This commission “is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad,” as we read on the USCIRF website.
The law that created the commission “mandates that three Commissioners are selected by the President, two by the leaders of the President’s party in Congress, and four by the congressional leaders of the party not in the White House. Commissioners are appointed for two-year terms, and are eligible for reappointment.”
Perkins was appointed on the recommendation of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“Tony Perkins is the most recognizable anti-LGBTQ activist in America. He has espoused the most extreme views of LGBTQ people and other vulnerable communities including vocally supporting foreign laws that punish LGBTQ identity with death,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD. “The idea that Perkins would be making policy recommendations to an administration that is already anti-LGBTQ is dangerous and puts LGBTQ people directly in harm’s way.”
Perkins is an ardent supporter of Donald Trump who recently visited him as we had seen.
This appointment is worrying from an LGBTQ point of view but also from a religious point of view. Perkins, along with his group, is leading a campaign against Muslims across the United States.
Also, Perkins is a fervent supporter of Vladimir Putin and anti-LGBT laws in place in Russia. A law forbids any possibility of being LGBTQ in a public space.
In addition to Tony Perkins, Sam Brownback has been appointed as U.S. ambassador for religious freedom by Trump and confirmed for a senatorial post last January. He is also known for his stance against the LGBT community.
Finally, note that a group of former diplomats recently warned that the rise in such religious bigotry undermines the ability of the U.S. to credibly and effectively advocate for the religious freedom of those who face religious repression and persecution in other countries, as reported by Right Wing Watch.
The leader of a hate group has been appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Why am I not even surprised?
Photo by MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images