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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Religious Right Activists Petition Pompeo’s ‘Unalienable Rights’ Commission to ‘Make the Family Great Again’

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The commission created by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reconsider U.S. human rights policy, ostensibly according to the principles of unalienable rights and a particular interpretation of natural law, held its most recent public meeting at the U.S. State Department on Friday, where the Ruth Institute’s Jennifer Roback Morse used the Q&A time to read a statement and submit a petition that urges President Donald Trump and Pompeo to “Make the Family Great Again.” Morse claimed that “the family itself has human rights.” Morse is essentially asking the commission to endorse the idea that the so-called “traditional family” has “fundamental” rights that equal or exceed those of individuals.

When the Commission on Unalienable Rights was created last year, anti-LGBTQ activist Brian Brown called it an “extraordinary opening to push for clear and consistent recognition of the natural family,” adding that it “gives us a forum to challenge American foreign policy that has in the past advanced the extreme agenda of the left that has been cloaked in the language of so-called human rights.”

The Ruth Institute started as a project of Brown’s National Organization for Marriage, so it’s not surprising that Morse shares his view about the potential for the commission to help them advance their anti-equality agenda. Morse’s petition signers include an array of U.S. and international anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ activists, including Gary Bauer, Janice Crouse, Robert George, Mike Huckabee, Alveda King, Rick Scarborough, and Sharon Slater. Among the signers from outside the U.S. is Levan Vasadze, the businessman and anti-LGBTQ activist who hosted the 2016 World Congress of Families global summit in the capital of Georgia, the former Soviet republic.

The petition urges the Commission on Unalienable Rights to “work for recognition of the following fundamental rights”:

  1. The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy.
  2. The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents.
  3. The right to life from conception to natural death.
  4. The right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values without being undermined by the state.

Human rights advocates, LGBTQ-equality activists, and others are concerned that the commission—dominated by conservative academics—was created to provide intellectual justification for bringing human rights advocacy in line with right-wing complaints about human rights “inflation.” And they worry that most commission members aim to put a right-wing interpretation of religious liberty into a top tier of rights that would exclude other rights recognized by the U.S. and the international community since the founding of the United Nations. The commission has been holding monthly public meetings, hearing from speakers expressing a range of views, and taking public questions. Its report is expected sometime this spring.

Pompeo and other Trump administration officials have also spent the past year mobilizing a new “pro-family” coalition of conservative and authoritarian governments designed to resist any international agreements or action by U.N. agencies that recognize reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality (which is deemed to be “anti-family”), and comprehensive sex education.

Morse claimed a few years ago that the goal of “radical feminists” and “sexual revolutionaries” was to expand the power of the state to take control over family life—and that they were using divorce and gay marriage to do it.

The Ruth Institute bills itself as “a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love.” It promotes “those who have walked away from a same sex lifestyle” and other “survivors of the sexual revolution.”

Morse’s statement at the State Department was promoted by One News Now, a news arm of the American Family Association.

RELATED STORIES:

Hundreds of Orgs, Political and Religious Leaders Demand Pompeo Abolish His Anti-LGBTQ ‘Commission on Unalienable Rights’

Rights Activists Alarmed as Pompeo Installs Anti-Gay Anti-Abortion Activist to Head New Commission on ‘Natural Law’

State Dept. Quietly Creates Commission Focused on ‘Fresh Thinking’ About ‘Natural Rights’ – Code for Anti-LGBT

 

This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Why Have the Laws Written Down at All?’: Conservative Republican Complains About SCOTUS LGBTQ Civil Rights Ruling

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Republican Sen. Josh Hawley​ of Missouri questioned the efficacy of the religious-right movement after the Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination—a ruling authored by President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Hawley was far from alone with his disdain for the ruling. Anti-LGBTQ groups and outlets expressed alarm​. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins wrote in a blog post Wednesday​, “Suddenly, we fear for our kids’ classrooms, our sons and daughters in the military, the future of adoption and competition, and the vanishing hopes of any Christian to run a business or ministry without being sued.”

On Tuesday, Perkins hosted Hawley on his radio show “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” after Hawley gave a speech on the Senate floor calling the Supreme Court’s ruling a “piece of legislation” and “seismic.” Politico reported that Hawley declared that the ruling “represents the end of the conservative legal movement.” He echoed those sentiments during his interview with Perkins.

“For religious conservatives, people of faith, who have labored here in the vineyard so to speak, I think that this result—it really is going to cause people to question: What is it we have been doing? What is it that we have been working toward if this is always the result at the end of the day? We have got to do better than this,” Howley said.

Howley said that he was ultimately hopeful that religious conservatives “of all backgrounds” would be motivated to demonstrate leadership after the ruling.

“That would be a good thing for this movement, for the country,” Hawley said.

Perkins jumped in to insist that he and Hawley were not seeking Supreme Court justices who would “legislate from the bench” in a way that fulfilled their political desires, but rather ​they sought justices who would adhere to the U.S. Constitution and “the true meaning of words.”

“There’s almost no point in writing down the laws. We might as well just let the justices just tell us what they think should be the right policy in any given case,” Hawley said​ sarcastically. “Why have the laws written down at all if the words are not going to hold the meaning they had at the time?”

 

This article was first published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission. 

