J. Christian Adams previously served on Trump's failed voter suppression commission.
Donald Trump has appointed an anti-LGBTQ activist and writer to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
The Commission's stated mission is "to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws," by "studying alleged deprivations of voting rights and alleged discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice."
J. Christian Adams announced his appointment in a press release on Tuesday, bragging about his "demonstrated history of defending the civil rights of Americans regardless of skin color" and promising to use his "time on the Commission to reinvigorate a broader understanding of what our great Constitution has promised is a civil right."
The president unilaterally gets to select four of the eight commissioners for six-year terms; the other four are appointed by Congress.
A former Justice Department official under George W. Bush, Adams is best known for his work spreading debunked conspiracy theories about the New Black Panther Party and for serving on Trump's failed voter suppression commission.
He has also worked as a conservative columnist, frequently attacking LGBTQ rights and promoting transphobia.
In an email, Adams disagreed with the assessment that his writings "attacked inclusion," and asserted, "I am an advocate of treating people with respect and dignity."
But his previous writing tells a different story.
August 2011: In a column, Adams mocked a Justice Department attorney for being "a member of GAYLAW and the Intersex Society of North America — whatever that is."
October 2011: In his book "Injustice: Exposing the Radical Agenda of the Obama Justice Department," he expressed outrage at attempts to protect transgender kids.
The book's official blurb notes that Adams' revelations include, "The Obama DOJ's bizarre agenda, from insisting on kids' rights to attend school dressed as transvestites, to litigating for teachers' rights to take paid vacations to Mecca."
In an October 2016 tweet, he boasted his book "Predicted radical #DOJ policies on #police #voting, #trans and #race."
April 2013: Adams penned a column objecting to the Department of Justice's "Special Emphasis Program" for LGBTQ outreach. "Tolerance and respect, these days, are apparently inadequate. The modern Left demands more. Stopping discrimination against gays isn’t enough. Once that is accomplished, the new mission involves collective status, slogans, and using taxpayer money to institutionalize divisions among Americans," he lamented.
"This is not a 'celebration of differences' as the proponents would have you believe. This is an organized political demonstration, sometimes using large gatherings in the Great Hall, other times using less traditional methods of special-interest organizing," he added.
June 2013: In a column objecting to the cost of a Department of Justice Pride Month event, Adams wrote, "So much for the sequester crimping their style. The Justice Department just completed an elaborate celebration of gayness, right inside the Great Hall at DOJ."
June 2014: Adams again blasted the Department of Justice for hosting a "taxpayer funded" Pride Month celebration, deriding it in a column as "a grand celebration today of being gay." He cited the event as proof that the "modern left" wants to "publicly celebrate private choices."
January 2016: After an Upstate New York wedding venue violated the state's Human Rights Law by refusing to rent the property to a same-sex couple, Adams tweeted, "#NYCValues: punishing #Christians who won't host gay wedding contrary to #religious beliefs."
May 2016: When the federal government sued North Carolina over its anti-LGBTQ law preventing transgender people from accessing the bathrooms of their gender identity, Adams was outraged. In a column, he attacked the "radical DOJ lawyers" behind what he called "lawsuits aimed at North Carolina intended to create a federal civil right for men to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms."
September 2016: In a column titled "Private Christian School Teaches the Joys of Transgenderism," Adams complained that an Alexandria, Virginia, Episcopal school was "providing materials to students" that taught "'genderqueer' is a natural self-identity."
He added that the school displayed artwork in its hallways showing "The Genderbread Person," a gingerbread cookie with a "rainbow colored brain," "a heart-labeled orientation, and a symbol in the genital regions labeled sex, which identifies as male, female, and both."
December 2017: Adams wrote a column objecting to a bipartisan agreement to reappoint Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Commissioner Chai Feldblum. He attacked her as a "radical LGBT activist" who used "her perch to radicalize conceptions of family, gender, and who should be in which bathroom."
Adams also called Feldblum "the ideological architect of all of the most radical LGBTWHATEVER agenda items of the Obama presidency: transvestites in girls locker rooms, lawless expansion of federal employment oversight, you name it."
In a follow-up email on Wednesday, Adams wrote: "One of the great things that have happened in the last 15 or 20 years is that people no longer live in fear of violence like was once common, people are no longer treated like dirt. I prefer people to be treated like they want to be treated. I also think Christians have a right not to be forced to bake cakes in ways contrary to their religious views. That's a civil right too."
He stood by his view that "under no circumstances should males be in female locker rooms" and his description of Feldblum as a "radical activist," but he noted, "You will never find one single quote from me criticizing someone from being gay or anything like that."
The Trump administration did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.
The Supreme Court ruled in June, by a 6-3 vote, that the Civil Rights Act's prohibition on sex discrimination applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.