Post submitted by Taylor N.T. Brown, HRC Global senior manager, and Jeremy Kadden, HRC senior international policy advocate
On Wednesday, the Hungarian and Brazilian governments, alongside the Trump-Pence administration, are holding a conference in the U.S. Capitol with well-known promoters of anti-LGBTQ hate. The so-called “Second International Conference on Family Policy” will feature government officials and right-wing activists from organizations with long track records of undermining human rights and reproductive rights, including the Heritage Foundation, C-FAM and National Right to Life Committee.
HRC is exposing this event for what it is: a hate-filled gathering focused on organizing against democratic norms and universal human rights — including the rights of LGBTQ people and women.
Check out the anti-LGBTQ records of just some of the many scheduled speakers:
- U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., and Andy Harris, R-Md., both have extensive anti-LGBTQ track records, with scores of 0 out of 100 on HRC’s past three Congressional Scorecards. Hartzler has been a leading supporter of a ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces, and has fought against marriage equality and the Equality Act. Harris has been outspoken in opposition to marriage equality and legislation prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.
- Katalin Novák, Hungary’s minister of family and youth affairs and vice president of the country’s incumbent right-wing, nationalist party, has strong ties to designated hate groups groups such as the World Congress of Families and the Alliance Defending Freedom. She has spoken at WCF conferences, keynoted an event in March ludicrously named “Making Families Great Again”, and last month met with members of ADF. Novák also has troubling connections within the Russian government, including the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, which played a key role in Russian interference into the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
- Charmaine Yoest, vice president of the Heritage Foundation, has a track record of homophobic and transphobic rhetoric. According to Rewire, she has “referred to transgender people as ‘crazy,’ labeled transgender people ‘creatures,’ and referred to medical care for transgender people as ‘a joke’”.
- Susan Yoshihara, senior vice president of C-FAM, has incorrectly and offensively characterized same-sex couples as worse parents than different-sex couples.
- Stefano Gennarini, vice president of C-FAM, has attacked countries supporting the rights of LGBTQ people at the U.N., mischaracterizing these rights as “special.”
- Valerie Huber, special representative at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has long fought against sex education and women’s reproductive health and rights.
Anti-democratic leaders are working to empower new international alliances and networks with events like this one. The governments organizing this event are positioning themselves to be among the leading torchbearers of anti-LGBTQ organizing around the world.
For years, the Hungarian government, led by right-wing extremist Viktor Orban, has chipped away at democratic values and norms by promoting an anti-LGBTQ agenda and fostering the country’s ties to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. It is now collaborating with allies in the Trump-Pence administration and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro to advance a global anti-LGBTQ campaign.
By sharing news about this and other events organized by anti-LGBTQ extremists, you can help expose these shameful activities and the elected officials supporting them. It is important to speak out and let this administration know that we are united against hate.