Image by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs via Flickr and a CC license
DoD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Christian Right Activist at Trump’s HHS Finalizes Move Rolling Back ‘Unnecessary’ Transgender Healthcare Protections

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The Trump administration just moved to roll back hard-fought Obama-era healthcare non-discrimination protections for transgender people, just as coronavirus cases are surging in at least 21 states. The timing, too, is notable. While the President does not recognize LGBTQ Pride the move comes in the middle of the month devoted to celebrating and honoring the community, and exactly on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre.

The Wall Street Journal reports the new rule will take effect in 60 days, ending “a policy that expanded an antidiscrimination provision in the ACA to cover bias against” transgender people.

The move comes from the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which is headed by far right wing religious extremist Roger Severino (photo).

OCR calls the protections for transgender people “overbroad” and “massive and unnecessary regulatory burdens that had been eventually passed on to patients and consumers,” while suggesting they are not “substantive.”

“This continues the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back protections in health care for LGBT people,” Bloomberg Law reports. “The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights sees preserving ‘religious freedom’ as essential to making sure health-care professionals don’t get penalized for the actions they do or don’t do in their jobs because of their moral beliefs.”

Severino is responsible for many of the administration’s most anti-LGBTQ polices.

Last year, in defending his new anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” regulation, Severino told reporters, “Patients want doctors who match their values.”

Developing…

Related:

Christian Right Activist Heading Civil Rights Office at HHS Moves Closer to Killing Protections for LGBTQ Patients

HHS Being Sued Over Policy Giving Special Religious Rights to Healthcare Professionals Over LGBT People and Women

Trump Creates New ‘Conscience and Religious Freedom Division’ at HHS to Support Discrimination by Health Care Professionals

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Trump Appointee Says US Is in the Grips of a ‘Homo-Empire’ Pushing a ‘Tyrannical LGBT Agenda’

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This story was originally published by ProPublica.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

A new Trump appointee to the United States’ foreign aid agency has a history of online posts denouncing liberal democracy and has said that the country is in the clutches of a “homo-empire” that pushes a “tyrannical LGBT agenda.”

In one post, Merritt Corrigan, who recently took up a position as deputy White House liaison at the U.S. Agency for International Development, wrote: “Liberal democracy is little more than a front for the war being waged against us by those who fundamentally despise not only our way of life, but life itself.”

Corrigan’s new position in the Trump administration, confirmed by two officials, has not been previously reported.

Corrigan previously worked for the Hungarian Embassy in the United States and tweeted that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is “the shining champion of Western civilization,” Politico reported last year. An embassy spokesman, Béla Gedeon, said Corrigan left her position there in mid-April.

Orban, a far-right politician, has cracked down on civil society, academic freedom and other liberties. USAID has recently partnered with Hungary to help Christians in Iraq, a pairing that some career USAID officials said they found unsettling.

Asked about Corrigan’s writing, acting USAID spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala said the agency has a “zero-tolerance policy of any form of discrimination or harassment based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other possible distinguishing characteristic that can define any of us.”

“All employees are held to the highest of standards and are expected to treat one another with dignity and respect. Period,” she said. “This includes political appointees, civil servants, foreign service officers and contractors.”

Corrigan did not respond to emails asking about her past comments.

Politico reported last year that Corrigan wrote on her Twitter account that “our homo-empire couldn’t tolerate even one commercial enterprise not in full submission to the tyrannical LGBT agenda.” Corrigan’s Twitter account is now private.

In October, Corrigan wrote an op-ed in The Conservative Woman, a London publication, decrying “the false song of feminism” and calling for women to take up traditional roles of mother, wife and homemaker.

“A woman today is expected by society to come to marriage and motherhood in physical and spiritual decline, if ever,” she wrote. “This is the life women have been offered by those who would rather us toil away as isolated economic units for faceless corporations, far from the natural pleasures of the domestic, far from the guardianship of a loving husband, and far from the life-giving experience of motherhood.”

Corrigan’s biography on the website described her as a “conservative political strategist.” She was on the payroll of the Republican National Committee between 2016 and 2018, according to campaign finance records.

Her stated positions put her directly at odds with the stated goals of her new employer. USAID uses a “liberal democracy index” as one of its metrics in deciding whether a country is self-reliant, and it has an entire office dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment. The agency’s website says it is working for a world in which LGBT people are “respected and able to live with dignity, free from discrimination, persecution, and violence.”

Beirne Roose-Snyder, director of public policy at the Center for Health and Gender Equity, said, “An appointee who eschews gender equality, meaningful democracy and LGBTI rights cannot possibly fulfill the mission of USAID.”

Corrigan’s appointment is the latest example of the Trump administration bringing in officials to USAID whose stated views put them at odds with the agenda the agency says it promotes.

USAID’s new deputy chief of staff, Bethany Kozma, was previously an anti-transgender activist who wrote in 2016 that transgender girls are boys “claiming gender confusion.” Kozma was formerly a senior adviser for women’s empowerment at the agency.

And last week, The Washington Post reported that a Tea Party activist with a history of making and sharing anti-Islamic comments on his personal social media profiles would be the agency’s new religious freedom adviser. News of the appointment sparked criticism from Muslim groups in the U.S. and the Anti-Defamation League.

 

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