The American Family Action has become one of the most prominent and influential Christian organizations in the United States.
It’s also a hotbed for anti-LGBT sentiment.
And it’s a group that has been under fire for its stances on LGBTQ issues for years, including a statement on marriage that made anti-transgender comments.
So, why is it that the AFA’s latest position is being pushed by the president of the AHA?
“The AFA and the ABA have an unending history of making anti-marriage, anti-choice, and anti-family policy statements that are deeply offensive to LGBTQ Americans,” said Matt Barber, the executive director of the LGBT and human rights project at the Human Rights Campaign.
“The American Family Associations, by and large, is a group of hard-right evangelicals that oppose LGBTQ equality and LGBTQ equality for everyone.”
Barber noted that the organization is an offshoot of the Family Research Council, which is a Christian anti-abortion organization.
The AFA has made headlines before for being one of President Donald Trump’s most controversial executive orders, signing a sweeping directive in January that would ban federal funding from non-profits that provide abortions and contraception.
AFA President Mike Pence, who has been in the spotlight for his own anti-Semitic and anti–Muslim views, has been a frequent guest on right-wing radio shows.
He has been accused of supporting anti-Muslim sentiment and was recently suspended from the American Civil Liberties Union for criticizing the president’s travel ban.
Barber pointed out that AFA is also one of Trump’s biggest donors, giving more than $1.6 million to the organization since 2001.
The organization’s political action committee has donated more than the next 20 largest political parties combined, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
“I think we’re seeing a lot of a lot more of the same type of rhetoric, more of this anti-equality and anti-LGBTQ sentiment that’s been around for a long time,” Barber said.
“So it is certainly troubling that the President of the American Conservative Union would take that position, particularly after the AFT, which we think is the largest and most influential conservative Christian organization in America, came out with a statement that was extremely damaging to LGBTQ people.”
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is another conservative Christian advocacy group that made waves when it launched an anti-immigration and anti—LGBTQ stance, according the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
ALEC has since changed its stance and endorsed an antiimmigration bill that would give undocumented immigrants legal status.
The American Civil Rights Union has been one of ALEC’s most vocal opponents.
Last year, the group’s board of directors approved a resolution calling for the federal government to “immediately and unconditionally rescind” President Donald J. Trump’s executive order that would allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
“We are confident that the federal agencies and agencies of state governments will not tolerate discrimination and hate crimes against LGBTQ people and their families, including transgender individuals,” the resolution read.
“Our country will not stand for discrimination, including hate crimes, in any form.”