Anti-LGBT hate group leader Tony Perkins appointed to US religious freedom commission
Republicans have appointed an extreme anti-LGBT activist to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was today nominated to the federal government body, which polices ‘religious freedom’ internationally and makes policy recommendations to the White House and Congress.
Perkins is best known for his strong opposition to LGBT rights, and only last month urged schools to ban students from taking “same-sex dates” to prom.
He was nominated to the role by the Trump administration and GOP Senator Mitch McConnell.
The activist has made a number of extremely disturbing claims about gay people in the past, insisting Christians are “going to find ourselves being loaded in cattle cars like it was when the Nazis took over before we realize we are in such terrible danger”.
He claims that Christians are being sent to “camps”, and that soon gays are “going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians”.
The Southern Poverty Law Center notes he compared gays to paedophiles, saying: “While activists like to claim that paedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. It is a homosexual problem.”
His views had caused the SPLC, which monitors extremism, to list the Family Research Council as a hate group.
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said: “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.
“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.”
The Trump administration has maintained close ties to Perkins despite the FRC’s hate group designation.
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The Family Research Council recently vowed to fight in court to keep details of its discussions with the Trump administration private – after a subpoena directed activists to turn over documents relating to its work on the transgender troop ban.
Perkins is alleged to have had input in a a White House policy document that made the case for banning transgender people from the military by citing transgender people’s “high rates of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders” and “extremely high rates of suicidal ideation and other comorbidities.”
The document also claimed that “transition-related treatment is proving to be disproportionately costly.”
Leading medical and military experts came forward to deride the claims, with the American Medical Association stressing that there is “no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals from service.” Two former Surgeons General also rubbished the report.