Trump administration won’t press African countries over anti-gay laws, Mick Mulvaney says
The Trump administration will not press countries to abolish their anti-LGBT laws, Mick Mulvaney has said.
Mulvaney, a former Republican lawmaker who is Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Trump administration, made the comments at the State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, DC.
In his speech, Mulvaney lashed out at the “previous administration” – referring to President Obama’s term in office – for pressing for the rights of LGBT people to be respected around the world.
President Obama famously pressed the Kenyan President over the country’s anti-gay law, which attaches a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment to acts of gay sex.
Obama also pressed to make overseas aid payments contingent upon respect for LGBT people’s basic human rights.
Mulvaney said: “Our US taxpayer dollars [were] used to discourage Christian values in other democratic countries.
“It was stunning to me that my government under the previous administration would go to folks in sub-Saharan Africa and say, ‘We know that you have a law against abortion, but if you enforce that law, you’re not going to get any of our money. We know you have a law against gay marriage, but if you enforce that law, we’re not going to give you any money.’
“That’s a different type of religious persecution. (…) That is a different type of religious persecution that I never expected to see. I never expected to see that as an American Christian, that we would be doing that to other folks.”
He added: “I am here to let you know there are many people in our government who care about [these issues].
“There are a lot of people in this government who want to see things done differently. They want to do something.”
Mulvaney has a strongly anti-LGBT record, like many senior members of the Trump administration.
The Republican was a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act, a law that would permit anti-LGBT discrimination on the basis of religion.
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The Congressman scored zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard for both of his terms in the House, unwaveringly opposing LGBT rights.
Mulvaney is rumoured to be in line to become Donald Trump’s next Chief of Staff.
Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer recently revealed that the leader cynically shifted stance on LGBT rights in order to shore up support during the 2016 election.
Spicer revealed that Trump only claimed to support ‘L-G-B-T-Q’ rights as part of a backroom deal to avert a challenge to his nomination as the party’s candidate.