Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) let the group hold an event on Capitol Hill.
A group that works to "convert" LGBTQ individuals into heterosexual, cisgender people held an event on Capitol Hill Wednesday — which was only possible thanks to Missouri GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler, according to a report from HuffPost.
Members of Congress must sponsor groups who want to hold events on Capitol Hill. And Hartzler was the sponsor for Changed — a group that says it uses Christianity to target LGBTQ people — which held a lobbying event in the Cannon House Office Building.
HuffPost reports that Changed's event was intended to lobby against the Equality Act, a landmark piece of legislation that bans discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.
The group specifically held its event in a room next to Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), who is sponsoring a bill that would ban the kind of so-called conversion therapy that Changed practices. Experts say conversion therapy is a kind of torture, and the practice is banned in a number of states.
Hartzler, for her part, is a vehemently anti-LGBTQ member of Congress.
She helped push Donald Trump to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. She also introduced an amendment that would ban members of the military from receiving funding transition-related health care. The Human Rights Campaign — a group that advocates for LGBTQ rights — used her amendment to score how LGBTQ friendly lawmakers are.
Hartzler initial refused to admit to HuffPost that she sponsored the event, before eventually fessing up to it.
"The only involvement Rep. Hartzler’s office had with the event was putting in an order to request a meeting space. Our office, nor the member, participated in the event. We did not recruit nor advertise the event in any way, shape, or form," Danny Jativa, Hartzler's communications director, told HuffPost.
One member of Congress, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), hung a rainbow pride flag outside of the door of his office after learning that Changed was hosting an event across the hall.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.