February 21, 2019
On February 1, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, wrote in an opinion piece in the German newspaper Bild that “government officials must . . . demand that U.N. members decriminalize homosexuality.” The piece got little attention until this week, when an “exclusive report” from NBC News said, “The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality.” There’s just one problem – besides the ambassador, it doesn’t seem that President Trump – or anyone else in the administration – authorized this “campaign.”
Our own criminal laws against homosexual conduct were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 in the case of Lawrence v. Texas. Despite what some on the Left claim, we are not advocating for their return. But that does not mean we should engage in “cultural imperialism” by imposing policies that were imposed upon us by our Court on other countries with different cultures, traditions, and values.
For the last eight years, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bludgeoned foreign capitals with “diplomacy” designed to advance an LGBT agenda around the world and in the United Nations—doing damage to our relations with many countries as a result. The Trump administration should be ending such efforts, not making them a priority.
Now the tide has turned. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo articulated the proper way to think about all this at his confirmation hearing last year. When asked by Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) whether he thinks “LGBTQ rights are human rights,” Pompeo responded: “I deeply believe LGBTQ persons have every right that every other person has.”
As our own Travis Weber points out, some may try to argue that protecting LGBT rights is a way of protecting human rights. Yet this misleadingly implies “that same-sex-attracted and transgendered persons do not currently enjoy human rights protections…” As Travis observes, “The [Universal Declaration of Human Rights] and [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] protect every individual from arbitrary arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing by the State, because all humans have human dignity, regardless of their sexual attraction or gender preference.”
Family Research Council vigorously opposes acts of violence against anyone because of their sexuality. According to NBC, there are eight countries which permit the death penalty for homosexuality—most of them also known as abusers of religious freedom and other rights, and supporters of terrorism. An end to those laws, and other physical punishments such as flogging, is a legitimate goal.
Let’s find common ground in calling for an end to all forms of physical violence against homosexuals -- but refrain from imposing the values of the sexual revolution on the rest of the world.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.