Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Members of State Dept's Commission on Unalienable Rights have disturbing history of opposing LGBTQ rights

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
What do Peter Berkowitz, Mary Ann Glendon, Jacqueline Rivers, and Christopher Tollefsen all have in common? They are all noted anti-LGBTQ activists and they all are presently members of the State Department's new Commission on Unalienable Rights.

According to Politico:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday unveiled a new Commission on Unalienable Rights, a panel he said is aimed at providing him with “an informed review of the role of human rights in American foreign policy.” 
 The panel will be headed up by Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard law professor and former ambassador to the Vatican under George W. Bush. Glendon is also a social conservative who has been a prominent anti-abortion voice, which could lend credence to the concerns among human rights activists that the commission is a ploy to undercut LGBTQ and women’s rights under the guise of religious liberty. In remarks at the State Department on Monday, Pompeo noted that “words like ‘rights’ can be used by good or evil,” decrying how some have “hijacked” human rights rhetoric to be used for “dubious or malignant purposes.”
 . . . While Pompeo was vague in laying out what exactly the panel will do, emphasizing its focus on “principles” over “policy,” he praised its members as those he hoped would facilitate "one of the most profound reexaminations of the unalienable rights in the world since the 1948 universal declaration."

GLAAD just came out with a report which uncovers the history of several members of this committee. The report found that they all have been very active in opposing LGBTQ equality and rights.

“This ‘Commission’ is a farce and further illustrates the bold-faced anti-LGBTQ agenda of this administration,”said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. ”The Trump Administration is knowingly appointing activists who have made careers out of fighting against LGBTQ progress and is now providing them an opportunity to export their anti-LGBTQ activism around the world through the U.S. State Department.” 
GLAAD’s new report dug into the records of the ten members appointed to serve on the State Department’s Commission and found troubling, anti-LGBTQ history in seven of its members. The Commission includes members like Mary Ann Glendon, a longtime anti-LGBTQ activist who claimed marriage equality was a “radical social experiment,” and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, who claimed marriage equality was “one of the signs of the End Times.” The launch of the “Commission on Unalienable Rights” now marks the 117th attack against the LGBTQ community by the Trump Administration since the start of 2017.

Here are just a few of the 10 which GLAAD listed::

Mary Ann Glendon (Chair) — Has written extensively on her view that marriage equality is a “radical social experiment” that harms children. She alsorecently wrote a blurb for a viciously anti-trans book, calling the book—which culminates in a plan of action that calls for the complete erasure of trans people —“eminently readable and insightful.”

Peter Berkowitz — Criticized the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling overturning sodomy laws as “dangerous,” writing that “Justice Kennedy's majority opinion seemed to follow the logic of his moral and political judgments rather than the logic of the law.” 
Jacqueline Rivers — Delivered a speech at the Vatican, insisting that LGBTQ activists were “abolishing in law the principle of marriage as a conjugal union and reducing it to nothing other than sexual or romantic partnerships or domestic companionship.” She went on insist that LGBTQ activists have “unjustly appropriated” civil rights language.   
Christopher Tollefsen — Wrote an anti-trans essay that culminated in the opinion that “...attempts to change one’s biological sex all fail. That is an undefeatable reason against trying to do so.” In a follow up, he further argued that “ is a mark of a heartless culture that it encourages such confusion even to the point of encouraging bodily mutilation as a solution to gender dysphoria and prohibiting therapy that might be psychologically and spiritually beneficial.”

See GLAAD's complete report here.

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