Tim Wildmon, president of the notoriously anti-LGBTQ American Family Association, is bragging about his new membership in a Trump faith advisory council — but the White House is flat-out denying the appointment.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told the Washington Blade on Wednesday Wildmon’s claims of his appointment are completely baseless.
“I have no idea what he’s talking about,” Deere said. “There is no such thing as a White House Faith Council or Advisory Board. There is a Faith & Opportunity Initiative led by an advisor, Pastor Paula White, but it does not include a council or advisory board.”
A spokesperson for the American Family Association didn’t respond to the Blade’s request to comment on why the White House would contradict Wildmon about news of his appointment.
Wildmon’s claim he obtained the appointment came to light Wednesday after Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of the LGBTQ watchdog GLAAD, slammed Wildmon’s claim of appointment in a news statement.
“Tim’s addition to the White House’s Faith Advisory Council sends a solemn message to LGBTQ Americans and allies who are tired of the Trump administration’s attacks on LGBTQ and other marginalized communities,” Ellis said.
Trump’s advisors in the past have included many anti-LGBTQ activists, such as Gary Bauer, president of American Values; Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University; Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas; Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council; and Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition.
Wildmon, in a statement Monday declaring himself an appointee to a Trump faith council, said Trump is “a flawed man,” but at the same time “not ashamed of the Bible, the Constitution, the family and the free enterprise system.”
“This is a critical time for America,” Wildmon said in a statement. “We need to pray for God to intervene. We need to ask the Lord to protect, strengthen, encourage and guide our nation and our president. I believe the only hope for him, and this nation, is God.”
Drew Anderson, a GLAAD spokesperson, said the LGBT group is standing by its statement based on Wildmon’s claim and history of anti-LGBTQ activists having access to the Trump White House.
Wildmon, whose long anti-LGBTQ history goes back years, has at times called being gay “unnatural,” “immoral” and “unhealthy.”
According to GLAAD, Wildmon has condemned, among other things, the Supreme Court decision striking down the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act and the drafting of openly gay player Michael Sam into the National Football League.
The news comes shortly after the fiasco at the Hallmark Channel, which pulled a TV ad showing a lesbian couple kissing during a wedding ceremony, then apologized and reinstated it after outrage that followed.
Ellis pointed out One Million Moms, a division of the American Family Association, was responsible for convincing the channel to withdraw the ad in the first place.
“As evidenced by the American Family Association’s recent attacks on The Hallmark Channel, Disney, and other inclusive brands, Tim Wildmon is covertly the chief conductor of anti-LGBTQ activists and the vicious attempt to roll back LGBTQ equality and acceptance,” Ellis said.