GLAAD Issues New Report on Anti-LGBTQ Activists Leading State Department’s New “Commission on Unalienable Rights”

GLAAD CEO: “This ‘Commission’ is a farce and further illustrates the bold-faced anti-LGBTQ agenda of this administration…”

“Commission of Unalienable Rights” is the 117th attack against LGBTQ Americans since start of the Trump Administration

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today released a new report highlighting the records of the anti-LGBTQ activists appointed to serve on the U.S. State Department’s new “Commission on Unalienable Rights.” According to reports, the “Commission” will provide the federal government “an informed review of the role of human rights in American foreign policy” – putting LGBTQ acceptance at risk on a global scale.

“This ‘Commission’ is a farce and further illustrates the bold-faced anti-LGBTQ agenda of this administration,”said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD.  ”The Trump Administration is knowingly appointing activists who have made careers out of fighting against LGBTQ progress and is now providing them an opportunity to export their anti-LGBTQ activism around the world through the U.S. State Department.”

GLAAD’s new report dug into the records of the ten members appointed to serve on the State Department’s Commission and found troubling, anti-LGBTQ history in seven of its members. The Commission includes members like Mary Ann Glendon, a longtime anti-LGBTQ activist who claimed marriage equality was a “radical social experiment,” and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, who claimed marriage equality was “one of the signs of the End Times.” The launch of the “Commission on Unalienable Rights” now marks the 117th attack against the LGBTQ community by the Trump Administration since the start of 2017.

GLAAD REPORT: Anti-LGBTQ Members of the State Department’s New “Commission on Unalienable Rights”

Peter Berkowitz
— Criticized the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling overturning sodomy laws as “dangerous,” writing that “Justice Kennedy's majority opinion seemed to follow the logic of his moral and political judgments rather than the logic of the law.”

Mary Ann Glendon (Chair)
— Has written extensively on her view that marriage equality is a “radical social experiment” that harms children. She alsorecently wrote a blurb for a viciously anti-trans book, calling the book—which culminates in a plan of action that calls for the complete erasure of trans people —“eminently readable and insightful.” 

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson
— Lectured that his belief is for Muslims to repress being gay, and (at 3:23) that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are prophesized as “one of the signs of the End Times.”

Jacqueline Rivers
— Delivered a speech at the Vatican, insisting that LGBTQ activists were “abolishing in law the principle of marriage as a conjugal union and reducing it to nothing other than sexual or romantic partnerships or domestic companionship.” She went on insist that LGBTQ activists have “unjustly appropriated” civil rights language.

Meir Soloveichik
— Called the notion of gay people’s marriages “nonsensical” (see page 71); he went on to suggest that arguments favoring bestiality will follow same-sex marriage (page 72); Also, blurbed an anti-LGBTQ book written by the National Organization For Marriage’s cofounder. 

Christopher Tollefsen
— Wrote an anti-trans essay that culminated in the opinion that “...attempts to change one’s biological sex all fail. That is an undefeatable reason against trying to do so.” In a follow up, he further argued that “ is a mark of a heartless culture that it encourages such confusion even to the point of encouraging bodily mutilation as a solution to gender dysphoria and prohibiting therapy that might be psychologically and spiritually beneficial.”

F. Cartwright Weiland (Rapporteur)
— Served as policy analyst for the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute, an anti-LGBTQ think thank that advised the Texas legislature and Governor’s office; also served as speechwriter to anti-LGBTQ US Senator John Cornyn.

LGBTQ acceptance has been threatened by President Trump and his administration since the start of 2017. Not only has President Trump banned transgender Americans from serving in the nation’s armed forces, but his administration has also opposed the Equality Act, a bill which would provide across-the-board protections for LGBTQ Americans at home, at work, and in their communities. A full list of the Trump Administration’s anti-LGBTQ actions can be found by going to GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project.