Anti-LGBT US secretary of state Mike Pompeo says ‘more rights is not always better’
Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state who once described being gay as a “perversion,” likened fighting for certain human rights to having too many flavours of ice cream.
Speaking on Friday (September 6), Pompeo rallied against politicians who “from time to time have framed pet causes as fights for rights to bypass the normal process by which political ends are achieved.”
“This is an imperfect analogy.” he told an audience at Kansas State University, according to Bloomberg.
“But the thirteenth ice cream cone isn’t as good as the first one was.
“And with respect to unalienable rights, more, per se, is not always better.”
Mike Pompeo wants to redefine human rights
The speech marked the return of a common refrain for Pomepo: that the “unalienable rights” granted by the Declaration of Independence—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—are being diluted by campaign groups and foreign interests.
In July, he announced that he had instituted a government body—the Commission on Unalienable Rights—to investigate this supposed watering down.
He vowed that the commission would undertake “a review of the role of human rights in American foreign policy,” threatening to redefine the very concept of human rights.
The Trump administration has repeatedly declined to detail which rights Pompeo believes are expendable, though critics believe that he will target same-sex marriage and abortion.
The International Women’s Health Coalition said that the commission “is yet another example of the Trump administration prioritizing extreme religious doctrine over rights.”
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“By questioning decades of international human rights norms, the administration is threatening hard-won progress on issues like gender equality, abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and protections for marginalised group,” a spokesperson told the Guardian.
Mike Pompeo is against marriage equality
Throughout his career Pompeo has made several dismissive statements about LGBT+ rights.
During a Senate confirmation session in April, he refused to distance himself from a previous assertion that being gay was a “perversion.”
“You said in a speech … warning an America that endorses a perversion and calls it an alternative lifestyle. Those are your words. Is being gay a perversion?” he was asked by Democratic Senator Cory Booker.
“Senator, when I was a politician, I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry,” Pompeo replied. I stand by that.”
Before its repeal he was a brazen defender of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, the policy which prevented LGBT+ people from serving openly in the military.
He once claimed: “We cannot use military to promote social ideas that do not reflect the values of our nation.”