Donald Trump endorses pastor who calls for LGBTQ+ executions

Donald Trump endorses homophobic Pastor Mark Burns South Carolina 3rd Congressional District seen arriving at Trump Tower NYC
Donald Trump endorses homophobic Pastor Mark Burns South Carolina 3rd Congressional District seen arriving at Trump Tower NYC
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On Monday, former President Donald Trump announced his endorsement of Pastor Mark Burns for South Carolina's Third Congressional District. The pastor has previously exhibited extremist rhetoric towards LGBTQ+ and transgender individuals, calling for the arrest and execution of those he accuses of LGBTQ+ and transgender "indoctrination." Trump's endorsement threatens to swing a crowded Republican primary in Burns' direction. Given the heavily Republican lean of the district, Burns would emerge as the clear favorite to win the congressional seat should he win his primary.

Pastor Mark Burns made headlines in 2022 for calling for the return of the House Un-American Activities Committee to arrest and execute LGBTQ+ and transgender allies and individuals whom he accuses of "grooming." In a video released after his appearance on The Stew Peters Show, Burns stated, "The LGBT, transgender grooming of our children's minds is a national security threat because it is ultimately designed to destabilize the republic we call the United States of America. That's why, whenever I'm elected, I want to start holding people accountable for treason to the Constitution. I'm going to push to reenact HUAC... We need to hold people accountable for treason, start having some public hearings, and begin executing those who are found guilty of treasonous acts against the Constitution of the United States of America..."

You can watch clips of his statements from that 2022 interview here:

Mark Burns endorsed for congress by Trump youtu.be

Burns has run for Congress twice before, in 2018 and 2022. Although he campaigned as a Trump-inspired candidate in those years, he failed to secure an endorsement from the former president. This year, however, it appears he has finally received that endorsement. Donald Trump posted, "There are many great conservatives exploring a run for that seat, but Mark Burns has been with me from the very beginning of our movement to Make America Great Again," adding, "Pastor Mark Burns is an America First fighter and has my complete and total endorsement." That endorsement is significant in a crowded field of nine Republican candidates. Furthermore, the previous election did not even feature a Democrat on the ballot—the winner of the Republican primary will be the prohibitive favorite to win the congressional seat.

You can see the endorsement here:

Former President Donald Trump endorses Pastor Mark Burns on Truth Social.


It does not appear that Burns has changed his views towards LGBTQ+ and transgender individuals. The day before receiving the endorsement, he took to Twitter to call Transgender Day of Visibility "blasphemous" and "an insult to the millions of Christians who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ," reacting to Transgender Day of Visibility coinciding with Easter Sunday in 2024. Notably, Transgender Day of Visibility has always fallen on March 31, while Easter's date varies. Just after receiving the endorsement, Burns appeared on the far-right Freeman Report, where he claimed that Democrats are "attacking real women in America" with transgender-inclusive policies.

Trump’s endorsement is the latest sign that the candidate is embracing extremist anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-transgender stances for the 2024 election. On March 30th, Trump decried a proclamation by Biden recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility, calling it “blasphemous” and demanding that he “issue an apology to the millions of Catholics and Christians across America who believe tomorrow is for one celebration only—the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Trump has previously advocated for targeting gender transition support “at any age” and investigating hospitals and manufacturers of hormone therapy and puberty blockers. He has also previously called for national bans on trans youth care as well as a national trans sports ban.

When asked about the endorsement on the Freeman Report, Burns stated that Trump had called him and declared him "the congressman," indicating that both Trump and Burns feel confident about the impact of the endorsement. The Republican primary election for the seat is scheduled for June 11, 2024. Should he win over 50% of the vote, Burns will represent the Republican Party in the race for a seat that has been held by a Republican since 1995.

This originally appeared on Erin in the Morning.