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Trump ‘religious freedom’ commissioner praises Zambia over jailing of two gay men for simply loving one another

Nick Duffy January 7, 2020
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins delivers remarks at the opening of the council's Value Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel September 21, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins delivers remarks at the opening of the council's Value Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel September 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s faith adviser Tony Perkins has praised the decision to oust a US ambassador who condemned an anti-gay law in Zambia.

Tony Perkins, who serves on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, spoke out after US ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote was recalled from office.

Foote had provoked anger from the Zambian president Edgar Lungu by saying he was “personally horrified” by the jailing of two gay men for a consensual relationship “which hurt absolutely no one.”

The ambassador was recalled after the Lungu made clear his government would no longer work with Foote in any capacity.

The Trump administration publicly said it was “dismayed” by Zambia’s decision to force out Foote.

However, in a blog post, Perkins gloated at the exit of the ambassador, who he claims was “insulting the country’s LGBT policies and judicial system”.

US religious freedom commissioner Tony Perkins: Stop imposing ‘LGBT agenda’.

Perkins wrote: “Recalling Foote is the right move when he has broken trust with his hosts and can no longer effectively serve as our representative overseas.

“It should also serve as an indicator of how we will act elsewhere. America respects everyone, but it won’t promote values that are inconsistent with what this president stands for.”

Daniel Foote, Zambia
US Ambassador Daniel Foote spoke out against Zambia’s criminalisation of homosexuality (Twitter/@swahilitimes)

Perkins noted calls from anti-LGBT+ evangelical activists “for the White House to stop using the State Department to impose their LGBT agenda on other countries”.

Trump adviser has a long anti-LGBT+ record.

In addition to serving as US religious freedom ambassador and a Trump faith adviser, Perkins is head of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT+ lobbying group.

A frequent associate of Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence, Perkins is alleged to have had input in a White House policy document that made the case for banning transgender people from the military.

His close ties with the Republican administration comes despite making 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 realise we are in such terrible danger.”

Perkins has also compared gay people 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.”

More: Donald Trump, religious freedom, Tony Perkins, Zambia

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