The administration’s Commission on Unalienable Rights is stacked with people who have a history of “fighting against LGBTQ progress,” critics say.
The Trump administration on Monday announced the formation of the Commission on Unalienable Rights, an advisory committee that will review “the role of human rights in American foreign policy.” Both the nature of the commission and those appointed to serve on it raised red flags for several human rights and LGBTQ advocacy groups.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the re-examination of human rights is warranted because “some claims have come into tension with one another, provoking questions and clashes about which rights are entitled to gain respect.”
Critics of the new commission, however, claim it is a “farce” designed to undermine LGBTQ and abortion rights.
Harvard Law School Professor Mary Ann Glendon has been tapped to lead the newly created group. Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, is an outspoken opponent of abortion and has spoken out against same-sex marriage on several occasions over the past two decades.
Glendon is known as the first person to accept, then reject, the University of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, which recognizes service to the Catholic Church and society. In 2009, she refused the award because President Barack Obama, a supporter of abortion rights, was scheduled to deliver the university’s commencement address that year.
Glendon began to sound the alarm on gay unions in 2003, soon after Massachusetts’ highest court moved to legalize same-sex marriage. That year, she signed a public letter in support of the Alliance for Marriage’s Federal Marriage Amendment, a proposed same-sex marriage ban.
In 2004, Glendon wrote that same-sex unions represent “a bid for special preferences,” because, she said, marriage is designed for child rearing. (In fact, just 20 percent of U.S. households were comprised of a married couple with children in 2013, down from 40 percent in 1970, according to the Census Bureau, Reuters reported.)
When New York moved to legalize gay marriage in 2011, Glendon urged the Legislature to shelve the legislation until sufficient religious liberty protections could be added. More recently, in 2018, Glendon wrote a glowing review for the cover of “When Harry Became Sally,” a book that said transgender people are “a politically correct fad built on a shaky platform.”
Writing in First Things in February, Glendon hinted at what her vision for a re-examination of human rights would entail. In the publication, Glendon stated that the United States should focus on rights that are “uncontroversial” and “must include protections against genocide; slavery; torture; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; retroactive penal measures; deportation or forcible transfer of population; discrimination based on race, color, sex, language, religion, nationality, or social origin; and protection for freedom of conscience and religion.” Glendon omits any explicit mention of LGBTQ people, who routinely face persecution in many countries around the world.
“At one time, all ‘rights’ were considered controversial, but international law — and people’s expectations of their governments — have evolved,” Andrea Prasow of Human Rights Watch said. “Glendon presents a hierarchy of rights. Yes, everyone should be free from torture, or arbitrary detention. But they should also have the right to marry, and to obtain reproductive health care. Those other rights are no less important, and indeed may be more in need of protection precisely because some people consider them ‘controversial.’”
Glendon — who did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment — is not the only member of the newly formed commission who has raised red flags among those who support LGBTQ rights. An analysis by LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD found that 7 of the 10 people named to the commission have a history of “fighting against LGBTQ progress.”
Among the members flagged by GLAAD are Peter Berkowitz, who in 2003 called the Supreme Court ruling that decriminalized homosexuality “dangerous“; Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, who said in 2011 that same-sex marriage is a sign of the “end times“; Meir Soloveichik, who in 2012 wrote in a blurb that an anti-LGBTQ book was an “influential defense of marriage as it has been historically and rightly understood”; Jacqueline Rivers, who in 2014 said same-sex marriages diminish straight unions; Christopher Tollefsen, who in 2015 said gender transitions are a “mark of a heartless culture“; and F. Cartwright Weiland, who in 2017 worked for a think tank that calls marriage “a permanent relationship between one man and one woman.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, the CEO of GLAAD, called the commission a “farce” and accused the Trump administration of “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.”
‘RELIGIOUS FREEDOM’ AND ‘OPPOSING HUMAN RIGHTS’
Among those who have praised the Commission on Unalienable Rights is Tony Perkins, president of the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council, which among other things conflates homosexuality and pedophilia. Perkins, who was appointed by the Trump administration to chair the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said this new committee would “help further the protection of religious freedom, which is the foundation for all other human rights.”
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed announcing the formation of the commission, Pompeo warned that “loose talk of ‘rights’ unmoors us from the principles of liberal democracy” and suggested a zero-sum game when assessing opposing human rights claims: “How do we know if a claim of human rights is true? What happens when rights conflict?”
Of course, one of the main constitutional conflicts today is whether freedom of worship guarantees the religious the right to refuse service — or a job — to a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person. The Supreme Court is set to rule on this issue next year.
