If you found yourself hopeful that now-former Vice President Mike Pence’s experiences at the tail end of Donald Trump’s presidency would somehow inspire a change of heart for the Indiana racist, you can stop holding your breath now. Because Mike Pence is every bit as awful as he’s ever been and he’s doing quite the job of proving as much.
On Wednesday of this week, the former vice president launched his new organization, Advancing American Freedom. Included in the launch was a list announcing all of the advisory board members of the organization. Or, so we thought.
Since the organization’s launch on Wednesday, another name has been quietly added to the advisory board. The president and CEO of the group Alliance Defending Freedom, Mike Farris, is now on the list, even though his name wasn’t present on the original launch announcement.
In 2016, Farris’ group was declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
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“The SPLC lists ADF as a hate group because it has supported the idea that being LGBTQ+ should be a crime in the U.S. and abroad and believes that is OK to put LGBTQ+ people in prison for engaging in consensual sex,” the SPLC explains of their decision to label the far-right group an official hate group. “It has also supported laws that required the forced sterilization of transgender Europeans.”
“ADF has spread lies about the LGBTQ+ community. It has, for example, linked being LGBTQ+ to pedophilia and claimed that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy society. ADF tries to couch its rhetoric in benign-sounding phrases, but the truth is that it works to dehumanize LGBTQ+ people and restrict their rights for being who they are,” SPLC explains further. “The SPLC defines a hate group as an organization that, based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities, has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. The organizations on our hate group list vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity — prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines. The FBI uses similar criteria in its definition of a hate crime.”
Farris joins other Republican names such as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Ambassador Callista Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Kellyanne Conway, Larry Kudlow, and actor Kirk Cameron on the advisory board of Pence’s new organization.
The seemingly secretive addition of Farris to the advisory board was first reported by Nick Surgey:
*SCOOP* The CEO of the religious right hate group Alliance Defending Freedom @AllianceDefends has been added to the list of Advisory Board members for @Mike_Pence new Advancing American Freedom group. @michaelfarris was not listed when the organization was launched on Wednesday pic.twitter.com/Nk3Y3tQopn
— Nick Surgey (@NickSurgey) April 9, 2021
Never forget who these people truly are.