Anti-LGBTQ hate groups are rapidly growing across America, a result, the Southern Poverty Law Center says, of President Donald Trump's leadership, including his embrace of those groups. The White House in response has issued a thin statement denying any responsibility or blame – while not even offering to make any changes or to help with the growing danger.
While overall, active hate groups of all types fell slightly in 2019 from 1020 to 940, there was a "sharp expansion," a nearly 43% increase, in anti-LGBTQ hate groups, the SPLC reports, warning that the "Trump administration has demonstrated a clear willingness to embrace their leaders and their policy agenda."
“Though Trump promised during his campaign to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBTQ community, he has fully embraced anti-LGBTQ hate groups and their agenda of dismantling federal protections and resources for LGBTQ people.”
Far right wing Christian evangelicals, including anti-LGBTQ hate groups like the Family Research Council, have become emboldened, enjoying what they have said is "open door" access to the Oval Office.
"Anti-LGBTQ groups have become intertwined with the Trump administration, and—after years of civil rights progress and growing acceptance among the broader American public—anti-LGBTQ sentiment within the Republican Party is rising," the Southern Poverty Law Center adds.
The White House issued a thin statement in response, refusing to accept any responsibility or blame.
“While the radical left has pushed false accusations that LGBTQ Americans are threatened, the president has hired and promoted LGBTQ Americans to the highest levels of government, including positions at the White House, Cabinet agencies and ambassadorships,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told NBC News. “He launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality. … And the president has made the bold declaration that we are committed to ending HIV transmissions in the United States within 10 years.”
(Note that nearly the entire statement hinges on the President appointing openly-gay Trump diehard loyalist Richard Grenell as his Ambassador to Germany, then installing him – despite his absolute lack of qualifications – as his acting Director of National Security. It was Grenell who launched the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality – which exists in name only. And Trump can say he is "committed to ending HIV transmissions in the United States within 10 years," but his policies are likely to make the situation worse.)
The SPLC also issued another dark warning: this hate and extremism "will far outlast this administration," and not disappear when President Trump leaves office.
"As the country continues to experience white nationalist terror, extremist ideas long believed outside of the realm of legitimate politics are penetrating deeply into the mainstream, spawning public policies that target immigrants, LGBTQ people and Muslims. The Trump administration has installed members of hate groups into government—particularly those with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim or anti-LGBTQ animus—and put in place highly punitive policies that seemed unthinkable just a few short years ago. These political moves will far outlast this administration, as Trump and his allies in the U.S. Senate have pushed through hundreds of new federal judges, many of whom are hostile to civil rights concerns and will serve for decades."