Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who wrote last month that he hoped “activists” in favor of reproductive rights and LGBT equality would be “ferreted out” of the State Department under the Trump administration, is praising the Trump transition team’s recent demand for information on State programs and positions involved in promoting “gender equality,” widely seen as a sign that those programs could be threatened in the new administration.
In his daily “Washington Update” email yesterday, Perkins griped that under President Obama, the State Department has operated “as a global base for abortion and sexual activism,” claiming that the department’s rights efforts have merely focused on “the elevation of people around the world based on sexual behavior.”
Perkins praised the Trump team’s memo as a way to combat this “culture of extremism” at State:
Lately, there have been some who have suggested that (after almost a decade of proving otherwise) the State Department has nothing to do with abortion and sexual politics. Tell that to our friends around the globe, who’ve spent the last eight years trying to dodge this administration’s biggest export: rainbow flags and abortion dollars. Under President Obama, this radical agenda has completely infiltrated the State Department — usually eclipsing the agency’s other vital functions, like defending religious liberty. Obviously, America has a sincere interest in stopping the unjust persecution or targeting of any human being. But what’s happened for the last eight years is not the simple defense of those who are mistreated — it’s the elevation of people around the world based on sexual behavior.
While some people are falling for the line that social issues are “irrelevant” to the work of the State Department, the Trump team isn’t buying it. They’re keenly aware of the culture of extremism at the agency — so much so that they’ve requested a detailed list of the ways the office has tried to promote “gender equality.” Late last month, the New York Times reported on the Trump memo, which asked the department to provide, among other things, details on the positions “‘whose primary functions are to promote such issues’ — as well as how much funding was directed to gender-related programs in 2016.”