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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:32 pm 
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Fueled by Trump, upcoming Values Voter conference represents peak convergence of anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim movements, by Hatewatch Staff, Oct 12 2017

Key leaders in the established anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim movements will gather this weekend in Washington, D.C., for the annual Values Voter Summit (VVS), along with President Donald Trump and his former strategist and Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon.

VVS was launched in 2006 by four powerful anti-LGBT groups, namely, the Family Research Council Action, Focus on the Family Action, Americans United to Preserve Marriage (headed by longtime Christian Right activist and former Family Research Council (FRC) president Gary Bauer) and American Family Association Action. VVS has traditionally provided an ongoing platform not only for strident anti-LGBT and anti-choice views, but also anti-immigrant — and in particular — anti-Muslim views, a nod to the growing cross-pollination between the anti-LGBT Christian Right and the anti-Muslim lobby.

A look at the 2017 speaker roster indicates just how closely aligned the anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT groups really are. At least 10 of the speakers are representatives of anti-Muslim organizations or have a well-documented history of espousing anti-Muslim rhetoric. These include figures like Brigitte Gabriel head of ACT for America, the largest anti-Muslim group in the country who has said that practicing Muslims “cannot be loyal citizens of the United States” and conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, head of the anti-Muslim think tank Center for Security Policy (CSP) who said of Somali refugees in 2015, “I don’t know about you, but it kind of creeps me out that they are getting jobs in the food supply of the United States.”

Three Trump advisors will also be speaking at VVS 2017: Sebastian Gorka, Steve Bannon and Walid Phares, a man who “was a high ranking political official in a sectarian religious militia responsible for massacres during Lebanon's brutal, 15-year civil war” as revealed by Mother Jones in 2011. While these men served Trump in an official capacity either during his campaign or since he has taken office, many of the groups represented at VVS have deep connections to Trump, and have even influenced his policy decisions... The 2017 VVS will serve as a culmination and a celebration for both movements. Not only are they working more closely together now than ever, but they have a champion in Donald Trump—a president who not only shares their views but is shaped by them.
(full article)

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