Today, HRC responded to the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of anti-LGBTQ Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo:
“Mike Pompeo’s long-standing opposition to LGBTQ equality and lack of diplomatic experience makes him a poor choice to lead our nation’s diplomatic efforts,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The State Department has a crucial role to play in advancing human rights — a role which was already significantly eroding under Rex Tillerson. Now that he has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate, LGBTQ people around the world will need him to stand up for LGBTQ human rights."
Over the last year, attacks on LGBTQ people around the globe have been particularly acute, with an anti-LGBTQ “purge” in Chechnya, which included reports of torture and even extrajudicial killings, as well as massive arrests in Egypt, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, and elsewhere. The State Department had historically played a leadership role in combating human rights abuses, but former Secretary Tillerson remained shamefully silent on LGBTQ human rights throughout his tenure, addressing none of these human rights violations publicly, and refusing to appoint a Special Envoy for LGBTI Human Rights.
For his part, Pompeo's attacks on LGBTQ equality are long and well-documented: he opposes marriage equality, and, as a member of Congress, co-sponsored legislation to allow states to not recognize same-sex marriage and to allow businesses and organizations using taxpayer dollars a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Equally as troubling, his political career has been funded by anti-LGBTQ hate groups, including the Family Research Council.