Yet another major homophobe has joined Donald Trump’s inner circle.
Jenna Ellis, recently named a senior legal adviser to Trump and his reelection campaign, comes with a long history of anti-LGBTQ activism and rhetoric, including defense of conversion therapy, along with anti-Muslim comments and other extreme right-wing stances, as documented by Media Matters for America.
“Christians cannot follow God and accept or condone or participate in homosexuality or adulterous behavior,” Ellis, a lawyer and frequent Fox News guest who has worked with several Christian right groups, wrote on Facebook two years ago. When President Barack Obama named New York City’s Stonewall Inn a national monument in 2016, she called the site “a national monument to our open embrace and celebration of sin.” She has also said gay and bisexual men have high rates of HIV because “we cannot escape God’s moral law and His supremacy.”
More recently, she has criticized Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, a gay man who has been outspoken about his Christian faith, by saying, “If Pete Buttigieg is going to invoke the name of his Creator, he should read for himself what his Creator says about homosexuality in the Bible. Truth doesn’t change, regardless of the culture or the Dems’ identity politics.” She objected to a town hall on LGBTQ issues featuring several Democratic presidential candidates as “a hate-based forum that is simply attacking the constitutionally protected right to free exercise of religion.”
And on director J.J. Abrams’s plan to add LGBTQ characters to the Star Wars universe, she wrote, “Why not also a Christian? Or a Muslim? Or a pedophile? Or every other representation of any subculture, belief, and lifestyle? This overwhelming need to have LGBT ‘representation’ everywhere shows the falsity of their cry for equality. They want absolute subjugation of culture.”
Last year, as Colorado considered a bill banning the use of conversion therapy on minors by licensed therapists, she testified against it, saying it would be used against faith-based counselors, even though they are not state-licensed. Colorado ended up passing the bill, and Gov. Jared Polis signed it into law.
She also used the 2016 mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando as an opportunity to rail against LGBTQ equality and against Islam. “I’m disappointed conservatives are acquiescing to the LGBT agenda,” she wrote in a column for a site called The Strident Conservative. “Let me be clear — the Orlando shooting was absolutely terrible and tragic. But the response to this tragedy should not be embracing and advocating for gay rights.” And on Facebook at the time, she wrote, “Islam is not freedom. It’s not peaceful. It is not Liberty. It is not American.” The gunman was believed to have embraced a radical version of Islam (and not a mainstream one).
Further, she has denounced the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. In her 2015 book The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution, she said the court had “told the LGBT community that their homosexual lifestyle was not just legal privately, but morally validated openly through government recognition and social celebration and therefore equally as valued as heterosexual unions.”
Ellis, named to her senior adviser position late last year, “has quickly gone from relative obscurity to talking directly with the president about politics and impeachment,” The Daily Beast notes. Trump reportedly had recruited her after being impressed by her Fox News appearances and had recently told an associate that “she gets it,” according to the Beast.