2015, for his "license to discriminate" bill that could have allowed businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people and for subsequently defending the bill after an outcry from the business community and a majority of Hoosier voters. In a now notorious interview with ABC last year, Pence refused to answer eight separate times when asked whether businesses should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
In recent weeks, Trump has also campaigned alongside Tony Perkins leader of the Family Research Council, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.