Mike Pompeo's new 'human rights commission' is designed to take rights away


The Commission on Unalienable Rights is nothing but a front for Pompeo's anti-LGBTQ views.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the formation of a new human rights commission — the Commission on Unalienable Rights. Behind that high-flying name, though, is pure anti-LGBTQ bigotry.

According to Pompeo, the commission "will be one of the most profound re-examinations of inalienable rights in the world since the 1948 Universal Declaration." He also said it would be based on "natural law."

"Natural law" sounds relatively harmless, but it's a coded way of pushing hyper-conservative religious views. It frames rights as being endowed to humans by God and based in religious texts. It holds certain ideals that conservatives tend to like, such as free speech, to be human rights, while reducing things conservatives don't like, such as providing education and health care, to mere "social goods." It's also an idea used to justify anti-LGBTQ bigotry.

And as LGBTQ Nation reports, every member of Pompeo's commission is an anti-LGBTQ activist.

The chair, Mary Ann Glendon, is anti-choice, anti-trans, and thinks marriage equality is a "radical social experiment" that is harmful to children and is a "bid for special preferences." She also framed the Catholic Church's rampant problem with pedophilia as "a tiny minority of Catholic priests succumb[ing] to the general sexual bacchanalia" of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Another member, Jacqueline Rivers, said that marriage equality activists undermined civil rights activism. Peter Berkowitz thinks that sodomy should still be a crime and criticized the Supreme Court for overturning those laws.

Robert George, who didn't ultimately make it onto the commission but who was instrumental in creating it, opposes marriage equality and doesn't think the law should treat non-marital relationships the same as marriages.

As the New Yorker points out, the hypocrisy here is stunning. Pompeo works for a man who worships notorious human rights abusers. In Russia, 26 journalists have been murdered since Vladimir Putin took office. Trump also loves Mohammed bin Salman, who had a journalist murdered and dismembered, and repeatedly praises dictators like Kim Jong Un.

Rather than addressing — or even acknowledging — those actual human rights abuses, Pompeo's commission is instead likely to focus on what Pompeo calls "God-authored" rights. And that's code for taking rights away from women and from LGBTQ people, while amplifying conservative religious voices like Glendon's.

Trump's administration has been anti-LGBTQ at every turn. This is just the latest incarnation.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.