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Anti-LGBT+ groups are now pushing voter suppression and anti-vax conspiracy theories, because of course they are

Vic Parsons
·2-min read

In an unsurprising development, a cluster of right-wing groups that actively campaign for anti-trans bills are also backing voter suppression and anti-vaccine conspiracies.

New restrictions that could see tougher limits on early voter registration and voting by mail are now “at the heart of the right’s strategy to keep donors and voters engaged as Trump fades from public view and leaves a void in the Republican Party that no other figure or issue has filled”, the New York Times reports.

Three conservative organisations and Christian legal groups – the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom and Heritage Foundation – are backing state-by-state attempts to restrict voting, with leaders speaking at a recent “Pray Vote Stand Townhall“.

The first two are Southern Poverty Law Centre-designated anti-LGBT+ hate groups, with anti-abortion Christian law firm the Alliance Defending Freedom also behind a slew of recent anti-trans bills in dozens of US states.

“We’ve got 106 election-related bills that are in 28 states right now,” Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, told the audience at the townhall.

“So here’s the good news: There is action taking place to go back and correct what was uncovered in this last election,” Perkins claimed, referring to Donald Trump’s provenly false claims of electoral fraud.

Perkins has also said that US president Joe Biden’s trans inclusion efforts, including reversing Trump’s ban on trans troops serving openly in the US military, are “literally from the pit of hell”.

Michael Farris, president of the ADF, also spoke at the townhall event. The ADF has relentlessly attacked marriage equality, abortion access and trans inclusion in school sports.

And not satisfied with this, the groups are also spreading misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine in attempts to appeal to right-wing anti-vaxxers.

Mat Staver, head of SPLC-designated hate group and evangelical Christian law firm Liberty Counsel, promoted a conspiracy theory about coronavirus and the vaccine on a recent TV spot.

“COVID-19 was just the stepping-stone to this more global issue of controlling and vaccinating everyone and tracing and tracking every single movement,” Staver said. “Everybody who’s getting the quote-unquote vaccine — you’re the guinea pig.”

Joseph Backholm, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, spoke in Arkansas recently in favour of one of many anti-trans bills that almost succeeded in banning healthcare for trans kids.