Key Trump ally wants State Department ‘purged’ of pro-gay staff
A close ally of Donald Trump has called for the State Department to be “purged” of pro-LGBT staff hired by the Obama administration.
The extraordinary call comes from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, a key evangelical supporter of the President-elect.
Earlier this year, when Trump was mocked for misquoting the Bible in a speech, he revealed it had been co-written by Mr Perkins.
A representative of Mr Perkins’ Family Research Council is serving on the President-elect’s transition team.
In a release this week, Mr Perkins called for the State Department to be “purged” of staff who support the pro-LGBT foreign policy agenda set down by the Obama administration, while the department was headed by Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
He said: ” Over the last eight years, the State Department under Hillary Clinton and John Kerry has elevated the promotion of the Left’s view of human sexuality… to the detriment of fundamental human rights like religious freedom.
“I’ve personally heard the concerns… over how the administration has linked foreign aid to the adoption of the State Department’s LGBTQ and pro-abortion agendas.
“To carry out this extreme agenda, the Obama administration has systematically filled the ranks of State with LGBTQ and abortion activists.
“Unless the next secretary of state is willing to resist and remove this embedded agenda, the promotion and protection of true human rights, like religious liberty, will continue to languish.
He added that Trump’s nominee Rex Tillerson, the CEO of oil company Exxon Mobil, “must have the courage to stop the promotion of this anti-family, anti-life agenda” within the State Department.
Making the threat clear, he added: “The incoming administration needs to make clear that these liberal policies will be reversed and the ‘activists’ within the State Department promoting them will be ferreted out and will be replaced by conservatives who will ensure the State Department focuses on true international human rights like religious liberty which is under unprecedented assault.”
The role of Secretary of State is one of the most crucial appointments a President makes, directing the country’s foreign policy and responsible for relations with the rest of the world.
The appointment of Mr Tillerson managed the unique achievement of simultaneously upsetting both LGBT campaigners and anti-LGBT activists.
The Human Rights Campaign raised concerns about Exxon’s terrible record on equality and diversity under his tenure.
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The company, which long had an extremely poor rating on the Corporate Equality Index, rejected repeated attempts to adopt a LGBT non-discrimination policy, until federal contractors were forced to do so by President Obama in 2014.
Questions were also raised about Mr Tillerson’s extremely close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, having been awarded the Order of Friendship by the Russian leader.
Mr Perkins. meanwhile, took issue with his record as a board member of the Boy Scouts of America, after reports that he was “instrumental” in the U-turn that saw the group finally lift a long-held ban on gay members in 2015.
Perkins wrote: “I certainly don’t see Tillerson cut from the same cloth as Clinton or Kerry, but he doesn’t have to be for these anti-life, liberal social policies to continue.
“[But his record is] a question mark given that he capitulated to activists pushing to liberalize the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexuality when he was at the helm of the organization.”