The leader of a homophobic hate group helped ring the New York Stock Exchange bell

The head of an anti-LGBT+ hate group has helped ring the New York Stock Exchange bell to celebrate the listings of two “biblically responsible” funds.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel was helping to celebrate funds that don’t invest in companies that “support non-scriptural lifestyles” or “anti-family entertainment”.

“It was an incredible honour to participate in opening the New York Stock Exchange. The exchange is the financial capital of the world. Art Ally’s vision that began 25-years ago to honour God with our money is an encouraging example for us to apply in every area of life,” said Staver.

Staver was accompanying Art Ally, the president and founder of the Timothy Plan – a mutual fund company that says it gives investors a way to “align their investment portfolio with their beliefs”.

Ally officially rang the bell to celebrate the listing of two funds on the New York Stock Exchange on October 21. The bell is rung to open the New York Stock Exchange every morning.

Staver sits on the board of the Timothy Plan, according to a Liberty Counsel press release.

“Timothy Plan does biblically responsible investing principles and only owns companies that do not promote alcohol, tobacco, abortion and pornography,” the press release said.

Liberty Counsel is listed as an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre. It “is a legal organisation advocating for anti-LGBT discrimination under the guise of religious liberty,” the Southern Poverty Law Centre says.

Staver represented Kim Davis, the anti-gay marriage clerk from Kentucky who went to jail because she refused to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples in 2015.

Davis became a right-wing icon when she refused to uphold the 2015 US Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, claiming that issuing same-sex marriage licences would go against her Apostolic Christian religious beliefs.

Liberty Counsel described Davis’ case as “a bold stand for religious freedom”.