On Saturday, President Donald Trump will speak to right-wing lawmakers and activists at the Value Voters Summit for the third year in a row, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The organizers of the summit claim that it is a gathering of people who wish to “preserve the bedrock values of traditional marriage, religious liberty, sanctity of life and limited government that make our nation strong” — but in actuality, the summit “embraces groups and individuals with a history of intolerance,” SPLC noted.
The Values Voter Summit began in 2006, created by the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council (FRC). FRC was founded in 1983 and has become one of the most powerful Christian-right lobbying groups in the country.
Tony Perkins, the president of the FRC, is also the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an “independent, bipartisan federal government commission charged with defending freedom of religion worldwide” that offers counsel to the president, secretary of state and Congress.
The summit often includes panel sessions and speeches regarding “religious liberty,” specifically in reference to LGBTQ equality movements affecting Christian rights. One session refers to Christian persecution for practicing religion. “Florists, photographers and bakers are being fined for refusing to facilitate in homosexual weddings. Preachers are arrested for proclaiming the gospel in Muslim neighborhoods,” according to the program synopsis.