Appearing Friday at the 2017 Values Voter Summit, President Donald Trump praised recent “religious freedom” guidance issued by the Department of Justice.

Trump's participation was unprecedented. No sitting president has ever addressed a Values Voter Summit, which is organized by the Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC), a group known for its opposition to LGBT rights and labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Trump praised FRC President Tony Perkins as a “tremendous guy.”

Earlier this month, the Justice Department, under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, released a memo titled Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty that outlines how federal agencies should preserve religious liberty, even when it conflicts with non-discrimination laws.

The DOJ memo broadly defines religion – any “sincerely held” religious belief is deemed valid – and the federal government and its agencies may not question “the reasonableness of a religious belief.”

“The American Founders invoked our Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence – four times,” Trump told the VVS crowd. “How times have changed. But you know what, now they're changing back again. Just remember that.”

In May, LGBT groups criticized Trump's executive order that resulted in Sessions' guidance.

“Just last week, based on this executive order, the Department of Justice issued a new guidance to all federal agencies to ensure that no religious group is ever targeted under my administration,” Trump said. “It won't happen.”

The DOJ has already acted on the principles outlined in its memo, backing several court cases where religious beliefs are at odds with local non-discrimination laws, including a case before the Supreme Court involving a baker who refused to serve a gay couple.

(Related: Trump admin files Supreme Court brief in support of baker who refused to serve gay couple.)

“I pledged that, in a Trump administration, our nation's religious heritage would be cherished, protected and defended like you have never seen before,” Trump said. “That's what's happening. That's what's happening. You see it every day. You're reading [about] it.”