Jay Sekulow, one of President Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers, once campaigned against LGBTQ Pride flags in Orlando.
The Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday that the incident occurred in 1998, when Pride flags flew from 300 poles in the city in recognition of LGBTQ rights. At the time, Sekulow headed the American Center for Law and Justice, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson.
“What I saw in Orlando made me realize just how far our nation has fallen,” Sekulow wrote in 250,000 letters sent out in July of that year. “We simply cannot stand by and watch it happen!”
Sekulow reportedly used the incident as an example of why the center needed money to wage a national legal battle against LGBTQ rights and domestic partnerships.
The Sentinel reports: The background for Sekulow’s letter was Robertson’s earlier comments on his “700 Club” television show, claiming that Orlando was risking “divine intervention, including natural disasters, for allowing the flags to fly during June” … Sekulow wrote that during a visit to Florida that June, during Pride Month, he “unexpectedly came upon an outrageous and totally unsettling cultural assault by homosexual activists. It was so disturbing (really, I felt like I had somehow been transported to a different world) that I knew that I had to take immediate action.”
More on Sekulow’s anti-LGBTQ background from Right Wing Watch: Sekulow and the ACLJ have been intensely opposed to laws protecting the rights of LGBTQ people in the U.S. and abroad. The ACLJ argued on behalf of state laws criminalizing gay sex that were overturned by the Supreme Court in 2003. Sekulow has said that the state has a “compelling interest to ban the act of homosexuality.” The ACLJ and its international affiliates engage in anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice culture wars in the U.S., Africa, Europe and Russia. In Africa, it worked to shape constitutional language in Zimbabwe, where it has fought to maintain criminalization of homosexuality.