Government officials are free to practice whatever religion they want, so the fact that members of President Trump's Cabinet have been attending regular Bible studies isn't in itself alarming. However, the meetings are being led in the White House by an anti-LGBTQ minister, which does raise concerns about the administration rolling back more LGBTQ protections.
The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) reports that Health Secretary Tom Price, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Agriculture Secretary Sunny Perdue, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo gather for weekly Bible study with Ralph Drollinger, founder of Capitol Ministries. Vice President Mike Pence reportedly plans to join, as well.
The evangelical group's goal is to "evangelize elected officials and lead them toward maturity in Christ," according to its website, but it claims to stay out of politics and "concentrate on the hearts of leaders." Fitting with this mission, Drollinger also holds Bible studies for members of Congress multiple times a week.
But, Drollinger and Capitol Ministries have openly advocated against same-sex marriage. A 2016 letter signed by Drollinger on the ministry's website says, "In no way is God’s Word pro LGBT. Only a Scripture twister could reason otherwise."
It's clear from the letter that Drollinger disapproves of same-sex marriage being legal and wants to see more religious freedom laws (that allow business to discriminate against LGBTQ people) on the books. In the intro of the same letter, Drollinger wrote, "Our culture is turning its back on biblically-informed laws at warp speed."
On top of his anti-LGBTQ beliefs, Dollinger has other antiquated — and potentially discriminatory — views, as well. The Los Angeles Times reported back in 2004 that the minister claimed it's sinful for a woman with kids to take elected government positions because the job requires them to be away from their children.
Dollinger can legally believe LGBTQ people and working mothers are living in sin and lead Bible studies for elected officials, but his presence in the White House is worrisome for LGBTQ rights.
The Trump administration has already rolled back protections for transgender students and called for a ban on transgender people serving in the military. And Vice President Pence, who plans to join the Bible study sessions, opposes same-sex marriage, supported conversion therapy in Indiana, and once said gay couples highlighted "societal collapse."
Adding more anti-LGBTQ rights advocates into the mix isn't going to help protect their rights.