US government defends ties to anti-LGBT hate group because ‘we value diverse viewpoints’

The US State Department says a listed anti-LGBT hate group is working with the government because it provides “diverse viewpoints”.

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.

C-which is designated as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its virulent attacks on 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”.

But speaking to the Washington Blade this week, acting State Department spokesperson Mark Toner defended the group’s government ties.

“The United States does seek to include individuals from civil society organizations with diverse viewpoints and allow them to observe the U.N. in action during the Commission on the Status of Women.”

However, he insisted the activists are “not authorized to negotiate or speak on behalf of the United States”.

The State Department spokesperson added that the White House were “responsible for the selection of these individuals”.

Yesterday LGBT activists alleged that C-FAM had violated federal ethics laws to fundraise off the back of their ties with the Trump administration.

The group allegedly exploited its status “to fundraise for itself in what appears to be a violation of federal ethics rules” in mailings to supporters.

C-FAM’s recent mailout highlighted their presence at the UN event, concluding: “Support us right now at and support us as much as you can”.

LGBT activist group OutRight Action International called for C-Fam’s “immediate removal from the US delegation”.