Samuel Moyn, a professor of law and history at Yale University, said the language used by Pompeo and Glendon — “natural” and “unalienable” rights — “is meant to refer to human rights before our time, the good, old human rights that are the basis of this country.”
“The idea there is that God, or someone, gave human beings a set of purposes, and that their institutions serve purposes that individuals don’t get to change, so their bodies, sexual organs, are for procreation, and nature made it that way, and rights can’t mean that you get to mess with nature,” Moyn said.
The commission comes in addition to the State Department’s existing Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, which issues an annual report on human rights around the world. While that report included sections on LGBTQ rights during the Obama administration, an analysis by Oxfam found that the Trump State Department was systematically removing sections devoted to women’s and LGBTQ rights.
In a statement shared with NBC News, a State Department spokesperson said “The time is right for an informed review of the role of human rights in American foreign policy.”
Although the commission is an ostensibly advisory panel without any policy-making power, Glendon made clear in remarks at the State Department that “we will do our very best to carry out your marching orders and to do so in a way that will assist you in your difficult task of transmuting principle into policy.”
Check out the original story here: NBC Out.
Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city.Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you!Don’t get fooled by free offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a FREE 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!
Sign-up now: www.gaydatingsolutions.com
Download our mobile apps: https://appurl.io/jd0jaqp0
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GayDating101
Tweet us: twitter.com/GayDating101
Tags: #BigBankChallenge #BohemianKissChallenge #EqualityActJapan #StopAsianHate 2020 Olympics Aaron Schock Adam Castillejo Adam Rippon addiction ageism Aging AhTave AIDS Aime Wichtendal Alaska Alex Morse Almost Love America's Next Top Model American Medical Association Amy Coney Barrett Annise Parker Antes Que El Mundo Se Acabe Anti-Asian Violence Anti-LGBTQ ANTM anxiety Aptima HIV-1 Arizona Armie Hammer astrology At-home date Atlanta Atlanta Black Pride Atlanta Nightlife Atlanta Pride Atlanta Pride Run Austin Swink Austin Texas Backpacks for the Street Basel Abou Hamrah BFI Flare Bisexual BLACK GAY MEN Black LGBTQ Atlanta Black Lives Matter Black Love Bohemian Rhapsody Boston Boston MA Brian Sims Broadway bully Bullying California Call Me By Your Name Canada Capital Pride Capitalism Cason Crane Celebrity News censorship Chemistry Chemsex Chicago Chicago IL Chris Evans Christian proselytizing Christianity Christmas Christmas movie Christmas Movies Chucky Circus of Books civil unions Cody McCook Colorado Comedy coming out commentary compatibility Confidence Congress conspiracy theory Conversion therapy CoronaVirus COVID COVID-19 Covid-19 vaccine daddy Dallas Dallas Gay Bars Dallas Gayborhood Dallas Texas Danica Roem Daniel Harding Daniel Howell Date night dating Dating Apps dating rut dating tips DC Pride Dead to Me Denver Depression discrimination Disney Documentary Dolf Pasker Dolly Parton Domestic Violence Donald Trump Donna Price Drag Race drag racing Dustin Lance Black election Election 2020 Election Day Elite Employment Entertainment Entertainment news epidemic Fabio Fasoli Family family gatherings Film Finding True Love First Date First Date Etiquette first date ideas first date tips Flirting Tips Flirty Dancing Florida Fort Lauderdale Franklin Graham Freddie Mercury Garrett Clayton gay gay asian gay asian men Gay Atlanta Gay beaches Gay Boston Gay Chicago Gay Couple Gay Couples Gay Culture Gay Dallas Gay Dallas Nightlife gay dating gay dating advice gay dating app gay dating apps Gay Dating Solutions Gay Dating Tips gay discrimination gay film Gay Florida Gay Fort Lauderdale Gay Health Gay Holiday Movie Gay Houston gay kiss Gay Love Advice gay marriage gay marriage proposal gay men Gay Miami gay midlife Gay Mountaineer Gay Movies Gay New York Gay Nurse Gay Panic Gay Pride gay relationship advice gay relationship tips