Anti-LGBT activists ‘violate ethics laws’ by exploiting Trump ties to raise funds

Anti-LGBT activists are facing accusations of violating federal ethics laws to fundraise off the back of their ties with the Trump administration.

Questions emerged last week about the State Department’s official delegation to the 61st annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which is taking place this month.

The US government delegation includes an activist from the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM) – a fringe faith groups that oppose LGBT equality and women’s healthcare laws.

The State Department has declined to explain why it has included C-FAM, which is designated as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has attacked the “homosexual agenda”.

Austin Ruse, the group’s President, has previously voiced support for the criminalisation of homosexuality and openly supported Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law. Ruse also claimed previously that professors behind “the nonsense that they teach in women’s studies (…) should all be taken out and shot”.

The group now faces accusations that it has exploited its role “to fundraise for itself in what appears to be a violation of federal ethics rules” in mailings to supporters.

Their combative mailout highlighted their presence at the UN event, concluding: “support us right now at and support us as much as you can”.

Flagging concerns over the C-FAM fundraising activity, LGBT activist group OutRight Action International called for C-Fam’s “immediate removal from the US delegation”.

Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight, said: “C-Fam’s actions appear to violate federal ethics laws.

“We don’t know who decided C-Fam should be on the official delegation, but we look to head of delegation US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for clarity.

“We ask Ambassador Haley to immediately investigate whether it is ethical for a civil society representative to directly profit from appointment to a US government delegation or whether this amounts to a conflict of interest.”

She added: “When C-Fam walks into the negotiating room as a member of the official US delegation, are they advocating for the human rights of women and girls internationally or for the donor who paid the most?

“C-Fam should disclose how much they raised in donations and the names of these donors so they can be vetted for conflict of interest. Their fundraising does not go unnoticed, and there must be repercussions.

“If C-Fam’s violent views were not enough to keep them from being appointed to represent the United States, we hope that exposing how they have unethically tried to profit off ties to this administration will compel Ambassador Haley to immediately remove them from the delegation.

“C-Fam must not be permitted to enter the negotiating room of the CSW while these questions of nearly certain violation of federal law remain unanswered.”