December 16, 2016 at 5:36 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Tony Perkins to Trump: Remove ‘activists’ from State Department

Tony Perkins, gay news, Washington Blade

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins this week urged President-elect Trump to remove State Department officials who support the promotion of LGBT rights abroad.

Perkins in his letter to supporters accused President Obama of sending openly gay ambassadors “into countries that are culturally opposed to homosexuality.”

He incorrectly claimed in his letter that the current White House used foreign aid to “force nations opposed to homosexuality to change their laws to provide special protections for such behavior.” Perkins further proclaimed U.S. embassies around the world have flown the rainbow flag during the Obama administration.

Vietnam, gay news, Washington Blade

The rainbow flag flew over U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius’ official residence in Hanoi after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex couples can marry in all 50 states. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Bond)

Perkins also said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “promoted abortion” and declared “reproductive healthcare a basic human rights.”

His letter linked to two speeches that Clinton gave in 2009 at a Planned Parenthood gala in Houston and at the State Department in 2010.

Both speeches contain references to “reproductive healthcare,” “reproductive health” and “reproductive rights” for women. The only time Clinton specifically mentioned abortion is when she said in her Planned Parenthood speech that “the best way to make sure we reduce abortion is to provide access to safe family planning.”

“The incoming administration needs to make clear that these liberal policies will be reversed and the ‘activists’ within the State Department promoting them will be ferreted out and will be replaced by conservatives who will ensure the State Department focuses on true international human rights like religious liberty which is under unprecedented assault,” wrote Perkins.

Obama in 2011 directed agencies that implement U.S. foreign policy to promote LGBT rights abroad.

The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development manage the Global Equality Fund, a public-private partnership that seeks to promote LGBT rights abroad. Randy Berry in 2015 became the first special U.S. envoy for LGBT and intersex rights.

“To carry out this extreme agenda, the Obama administration has systematically filled the ranks of State with LGBTQ and abortion activists,” wrote Perkins. “Unless the next secretary of state is willing to resist and remove this embedded agenda, the promotion and protection of true human rights, like religious liberty, will continue to languish.”

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) last month asked Secretary of State John Kerry to formally apologize to the State Department employees who were fired during the so-called “lavender scare” in the 1950s and 1960s.

Perkins letter ‘beyond the pale’

Trump on Tuesday formally announced ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s nomination as secretary of state.

Perkins wrote that he doesn’t “see Tillerson cut from the same cloth as Clinton or Kerry.” He said he nevertheless has “concerns” about Tillerson’s nomination that stem from the fact he was a member of the Boy Scouts of America’s executive board when it voted to allow openly gay scouts into the organization in 2013.

“He must have the courage to stop the promotion of this anti-family, anti-life agenda, which is very much a question mark given that he capitulated to activists pushing to liberalize the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexuality when he was at the helm of the organization,” wrote Perkins.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin in a sharply-worded press release said Perkins’ “proposal to ‘purge’ pro-LGBTQ employees from the State Department is beyond the pale.”

“Perkins is hatefully suggesting pro-equality, career civil servants be rounded up and sent packing for doing their jobs,” said Griffin. “The incoming administration should immediately denounce Perkins’ illegal and vindictive proposal.”

“The State Department plays a crucially important role in America’s efforts to advance LGBTQ human rights around the globe,” he added. “In countries with hostile anti-LGBTQ regimes — like Russia, Syria and Egypt — lives are literally at risk. Countless LGBTQ people depend on the State Department’s efforts, and we cannot and must not leave them behind.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the Family Research Council as a hate group.

Perkins is among the prominent social conservatives who endorsed Trump.

Jason Miller, a spokesperson for the Trump transition team, told the Washington Blade in a statement that “President-elect Trump campaigned on a message of unity in order to bring all Americans together.”

“To think that discrimination of any kind will be condoned or tolerated in a Trump Administration is simply absurd,” said Miller.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • lnm3921

    Given that Trump gave Tony Perkins money when his home flooded in Louisiana, and they likely have each others personal phone numbers, who do you think Trump will listen to?

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. Expect a full vicious assault next year! Time to March on Washington! Start to organize now as you can see that FRC doesn’t waste anytime in pushing their anti-LBGT agenda!

    Chad Griffin likely wont’ ever be invited to the White House and will likely get a huge snub! Perkins though will likely be heavily involved in pushing public policy and legislation that is harmful to our community! Get over your shock quickly and don’t let it paralyze you!

    • climate3

      March to do what? Marching has to be the beginning of it. Organize the communities, get a diversity of folks to speak out, and above all vote and encourage others to vote

      • lnm3921

        Do you know your history at all? March again on Washington to show our solidarity, our resolve not to let our progress be turned back and our numbers. We need to aim to bring 1 Million GLBT and their allies to town. We need to show we’re many. We need to be visible, loud and proud! Coming together in large numbers is also uplifting for the community! This is no time to feel isolated or on your own!

        By showing a large presence we show we are a force to reckon with that won’t just stand by and let our enemies impose legislation, policies and judges that will do us harm!!!

        • climate3

          I’m aware of history. All I am saying is that we should be prepared to do something to reshape things after the march is over. Marching alone isn’t going to get us where we need to be. That’s why I suggested the other stuff. They know who we are. But are they fully aware of how we can harness our power? Are WE fully aware?

          • lnm3921

            Obviously. I never said we couldn’t walk and chew gum, too.

            It’s not just one loud bubble gum pop!

  • Leslie Gray

    Oh yes, by all means support religious freedom over eve other civil right. Seriously, how else are conservatives going to have a boogie man to help then scare their gullible under educated followers into forking over money, power and unchallenged authority to hate mongering bigots like perky?

  • John Dawson

    The Holy Spirit of the Living God is going to shut down every remnant of wickedness Obama has sanctioned in the Name of Jesus!!

    Galatians 6:7-8 (AMPC)
    7 Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked [a]by
    mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.)
    [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever
    a man sows, that and [b]that only is what he will reap. 8 For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life

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