Appearing at Thursday's National Prayer
Breakfast, President Donald Trump praised Second Lady Karen Pence as
a “terrific woman.”
“She just went back to teaching art
classes at a Christian school,” Trump said of Pence. “Terrific
Pence recently returned to teaching at
the Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, which does
not allow LGBT students or students with LGBT families and refuses to
employ LGBT individuals.
LGBT activists have criticized the
school's policies and Pence's decision to return there after 12
Trump also highlighted his
administration's continued support of “religious freedom.”
“To ensure that people of faith can
always contribute to society, my administration has taken historic
action to protect religious freedom,” the president told the crowd.
“Religious freedom” is generally
understood among social conservatives to mean support for policies
that discriminate against LGBT individuals. An example would be a
business that refuses to serve the LGBT community because of the
religious beliefs of its owners.
“My administration is working to
ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are able to help vulnerable
children find their forever families while following their deeply
held beliefs,” Trump said, a likely reference to a recently-issued
federal waiver to a South Carolina adoption agency allowing it to
deny child placement services to gay or non-Christian couples.
admin allows South Carolina foster care agency to deny gay couples.)
Democrats criticized Trump's remarks.
“President Trump has yet again
attacked LGBTQ people, this time at the expense of children in need
of a home,” Lucas Acosta, director of LGBTQ media for the
Democratic National Committee, told
Blade. “With more than 400,000 children in foster care
nationwide, Trump should focus on increasing the placement of
children with qualified potential parents, not supporting
state-funded discrimination against LGBTQ families. Every child
deserves a home, and every qualified person seeking to adopt deserves
to be considered.”