Anti-LGBTQ Activists Now Fund Voter Suppression and Vaccine / LGBTQ Nation Plots
Tony Perkins, leader of the hate groupPhoto: Screenshot
Apparently, attacking LGBTQ rights is not enough to work full-time for a variety of right-wing groups. So they embarked on other projects, adding voter suppression efforts and misinformation about the COVID vaccine to their portfolio.
In addition to raising money for themselves, anti-LGBTQ leaders are throwing money to support voter suppression after Trump’s loss in the election. They also appeal to a similar base of right-wing “anti-vaxxers” who are skeptical of the establishment medical community as a way to stay relevant.
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Efforts to support voter suppression are being spurred by Donald Trump’s continued lie that there was widespread voter fraud last November in an effort to protect his fragile psyche from recognition of a loss. Foreground and center are some of the same characters who have made a career (and a fortune) attacking LGBTQ rights.
The Family Research Council, the American Principles Project, and the Heritage Foundation all raise millions of dollars for state-by-state efforts to limit voting.
Sadly, Trump supporters quickly embraced the lie. The result has been a rush by state legislatures to restrict postal voting and early voting.
“We have 106 election-related bills that are currently in 28 states,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said at a hearing at a “Pray Vote Stand Townhall”.
“So here’s the good news: There are actions underway to go back and correct what was discovered in this last election,” Perkins said.
The Family Research Council has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its decades-long attacks on LGBTQ rights. Perkins made headlines last month for saying that President Biden’s policies, including his decision to protect transgender members of the service, were “literally from the abyss of hell.”
Michael Farris, president of the Defending Freedom Alliance (ADF), joined Perkins as town hall. The ADF is best known for its relentless attacks on marriage equality and its efforts to impose exemptions from protections against discrimination on the basis of religious belief.
The American Principles Project (APP) is less well known, but just as powerful and just as anti-LGBTQ. Last fall, APP was caught texting millions of Pennsylvania voters claiming Joe Biden had approved gender reassignment surgeries for eight-year-olds.
The Heritage Foundation is using its political arm to amplify voter suppression efforts. The Foundation, which former Vice President Mike Pence recently joined, is leading a high-profile campaign against the equality law.
Voter suppression efforts are in keeping with the right-wing mindset that its morals and values are under siege by an increasingly diverse and secular America. Instead of changing its positions to attract more voters, the Republican Party decided that the way to retain power was to deprive voters of their rights.
As if denying voters wasn’t enough, the right is also doing its best to stoke distrust of the media, the mainstream medical community, and the government’s response to COVID-19 vaccines.
This helps spread the virus further to vulnerable people, many of whom are disenfranchised voters, killing them further (and everyone else) by minimizing the effectiveness of vaccines.
Mat Staver, head of Liberty Counsel, appeared on the group’s TV show to promote conspiracy theories about the virus and vaccine. Liberty Counsel is yet another anti-LGBTQ hate group, which just last fall called on the Supreme Court to overturn marriage equality.
On his show, Staver claimed that “COVID-19 was just the stepping stone to this more global problem of monitoring and immunizing everyone and tracing and tracking every movement.”
Staver was back and forth with Lee Merritt, an orthopedic surgeon from America’s Frontline Doctors, a fringe group promoting scientific misconceptions. When Merritt said people should think of the vaccine “like a computer chip” and an “experimental biological agent”.
“Anyone who gets the vaccine without a quote – you are the guinea pig,” Staver replied.
The right-wing worldview is markedly different from reality. They live in a bubble, afraid of the world around them and in denial of a changing world. All of their efforts – attacking LGBTQ rights, suppressing the vote, and promoting conspiracies to own libs – stem from the same impetus: to hold on to a rapidly vanishing world.
At some point, however, reality always wins out.