Longtime gay-rights opponent Tony Perkins named to U.S. religious freedom panel

May 22, 2018

by Julie Moreau

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appointed Family Research Council President Tony Perkins — a longtime opponent of LGBTQ rights — to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

“From my post at USCIRF, I look forward to doing all that I can to ensure that our government is the single biggest defender of religious freedom internationally,” Perkins said in a statement released Tuesday. “It is my hope that through the work of USCIRF, the world will become one step closer to recognizing the vital role religious freedom and the defense of religious minorities play in peace, security and human flourishing.”

USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan commission created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA) that is “dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.” Its nine volunteer members — three chosen by the president, two by the president’s party and four by the opposing party — serve renewable one- or two-year terms.

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2 comments on “Longtime gay-rights opponent Tony Perkins named to U.S. religious freedom panel

  • I see that a US judge has supported transgender rights in the face of Trumpoid bigots! :


    A US judge has ruled that federal law protects a transgender student’s right to use the bathroom corresponding to his gender identity.

    In the latest legal twist to a long-running case, a Virginia court rejected Gloucester County school board’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Gavin Grimm, a student who has since graduated.

    Mr Grimm sued after his school barred him from using the men’s bathroom.

    He said he felt an “incredible sense of relief” after the ruling.

    “After fighting this policy since I was 15 years old, I finally have a court decision saying that what the Gloucester County School Board did to me was wrong and it was against the law,” he said.

    Mr Grimm’s case has been the most prominent in the debate over which bathroom transgender people should be permitted to use, a debate that has come to the forefront of LGBT rights over the past few years.

    This decision does not completely end his case, but the judge on Tuesday ordered the school board to arrange a settlement conference within 30 days.

    “The district court’s ruling vindicates what Gavin has been saying from the beginning,” said Joshua Block, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.

    US district judge Arenda Wright Allen’s ruling said the school’s argument was “resoundingly unpersuasive”, and she refused to throw out Mr Grimm’s claim as the school had requested.

    Mr Grimm sued Gloucester High School in July 2015, saying its policy of making him use a separate unisex bathroom violated the following:

    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,
    which bars discrimination in education on the basis of sex
    Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution,
    which rules no state can deny "equal protection of its laws" to any of its people.

    The school had initially allowed him to use the men’s bathroom after he explained he had transitioned to male.

    But several adults complained about the the move, and the school’s principal said he would from then on have to use newly installed single-person bathrooms.

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