It hasn't even been two months yet, but already the Trump administration has drawn intense scrutiny and criticism on myriad fronts: immigration, health care, regulation, the enviroment, national defense, and, of course, all those things President Donald Trump wants cut out of the federal budget, including slashing United Nations funding by at least half. And on Saturday, yet another U.N.-related controversy erupted, this time relating to the administration's choice of delegation for human rights meetings. In short, the White House sent a "hate group" to a U.N. conference on women's rights, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC is well-known for its classifications of organizations it considers hate groups, whether along the line of faith, gender, race, or national origin. And the Center for Family and Human Rights (also known as C-FAM) has reportedly made its list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups for the last five years. The Trump administration's controversial delegation choice was highlighted by the Thompson Reuters Foundation earlier this week, and SPLC intelligence project director Heidi Beirich told them why C-FAM was classified as a hate group:
As NBC News notes, perhaps the most simple and obvious expressions of C-FAM's anti-LGBTQ views come from its president, Austin Ruse, also a Breitbart columnist who's voiced a litany of deeply anti-LGBTQ statements through the years. Ruse has insisted that homosexuality should be stigmatized due to the threat it poses to morality and public health, and a brief review of his archives at Breitbart reveal many different articles denigrating various members of the LGBTQ community.
He also once called for "hard-left" people who "run modern universities" to be "taken out and shot" while hosting a radio show on the right-wing Christian "American Family Radio" network, a deeply anti-LGBTQ outlet in its own right:
If you're curious how C-FAM characterizes itself, its mission statement posted on its official website is highly suggestive ― it describes its "vision" as follows:
In other words, that's the posture the Trump administration has adopted towards the U.N. this week, and make no mistake, America is a powerful force as an agenda-setter for the rights of marginalized people worldwide. It's no surprise why LGBTQ advocacy groups and human rights organizations more generally would be rattled by C-FAM's inclusion.
Despite Trump largely avoiding any overtly anti-LGBTQ rhetoric throughout his campaign, he's already shown a willingness to enact destructive policies ― like rescinding the rules protecting proper bathroom access for transgender students. In other words, this latest news seems sadly right in line with what previous events would lead one to expect.