Kellyanne Conway, who’s leaving her position as counselor to Donald Trump at the end of the month, has spent the past four years spreading hate and misinformation on his behalf — and she was making anti-LGBTQ+ statements long before that.
Conway, who was Trump’s campaign manager in 2016 and became one of his closest advisers once he assumed the presidency, announced Sunday that she was resigning from her White House post. Her husband, George Conway, who has been a frequent critic of Trump, said he is ending his association with the Lincoln Project, a group of anti-Trump Republicans, although he still supports the organization’s goals. Both said they had to prioritize their family, which includes four children — one of whom, Claudia, 15, is seeking emancipation and has accused her parents of abuse and mistreatment.
Kellyanne Conway has been one of the most persistent of Trump’s defenders, advocating for “alternative facts” and saying the media should judge Trump by “what’s in his heart” rather than “what’s come out of his mouth.” Her duties have included defending his anti-LGBTQ+ positions.
Last year, Conway objected to Taylor Swift’s call for support of the Equality Act when Swift accepted the Video of the Year award at the MTV Video Music Awards. Appearing on the Fox News Channel, Conway said Trump opposes the Equality Act, a comprehensive federal LGBTQ+ rights bill pending in Congress, because it includes “poison pills.” She did not say what these “poison pills” are, but other Trump aides have claimed the bill would interfere with religious freedom.
While working in the White House, she has also addressed anti-LGBTQ+ conferences, including the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit and the Family Leader’s Family Leadership Summit.
She had a long history of anti-LGBTQ+ activism prior to her association with Trump. When she was a Republican pollster, she consulted for the National Organization for Marriage, a group with a mission of opposing marriage equality. Appearing on a panel at the Values Voter Summit in 2014, when marriage equality rulings were rolling in from the courts, she said the movement for equal marriage rights was an effort to “redefine” family as “whatever feels cool.”
In 2005, she objected to the depiction of a lesbian couple on the PBS children’s series Postcards From Buster, saying parents “don’t want their kids looking at a cartoon with a bunch of lesbian mothers.” She said the show was an example of “outside, external influences corrupting [kids’] minds and their bodies.”
The previous year, she said discussion of Mary Cheney’s lesbian identity was comparable to calling someone a slut. She said 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry should apologize for mentioning that fact about Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter, who was hardly in the closet. “John Kerry wants someone to say, ‘Your daughter is a slut,’ or ‘We want you to open up the divorce records,’” she said on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends Saturday.
Conway has also made numerous anti-abortion and antifeminist comments, and once said of Hillary Clinton, “The fact is that Hillary Clinton could not stand up to a cheating husband, so how in the world would she stand up to North Korea and some of our other enemies around the globe?”