US Vice President Mike Pence defends Brett Kavanaugh at anti-LGBT summit

TOPSHOT - US Vice President Mike Pence speaks about the creation of a new branch of the military, Space Force, at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on August 9, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

US Vice President Mike Pence has addressed crowds at an anti-LGBT event in Washington DC.

The Value Voter Summit, an annual conservative conference, is sponsored by the American Conservative Union, the NRA and the Family Research Council, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

Pence is the first sitting vice president in the US to attend the event, after Donald Trump attended last year.

He joined a number of anti-LGBT speakers at the summit, including Seb Gorka, a former adviser to Trump.

Another speaker, Elizabeth Johnston, has previously claimed LGBTQ groups are “sneaking into schools” to “rape the minds of children”.

Speaking at the event, Pence commented that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is facing accusations of sexual assault, is “a man of integrity with impeccable credentials and a proven judicial philosophy.”

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 06: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Brett Kavanaugh faces accusations of sexual assault (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

“On the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, he wrote more than 300 opinions that reflect a strong record of support for limited government, religious liberty, and our Second Amendment,” he said.

“He’s a conservative who will interpret the Constitution as written and his record and career deserves the respect of every member of the United States Senate.”

This year’s conference also discussed “how gender ideology harms children”, according to the summit’s agenda.

Human Rights Campaign Government Affairs Director David Stacy said: “Paul McHugh, Elizabeth Johnston and others peddling this sort of junk science are doing enormous harm to LGBTQ people and LGBTQ kids.

“The practice of ‘conversion therapy’ is abuse and can be life-threatening, which is why a growing number of states are banning it. And the denigrating language they direct at LGBTQ people send a dangerous message — particularly to LGBTQ kids — about their equal dignity and worth.

“Once again, Mike Pence is making clear that he stands with many organizations and leaders who promote hate and fear. We know those are not true American values.”