Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trump evangelical Tony Perkins practically giddy that Pompeo may turn blind eye to anti-LGBTQ persecution

Editor's note - There will be no Wednesday mid-day news briefs.

"Those Trump evangelicals!"
When I heard that Trump's pick for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has a long record of opposing LGBTQ equality, I practically predicted the following Washington Update by Family Research Council head Tony Perkins praising him:

When Rex Tillerson was first announced as the president's pick for Secretary of State, I communicated my concern privately and publicly. I said that the State Department needed a strong change agent like Trump, and there was no way based upon Tillerson's record that he would do enough to roll back the harmful cultural imperialism which had been pushed in the State Department during the Obama administration, and to restore our promotion of international religious freedom to where it should be. And under Tillerson's leadership, not much did change in these areas. Religious freedom and human rights for all continues to take a backseat to the LGBT agenda as LGBT-promoting acting ambassadors remain in place around the world and our tax dollars still go to non-government organizations (NGOs) aligned with groups like George Soros' Open Society and the Southern Poverty Law Center. 
Now that Tillerson is on his way out, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been tapped to take the helm, there is hope for the United States to once again lead the world toward the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of human rights. I believe Mike Pompeo is the agent of change the State Department needs, and he has the president's ear. He cares about religious freedom, and about restoring the United States to its historically-esteemed role of human rights defender -- not cultural imperialist. And with Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Brownback also in place, the United States is perhaps better poised than any other time in recent memory to significantly make inroads in promoting religious freedom worldwide.

As usual, Perkins lying. There was no prioritizing of LGBTQ rights over anything else in the Obama Administration. Those of us who are aware of the history of Perkins and FRC know that his definition of giving LGBTQ rights priority means acknowledging that these rights exist in the first place.

In truth, what the Obama Administration did was to speak out against persecution of LGBTQ community in foreign countries where they are  tortured, "correctively raped," murdered, or put in prison. In 2011, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a monumental speech declaring that gay rights are human rights.

In terms of action, the Obama Administration did the following:

The Obama Administration continues to engage systematically with governments around the world to advance the rights of LGBT persons. The Administration’s leadership has included various public statements and resolutions at the UN. 
President Obama has also issued a presidential memorandum that directs all Federal agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons. 
The Department of State continues to grow the Global Equality Fund, a multi-sector public-private partnership to advance the human rights of LGBT persons globally. Since the Fund was launched in December 2011, it has allocated over $30 million to civil society organizations in 80 countries worldwide.

USAID, the U.S. government agency primarily responsible for delivering international aid and assistance, launched the LGBTI Global Development Partnership and "Being LGBTI in Asia," and funded a range of LGBTI human rights programs. 
In 2014, USAID released its LGBT Vision for Action, a document that communicates USAID’s position on LGBTI issues to internal and external stakeholders. In February 2014, USAID appointed a USAID Senior LGBT Coordinator to ensure that the promotion and protection of LGBTI rights is fully integrated into all aspects of USAID's vital work overseas.

In February 2015, the U.S. State Department appointed the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons to lead and coordinate U.S. diplomatic efforts to advance LGBTI rights around the globe.

The State Department revised its Foreign Affairs Manual to allow same-sex couples to obtain passports under the names recognized by their state through their marriages or civil unions.

And somehow, according to Perkins, doing these things are wrong because they supposedly put the LGBTQ community on a pedestal.

"Jesus wept," indeed.

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