A handful of American anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups and schools, which have been known to expel queer teachers, were given over $2.5 million in Covid-19 relief funding. According to NBC News, $5 billion was donated to various organisations under the Paycheck Protection Program, which was designed to help small businesses survive the pandemic. However, 7 of the funding recipients are listed as anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as they have a history of discriminating against queer people.
The anti-LGBTQ+ organisations included The American College of Pediatricians, American Family Association, Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam), Church Militant/St Michael’s Media, Liberty Counsel, Pacific Justice Institute and Ruth Institute. The majority went to the American Family Association – a Christian group which aims to ‘combat the LGBTQ+ agenda’ and increase religious freedoms. The American College of Pediatricians has also been known to link homosexuality to paedophilia, as well as actively endorsing LGBTQ+ conversion therapy.
Cassie Miller, senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, condemned the government’s decision to fund hate groups, saying: “This administration is putting its rubber stamp on the vile ideologies these groups espouse by giving them forgivable federal loans. At a time when millions of people in the US are hurting because of the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, our federal government should not be sponsoring taxpayer-paid hate. These far-right actors have exploited people’s fears and grievances to promote their ideologies…We will not stand idly by as hate groups try to take our money to help spew their hate. Every American of good conscience should be outraged.”