Donald Trump poses in Oval Office with pastor who claims gay people molest children

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Before signing an executive order that opens the door to anti-LGBT discrimination, Donald Trump posed at his Oval Office desk with a pastor who claims gay people are likely to sexually abuse children.

The President today marked the National Day of Prayer by signing an order that LGBT rights campaigners say is setting up an attack on anti-discrimination protections for gay people.

The order empowers anti-LGBT Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in Federal law” that is likely to provide protections for religious homophobia.

Incredibly, just hours before signing the order in the White House Rose Garden, Donald Trump was posing at his desk in the Oval Office with one of the country’s most extreme and notorious homophobic preachers.

Donald Trump and Robert Jeffress

In a photo shared by the White House comms chief on social media, Trump grins as he poses with Pastor Robert Jeffress, an American Southern Baptist pastor from Texas.

As Right Wing Watch notes, Jeffress had directly equated gay people to paedophiles in the past.

Speaking on his radio show, he claimed: “Some gay activists don’t even try to hide the link between homosexuality and paedophilia. There are some who are right now are actively involved in trying to legalize sex between adults and children by lowering the age of consent or removing it altogether.

“It would be wrong to even suggest that a majority of homosexuals are pedophiles, but the truth nevertheless is there. There are a disproportionate amount of assaults against children by homosexuals than by heterosexuals, you can’t deny that, and the reason is very clear: homosexuality is perverse, it represents a degradation of a person’s mind and if a person will sink that low and there are no restraints from God’s law, then there is no telling to whatever sins he will commit as well.”

It is far from his only extreme comment, many of which were recorded for his radio show and are a matter of public record.

A simple Google search of Jeffress unearths most of the comments.

He has also compared homosexuals to people who rape animals, claiming: “God’s plan for sexuality is one man with one woman in a lifetime commitment called marriage. Any deviation from that is sin.

“Of course, I’m always, the retort to that is ‘oh! Are you pulling a Rick Santorum and saying that homosexuality is like bestiality, uh, incest, or pedophilia’? And I say ‘Yes.’. It is just as immoral as those practices.”

On another occasion on his radio show, he claimed that homosexuality is “the most detestable” act in the world.

The pastor claimed: “Why is there such a high incidence of disease among homosexuals? They are engaged in the most detestable, unclean, abominable acts you can imagine.

“Because what they are doing is unnatural, it goes against nature, because of that filthy practice; there is a natural result to it. There is natural, physical consequences to homosexual behavior. That’s why God says don’t engage in it, you are going to harm your bodies in doing so.”

Speaking on a further occasion the preacher cited the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that struck down sodomy laws banning gay sex as one of three laws that have destroyed America.

He fumed: “The third explosion that has weakened the social and spiritual infrastructure of our nation, making our collapse I believe inevitable, is the Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. Texas in 2003.

“Sometimes God destroys a society immediately. But other times, as in our case, there is a series of seemingly unrelated explosive choices, followed by a delay, and then followed by the sudden and dramatic collapse, just as in an implosion.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am convinced that we are living in that in between time right now. We are living in that in between time between these explosive, wrong choices our country has made and the inevitable implosion of our country.”

The pastor also previously suggested gay sex is like plugging an electrical cord into the wrong outlet.

He said: “You know, in the instruction manual, it said, now plug this into a 120 [volt] outlet. Suppose I said, ‘Oh, I’m not going to follow those instructions, those are antiquated instructions. I’m going to plug it into a 220 [volt] outlet. It’s my TV and I can do whatever I want to with it.”

Jeffress added: “Well, it is my TV to do what I want to with it, but I’m going to blow that TV to smithereens if I put it in a 220 outlet.”