Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Obama Prioritizes Gay Rights, NOT Religious Freedom

The Obama administration has announced a comprehensive policy tying U.S. foreign aid to the recipient country's promotion of homosexuality, whereas the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), created in 1998 to counter global religious persecution, has been orphaned since Obama's inauguration, and is currently on borrowed time.

For background, read International Religious Freedom not on Obama Radar and also read Obama Pushes U.N. to Back Gay Agenda as well as Obama Administration Advances Gay Agenda at U.N.

UPDATE 7/9/14: Obama Ignores Law for International Religious Freedom Ambassador

UPDATE 6/25/14: Vice President Biden Says 'Gay Rights' Trump Religious Beliefs

UPDATE 12/7/11: Hillary Clinton says religious beliefs are standing in the way of the Gay Agenda

For more background, read Hillary Fights AIDS, Embraces Homosexuality

-- From "Obama: U.S. to consider treatment of gays in foreign aid" by David Jackson, USA TODAY 12/6/11

"I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world," Obama said in a memorandum. "Whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation."

Obama also said, "I am directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Obama: U.S. to Weigh Treatment of Gays in Foreign Aid" by Margaret Talev, Bloomberg 12/6/11

“The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights,” Obama wrote in the memorandum.

The memorandum directs all agencies engaged abroad to improve refugee and asylum protections for gay, bisexual and transgender people. It also calls for strengthening U.S. efforts to oppose foreign governments criminalizing homosexuality, bisexuality or transgender behavior.

U.S. foreign aid programs will increase government and civil society engagement to promote gay rights, the memorandum says. The State Department will lead an interagency group tracking U.S. responses to “serious incidents that threaten the human rights of LGBT persons abroad.” Agencies are to report on their progress in six months, and then on an annual basis.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Dick Durbin May Block Religious Freedom Commission’s Renewal . . ." by Faith J. H. McDonnell, Big Government 12/5/11

. . . if Congress does not reauthorize its funding soon, USCIRF will cease to exist at a time when it is needed more than ever. Reauthorization legislation passed overwhelmingly in the House and was set to pass by unanimous consent in the Senate when a single senator anonymously called it back for undisclosed reasons. It would seem that one man, Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, could cause the dissolution of the valuable religious freedom commission.

I was part of a coalition of religious and human rights organizations that worked to see the passage of IRFA in spite of the hostile climate caused by the secular myopia of U.S. foreign policy elites. One colleague in this battle, the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom director, Nina Shea, observed “Human rights has often been described in American foreign policy as the island off the mainland of foreign policy. I look at religious freedom as the drowning man in the life raft off the island, off the mainland.”

Once again, the drowning man is in danger of being pushed off his life raft. The commission would have shut down on November 18 if not for a spending bill passed by both Houses on November 17 granting it a four-week reprieve. Concerned citizens have until December 16 to stop the demise of USCIRF.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

From "Repression in Burma noted by USCIRF members" by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press 12/2/11

Two members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the eve of her visit to Burma
to call on the Burmese government to implement basic reforms to protect religious freedom and other human rights.

Writing in an op-ed that appeared Nov. 30 in the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, USCIRF commissioners Richard Land and Azizah Y. al-Hibri acknowledged "some positive steps" by Burma's new civilian government but said conditions for religious adherents had not improved "by any measurable degree."

Burma, now officially named Myanmar, has had one of the world's worst records on human rights for decades. The military regime that has ruled the country for nearly 50 years "has repressed democracy, denied ethnic and cultural rights, displaced hundreds of thousands, and used rape, torture, forced labor, conscription of child soldiers and extrajudicial killings to 'pacify' its people," Land and al-Hibri wrote in their op-ed. Land is president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 12/15/11: Senate re-authorizes freedom commission

UPDATE 12/7/11: Religious Freedom Commission Prepares to Shut Its Doors

From "Clinton: Gay rights equal to women's rights" by Anne Gearan, Associated Press National Security Writer 12/6/11

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is telling other diplomats that cultural practices or religious tradition are no excuse for discriminating, or worse, against gay people.

Making an unusually strong statement in defense of gay rights, Clinton says they are equal to women's rights and racial equality and should be universal human rights. She criticized nations that criminalize gay behavior or tolerate abuse of gay, bisexual or transgendered people, though she did not identify those nations by name.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

It's all about this: 'Gay Rights' Winning, Loss of Religious Liberty Documented - Washington Post writer demonstrates it's a "zero sum" game: Winning homosexual 'rights' means Christians must lose freedom of religion.