gay relationships Gay Scene gay seniors gay sex gay singles Gay Soldier Gay Travel Gay Twitter Gay Wedding gay weddings Gay Widower Gays Over COVID gaysian Gen Z Generation Z Georgia Gert Kasteel Ghosting GLAAD GOP Gorsuch Guy Vandenberg Gym Gays Haaz Sleiman Hallmark Halloween Hate Crime Health HGVT HIV HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV treatment HIV vaccine HIV/AIDS hobbies Holi-date Holiday Film Holiday Movies Holidays Hollywood Holyoke Homophobia hooking up hookup hookup culture Hot Vax Summer House Hunters Houston Texas Houston TX Hulu Ian Jordan Indya Moore Instagay Instagram intersex Intimacy Iowa Iowa caucus isolation It's A Sin Jake Gyllenhaal James Bushe Japan Jaymes Vaughan Jayson Conner Jeffrey Newman Jennifer Tilly Jewish Jewish persecution Joe Biden Jonathan Bennett Josef Salvat Jussi-Pekka Kajaala Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg JVN Jwan Yosef Karamo Brown Kristine Stolakis Lady Gaga Lesbian lesbian couple Let It Snow LGBT LGBT Travel Guide LGBT-Free Zones LGBTQ LGBTQ Asians LGBTQ Atlanta LGBTQ Boston LGBTQ Chicago LGBTQ Dallas LGBTQ discrimination LGBTQ employees LGBTQ Family LGBTQ Film LGBTQ Film Festival LGBTQ Films LGBTQ flag LGBTQ Fort Lauderdale LGBTQ Health LGBTQ Houston LGBTQ Miami LGBTQ movies LGBTQ New York LGBTQ NYC LGBTQ Pride LGBTQ retirees LGBTQ retirement LGBTQ Rights LGBTQ Seniors LGBTQ Victory Institute LGBTQ Youth Life Lifetime Lifetime TV Network Linda Warren lockdown London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival loneliness Love Victor Luke Evans Male Nurse Malik Brown marriage equality marriage proposal Marsha P Johnson Marvel Marvin Cortes Massachusetts mature gay dating mental health Mexico Miami Miami Beach Miami Beach Pride Miami Florida Michael Cashman Michael Henry Middle-aged gay men midlife Modern Family mormon Mr. Right Muscle gays music video My Gay Match NASCAR National Coming Out Day Nationwide Conversion Therapy Ban Neil Gorsuch Netflix Netflix Special Nevada New Year's Resolution New York New York City Nonbinary North Dakota Northern Ute tribe Nurse Appreciation Week NYC NYC Events NYC Pride NYC Pride 2021 Oak Lawn Obergefell v. Hodges older gay man Omander Omar Ayuso One True Pairing online dating online dating apps online dating tips online gay dating Online trolls Open Relationship Operation Hyacinth OTP Outfest Outfest LA 2021 Outfest Los Angeles Pan-African Pride pandemic Paper Moons Pat Robertson Pennsylvania Perez Hilton personality personality type Pete Buttigieg Pink Capitalism Poland Politics polyamorous polyamorous relationship polyamorous relationships Pope Francis Pose power bottom Pray Away PrEP pride Pride 2021 Pride Afrique Pride Flag Pride Month Prince Harry profile pic Puerto Vallarta quarantine Queer eye Queer Film Queer Films Queer Holiday Movies Queer Lawmakers Queer Love Story Queer Santa Queer Youth racism Rafa Olarra Rainbow Wave Reddit Relationship relationship advice Relationship Tips relationships religion Rep. Andy Biggs Republican retirement Ricky Martin rom-com Romantic Comedy Ryan Murphy Ryan O’Connell Samaritan’s Purse same sex marriage Same Sex Relationships Same Sex Wedding Same-Sex Couples Same-Sex Kiss same-sex marriage ban Schitt’s Creek Score Miami Score Nightclub Scott Evans Scott Wiener Section 28 self isolation self-care Senior Gay Dating Senior Gay Men senior gays Senior Prom Seven Summits sex Sex Education sex life sexual identity sexual preference sexual racism sexuality short film Shy Gay Guys Single All the Way single gay man Single Gay Men Single Gays Single Young Gays social distancing social isolation social media Social Security Somerville sports Stonewall Stonewall Riots straight men Super Bowl ads Super Bowl commercials Super Bowl LIV Supreme Court Switzerland Syfy Syria Tan France Television Tennessee The Boys in the Band The Center on Colfax The Christmas Setup The Eternals The First The Thing About Harry Threesome throuple TikTok Tom Daley toxic masculinity Transgender Travel Travis Shumake true love Trump administration Turner Free TV series Tweets Twitter Unconditional Love United Methodist Church US economy US Supreme Court Valentine's day viral video Virginia Washington DC Web Series Wedding Workplace workplace discrimination World AIDS Day World Pride young gay men Youth YouTube