The number of anti-LGBTQ hate groups soared 43 percent last year, rising from 49 groups in 2018 to 70 in 2019, according to a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.“Groups that vilify the LGBTQ community, in fact, represented the fastest-growing sector among hate groups in 2019,” the report states. The SPLC found the surge in anti-LGBTQ groups occurred amid an overall decrease in hate groups last year, which dropped to 940 from an all-time high of 1,020 in 2018.The report said the surge was “possibly fueled by continued anti-LGBTQ sentiment and policy emanating from government officials,” largely attributing it to the Trump administration.“Anti-LGBTQ groups have become intertwined with the Trump administration, and — after years of civil rights progress and growing acceptance among the broader American public — anti-LGBTQ sentiment within the Republican Party is rising,” the report states. “Though Trump promised during his campaign to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBTQ community, he has fully embraced anti-LGBTQ hate groups and their agenda of dismantling federal protections and resources for LGBTQ people.”Then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rainbow flag given to him by a supporter during a campaign rally at the University of Northern Colorado


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