Senate confirms unqualified candidate for Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom with their approval of Sam Brownback


Brownback is an avid proponent of religious exemptions who has displayed a fundamental misunderstanding of religious freedom

NEW YORK - GLAAD – the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, released the following statement in response to the Senate confirming Gov. Sam Brownback to become Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

“There is a vast difference between combating the real and horrific persecution facing religious minorities across the globe and Brownback’s own record of distorting religious freedom to promote anti-LGBTQ discrimination," said Sarah Kate Ellis President and CEO of GLAAD. "Brownback now joins the ranks of an administration fully committed to promoting religious exemptions as a weapon of discrimination against LGBTQ people and other vulnerable communities.”

During his time as governor of Kansas, Brownback signed into law legislation that forced universities to fund student organizations that openly discriminate and block membership to LGBTQ students under the guise of “religious freedom.” With his new position, Brownback’s distortion of religious freedom threatens LGBTQ people both at home and abroad.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Gov. Sam Brownback’s Anti-LGBTQ Record

  • Original cosponsor of a proposed federal marriage amendment, Brownback called marriage equality "radical social experimentation" and "a grave threat to our central social institution."
  • Claimed marriage equality is "harmful to the future of the Republic."
  • Rescinded an executive order stating Kansas state workers could not face discrimination, harassment, or job termination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Voted against LGBTQ hate crimes legislationstating: "This is something we have got to fight against, that somehow that the thought is what the crime is, and that being moved into an agenda not allowing people to speak their beliefs about homosexuality."
  • Temporarily blocked the confirmation of a federal judge solely because she attended the commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple.
  • Rejected President Obama's federal guidance on transgender students using facilities that match their gender identity.
  • Signed a so-called "religious freedom" law allowing college campus groups to exclude members based on religious beliefs without losing public funds.
  • Said about marriage equality: "When you do these vast, social experiments--and that's what this is, when you redefine marriage--they're not done in isolation. They impact the rest of the culture around you. When you take the sacredness out of marriage, you will drive the marriage rates down."
  • Claimed the military's discriminatory Don't Ask Don't Tell ban was "good policy" and "the right thing for us to do in the military.