June 6, 2017 at 10:08 am PST | by Chris Johnson
Trump to address anti-LGBT leaders days before Equality March
Trump's Final Days, gay news, Washington Blade

President Donald Trump (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Days before the LGBT community intends to demonstrate at the Equality March, President Trump is set to speak Thursday at a conference hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition, an organization consisting of anti-LGBT leaders.

Ralph Reed, chair of Faith & Freedom Coalition, announced Tuesday in a statement Trump would headline the organization’s annual “Road To Majority” conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in D.C.

“President Trump won an overwhelming plurality of voters of faith last year and in the opening months of his administration faith based voters remain his most loyal supporters and we are extremely excited that President Trump will once again address thousands of conservative activists from across the country at Road To Majority,” Reed said.

Reed, who has compared court rulings in favor same-sex marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of slavery in Dred Scott case, added Trump has already demonstrated his commitment to social conservatives over the course of his administration.

“His administration has delivered on his campaign promises with the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, his appointment of the most socially conservative Cabinet in our nations history, and a number of executive and legislative accomplishments that confirm his commitment to be a pro-life President,” Reed said.

It won’t be the first time Trump has addressed the Faith & Freedom Coalition. Last year during his presidential campaign, Trump addressed the confab, calling his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton “as crooked as they come.” Without saying anything explicitly anti-LGBT, Trump made references to certain issues in ways that could be considered code for support for undermining LGBT rights.

In addition to Trump, speakers with anti-LGBT reputations scheduled to attend are Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Ohio) and James Dobson. In the past, the coalition has honored the late Phyllis Schlafly, a social conservative activist who despite having a gay son took anti-LGBT positions.

On the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s website, the organization doesn’t explicitly articulate any anti-LGBT goals, but makes clear one of its principles is “respect for the sanctity and dignity of life, family, and marriage as the foundations of a free society.” Those words could be considered code for undermining LGBT rights.

The Faith & Freedom Coalition announces Trump will speak before attendees at its conference in days before Equality March and Pride celebrations throughout the country. Trump is set to make an appearance at the event after scrapping a tradition under the Obama administration of issuing a proclamation to recognize June as Pride month.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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