Here’s what that really means: It’s not whether these groups approve of what queer people do in the bedroom but how they act upon that animus. Of the 892 active hate groups in the U.S., 48 are specifically dedicated to anti-LGBT causes, according to a 2015 report from SPLC. That’s a 78 percent increase from 2011, when there were just 27 such organizations. These groups include the Westboro Baptist Church, Illinois Family Institute, and the American Family Association, the latter of which led a boycott of Target’s trans-inclusive bathroom policies earlier this year.
The purpose of these groups is to oppose equality at every level, whether that’s pushing legislation that rolls back the LGBT community’s hard-won rights or lobbying to elect politicians who will use their platform to demonize the marginalized.
The National Organization for Marriage, for instance, was founded in 2007 to help pass Proposition 8, a referendum that eventually overturned same-sex marriage at the ballot box in California. The group was also the chief donor to Stand for Marriage Maine, a coalition group that worked to strike down legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. NOM reportedly gave at least $1.6 million to the effort, which successfully repealed the equal marriage bill in 2009.
The cadre of politicians that Trump has tapped to lead his Cabinet, as well as the officials cementing his transition to power, have numerous ties to these groups.