Archive for May, 2018

Alliances for Solidarity: The Theme for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) 2018

IDAHOT May 17 2015May 17, 2018

The global theme for this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) is “alliances for solidarity.” With that in mind, the Council for Global Equality wishes to reiterate our deep concerns about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s anti-Muslim, anti-women and girls, and anti-LGBTI record. These are fundamentally out of sync with American values that have traditionally guided U.S. foreign policy.

In solidarity with Muslim American organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Arab American Institute and many other concerned groups including the ACLU and the Anti-Defamation League, the Council is alarmed specifically about Secretary Pompeo’s disturbing record of anti-Muslim views and associations. These positions are flatly incompatible with our country’s multiethnic and multicultural basis. They also have an immediate and negative bearing on America’s traditionally unqualified support for human rights and religious freedom. Further, Pompeo has associated himself closely with organizations, leaders and media outlets that hold extremist views, including bias against LGBT and Muslim individuals. These views are far from the mainstream of America and do not represent American values. We consider this extremely dangerous for U.S. foreign policy and our country’s position as a world leader.

In solidarity with women’s rights organizations such as the International Women’s Health Coalition, Center for Health and Gender Equity, Planned Parenthood, and the National Organization for Women, the Council is alarmed about Pompeo’s clear rejection of reproductive choice, and has supported both “Mexico City” restrictions on health care funding and legislation that would eliminate funding for the UN Population Fund. These stances coincide with the Administration’s marginalization otherwise of women, and its erasure of sexual and reproductive health and rights information from the State Department’s annual human rights report. How can Mr. Pompeo’s stances on these issues not impact his leadership on gender issues that permeate Department policies and programming?

In solidarity with mainstream human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the Council is worried that Pompeo’s public comments and voting record have shown little attachment to human rights – an immediate disqualifier for those of us who believe our country’s reputation and impact are strongest when we stand without question for the fair and decent treatment of all people. Pompeo, together with CIA Secretary-Designate Gina Haspel have supported torture as a legitimate tool in the fight against terrorism. Torture clearly does not comport with America’s democratic ideals.

As an LGBTI organization, we have taken particular notice that Pompeo consistently has debased LGBTI people – as recently as at his confirmation hearing. In those circumstances, can he clearly and fully advocate for the continued integration of LGBTI human rights into our human rights policy?

In answers to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged that he will “…ensure that human rights, democracy, and the equal treatment of all persons will remain fundamental to U.S. foreign policy.” We call on him to do just that. The circumstances of LGBTI people around the world requires the United States to remain firmly on the right side of history and hold countries accountable for the grave human rights abuses catalogued, once again, in the State Department’s annual Human Rights Reports released last month

On this May 17th International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and in solidarity with our allies in the Muslim-American, women, and human rights communities, we call on Secretary Pompeo to set aside his anti-Muslim, anti-women, and anti-LGBTI prejudices and commit to the values of equality and freedom for all people in his new role as America’s chief diplomat.

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