Donald Trump got the masses riled up today at the Value Voter Summit. The first sitting president to address the anti-LGBT event told the audience his administration was “stopping cold there attacks on Judeo-Christian heritage” and promised to decisively win the (non-existent) war on Christmas.
“We are getting near the beautiful Christmas season that people don’t talk about anymore,” Trump declared. “They don’t use the word ’Christmas.'”
The crowd roared as he insisted, “We are saying ’Merry Christmas’ again.”
While one of the key platforms of the summit is opposition to LGBT rights, Trump avoided directly talking about same-sex marriage or related topics. Instead he boasted of appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, weakening the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate and fighting “radical Islamic terrorism.”
“In this administration, we will call evil by its name,” Trump said. “We stand with our friends and allies, we forge new partnerships in pursuit of peace and we take decisive action against those who would threaten our people with harm.”
Trump did offer a few dog whistles to those looking to enshrine anti-LGBT prejudice as law.
“Just last week, the Department of Justice issued a new guidance to all federal agencies to ensure that no religious group is ever targeted under my administration,” Trump said. “It won’t happen.”
Trump was a surprise—though not totally unexpected—addition to the event, which also features speeches by Kirk Cameron, Michelle Bachmann, and Kevin Sorbo. The annual conference is sponsored by the Family Research Council, which essentially exists to fight LGBT rights. (The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled FRC a homophobic hate group in 2010.)
When they checked in at registration at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, attendees got gift bags, filled with all kinds of alt-right goodies—including a brochure on “The Health Hazards of Homosexuality.”
The flyer was put out by MassResistance, a Massachusetts-based anti-LGBT group that claims, among other things, that suicide prevention programs aimed at LGBT youth “are put together by homosexual activists to normalize homosexuality.”
“The sexual revolution and mainstreaming of homosexuality have created a public health crisis,” it reads. “But the media give little attention to the danger of ‘gay’ and lesbian sexual practices and the resulting health problems experienced by the gay-lesbian-bisexual population. Worse, the medical authorities deliver mixed messages to those at high risk while failing to protect the broader public.”