Donald Trump's Extremist Allies: Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2016 | THE POLITICUS

Donald Trump's Extremist Allies: Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2016


Donald Trump's Extremist Allies: Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2016

Donald Trump is slated to join conservative activists and a number of GOP elected officials at next weekend’s Values Voter Summit, the annual Washington, D.C., event sponsored by the Family Research Council.

The GOP nominee has been busy recruiting Religious Right leaders, often while waving the Bible in the air and boasting about his plans to appoint conservative jurists to the bench and end the “War on Christmas.”

The activists joining Trump at the Values Voter Summit are some of the country’s most extreme opponents of LGBT rights, vocal conspiracy theorists and outspoken critics of the separation of church and state:

Tony Perkins

As the president of the Family Research Council, the summit’s main sponsor, Tony Perkins heads the organization’s efforts to erode gay rights, reproductive rights and the separation of church and state.

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He has:

  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those who oppose same-sex marriage into “boxcars.”
  • Denied that there is a correlation between anti-gay bullying and depression and suicide, saying instead that gay and lesbian teens know they are “abnormal” and therefore “have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict.”
  • Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”
  • Predicted that marriage equality would “create a revolution” that would “break this country apart.” and lead to “the dissolution of the republic.”
  • Called Islam “evil.”

Jerry Boykin

Family Research Council vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. He has:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction” of our military.

Peter Sprigg

Peter Sprigg is a senior fellow for policy at the Family Research Council, where he supports policies including criminalizing homosexuality and exporting homosexuals. Sprigg:

  • Advocated for gay relationships to be outlawed and met with “criminal sanctions,” calling homosexuality “objectively harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large.”
  • Defended Uganda when it sought to make homosexuality a crime warranting long jail sentences and in some instances the death penalty, saying that Uganda was under attack from those trying to force the “homosexual agenda down the throats of other countries.”
  • Insisted that homosexuality can “go away” once “the underlying psychological problems are addressed.”

James Dobson

James Dobson is the founder of the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family and currently hosts the “Family Talk” radio program. Recently, he signed on to advise Trump as part of the GOP nominee’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board. Dobson:

  • Alleged that Obamacare would deprive the elderly of life-saving treatments.
  • Insisted that bisexuality means “orgies.”

Todd Starnes

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has become notorious for filing false reports based on right-wing conspiracy theories, especially about the supposed persecution of Christians in America, which of course makes him a favorite “journalist” among conservative activists. Starnes has also:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs in order to protect their “condom profits” from the “free condoms” they distribute.
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS because he wants to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions.
  • Baselessly accused the University of Wisconsin of intentionally inflating grades to boost the academic performance of minority students.
  • Said that defeats for anti-gay activists are a sign of “the end of days.”

Phil Robertson

“Duck Commander” Phil Robertson and his family were already reality TV celebrities when they were launched into a new role as right-wing activists after Robertson made racist and homophobic comments in a 2013 magazine interview. Since then, Robertson has appeared at Republican events and in campaign ads, including one for Ted Cruz, and he is now starring in a “Christian war film” called “Torchbearer,” directed by Trump campaign CEO Steven Bannon. Robertson has:

  • Claimed black people during Jim Crow were not mistreated but were “singing and happy.”
  • Described marriage equality as “wicked” and “evil” and said of its supporters: “We have to rid the earth of them.”
  • Suggested that AIDS is God’s “penalty” for “immoral conduct.”
  • Attacked secular government as Satanism.

David and Jason Benham

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention when an HGTV show that they were set to star in was canceled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become martyrs in the eyes of the Religious Right, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Urged the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city.”
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America.
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch.”

William Federer

William Federer is a conservative author, columnist and media commentator who focuses on the role of Christianity in American history. He has been embraced by many Republican leaders such as Ben Carson, who plagiarized from Federer’s writings without attribution. Federer has:

Michele Bachmann

While she is no longer a member of Congress, having retired in the midst of a campaign finance scandal, Michele Bachmann has continued to be a vocal conservative activist and End Times forecaster. Bachmann, who recently became a member of Donald Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, has:

Allen West

Former congressman Allen West has remained active in conservative politics since losing his re-election bid in 2012, joining Fox News as a contributor and becoming executive director of the National Center for Policy Analysis. West has:

  • Demanded that Khizr Khan seek God’s forgiveness for his “stunt” at the Democratic National Convention.
  • Said feminists were making men “subservient” and denounced the “women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness.”
  • Wondered if Obama was waging “biological warfare” against Americans through enterovirus D68 or the Ebola virus.

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At previous Values Voter Summits, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion, urged gay people to “keep it private” and lamented that “homosexuality is now dividing us and bringing horrible hostility into the public square.” Parker has also:

  • Said LGBT-inclusive rules in schools amount to the “molestation” of children.
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today.
  • Referred to the Congressional Black Caucus as “the overseer today” that wants to torture black people and keep them “uneducated” and “on the plantation.”

Elaine Donnelly

A veteran of social conservative campaigns such as the successful effort to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness is an outspoken critic of attempts to include LGBT people and women in the military. She has:

  • Criticized a Pentagon office focusing on preventing sexual harassment, saying it would become the “Office of Male Bashing.”
  • Insisted that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell “could put remaining troops in greater danger, and break the All-Volunteer Force.”
  • Called on the military to ban same-sex wedding ceremonies on bases.

Kirk Cameron

Actor Kirk Cameron has emerged as a favorite on the Religious Right speaker circuit, where he publicizes his movies about the War on Christmas and preaches about how he is persecuted for being conservative. Cameron also styles himself as a historian, although he is not very good at it. He has:

  • Made a film about how bananas disprove the theory of evolution.
  • Said of homosexuality: “I think it's unnatural, I think it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many foundations of civilization.”
  • Urged voters to oppose Obama in order to “hold back the flood of moral and spiritual evil that has been pouring into the country.”