Trump team demands list of progressive State Department staff amid fears of ‘purge’
The incoming Trump administration has demanded the State Department draw up a list of employees who focus on equality work, after Trump allies called for a ‘purge’ of pro-LGBT progressives.
The New York Times reported the concerning demand from the Trump transition team, which was made this week in a leaked message to State Department officials this week.
It requests an outline of staffers “whose primary functions are to promote issues” relating to gender equality.
It also requested an outline of work to “promote gender equality, such as ending gender-based violence, promoting women’s participation in economic and political spheres, entrepreneurship, etc”, and an outline of “funds allocated to such programs and activities”.
The demand for a list of staff engaged in progressive work has rattled some State Department employees, coming just one week after a key Trump ally called for “LGBT activists” to be purged from the State Department.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, a key evangelical supporter of the President-elect, had written: “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.
“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 Family Research Council holds significant sway on the Trump transition team, with senior FRC policy guru Ken Blackwell serving as Trump’s head of domestic policy.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said at the time: “Tony Perkins’ proposal to ‘purge’ pro-LGBTQ employees from the State Department is beyond the pale.
“Perkins is hatefully suggesting pro-equality, career civil servants be rounded up and sent packing for doing their jobs.
2The incoming administration should immediately denounce Perkins’ illegal and vindictive proposal. The State Department plays a crucially important role in America’s efforts to advance LGBTQ human rights around the globe.
“In countries with hostile anti-LGBTQ regimes — like Russia, Syria and Egypt — lives are literally at risk. Countless LGBTQ people depend on the State Department’s efforts, and we cannot and must not leave them behind.”