"Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Liberty University" by Shealah Craighead / Public Domain

How the religious right gained unprecedented access to Trump

Jan 31, 2019

By Jessica Glenza

The US health secretary sat for an interview with a man experts say is the leader of a hate group known for “defaming gays and lesbians”, just two days after Karen Pence, the US second lady, was criticized for teaching at a Christian school that bans homosexuality.

Alex Azar, secretary of health and human services, was interviewed by the Family Research Council President, Tony Perkins, at an anti-abortion event called ProLifeCon in mid-January.

“We are the department of life,” Azar told Perkins, “from conception until natural death, through all of our programs.” He then rattled off victories – new policies that make it difficult to obtain an abortion, including allowing healthcare workers to refuse to treat patients based on moral objections. “The right of conscience is as foundational as the right to life.”

Perkins has falsely claimed homosexuality is linked with pedophilia, advocated for parents’ rights to send children to harmful conversion therapy, and said about transgender people: “I mean, what’s to keep you from saying that you’re an animal?”

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