Why did Trump send activists who backed Russian anti-gay law to United Nations conference?
LGBT organisations have asked Trump officials to explain why they sent activists from a group that supported Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law to a UN women’s rights conference.
The President is facing questions over the State Department’s delegation to the 61st annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York this month.
The official US government delegation includes an activist from the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM) – a fringe faith groups that oppose LGBT equality and women’s healthcare laws.
C-FAM is designated as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has attacked the “homosexual agenda”.
Austin Ruse, the group’s President, has previously voiced support for the criminalisation of homosexuality and openly supported Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law. Ruse also claimed previously that professors behind “the nonsense that they teach in women’s studies (…) should all be taken out and shot”, .
In the wake of the revelations, the Human Rights Campaign has penned a letter to Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, asking him to explain the decision.
Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global, said: “It’s appalling and completely unacceptable that individuals from organizations peddling hatred against LGBTQ people and their families have been appointed to an extremely important commission on women’s rights.
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“To be clear, these individuals and the organizations they represent do not serve the best interests of women — including lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer women — in the United States and around the globe.”
The letter says: “Austin Ruse, is a highly visible international anti-LGBTQ extremist. He has called for help in stopping the “ghastly work” of the United Nations in
protecting LGBTQ people from violence and discrimination, calling those efforts “deadly propaganda.” Lisa Correnti, its Vice President, has her own long anti-LGBTQ record. She recently co-authored an article that directly referred to Trump Administration efforts to undo policies protecting women, including LBTQ women, from violence.
“If the United States is truly committed to improving the lives of women, including LBTQ women, in the U.S. and beyond, then Lisa Correnti and Grace Melton and the organizations they represent should not be the public face of our delegation.
“We urge you to immediately rescind the appointment of these delegates who do not represent our shared American values.”
The US was also represented by activists from the Heritage Foundation – which has been embroiled in several legal battles opposing LGBT equality, and has claimed that anti-discrimination laws grant LGBT people “special privileges”.