Anti-LGBTQ+ groups tied to President Donald Trump received loans from the Small Business Administration as part of the recent Paycheck Protection Program. Included in the number are several organizations the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as hate groups. In contrast, only two recognized national LGBTQ+ groups received funding through the relief program.
SPLC-designated hate groups Liberty Counsel, American Family Association, Pacific Justice Institute (up to $550 thousand) all received potentially-forgivable loans from the SBA as part of the relief program in response to the pandemic and economic shutdown of anywhere from $550,000 to $2 million. And despite repeated investigations into alleged financial improprieties, the controversial televangelist Joyce Meyer Ministries was approved for up to $10 million in loans.
In addition to these groups, controversial megachurches First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and City of Destiny in Apopka, Florida, also received loans. First Baptist Church is the creation of anti-LGBTQ+ televangelist Robert Jeffress. Jeffress has a long and controversial history, including a sermon entitled Gay is Not OK where he described LGBTQ+ persons as leading “miserable lives” filled with “filthy behavior” that is “so degrading that it defies description.”
Not to be outdone, Brian Fisher, the AFA director of issue analysis for government and public policy, infamously declared in 2010 that “homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.” He also advocated for the criminalization of same-sex sexual relations.
Only two LGBTQ+ organizations appeared on the list. The National LGBTQ Task Force and the LGBTQ Victory Fund were approved for loans up to $150,000 $350,000.
Initially, the Trump administration had balked at releasing any data about the program, but later relented. A complete list of organizations can be found at the SBA PPP website.