06/18/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/18/2019 20:56
WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives today adopted an amendment offered by U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) that will block funding for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's proposed 'Commission on Unalienable Rights,' which multiple observers have derided as a Trojan horse for the implementation of discriminatory and homophobic policy in foreign affairs. That claim was recently bolstered by an ABC News report that Princeton University Professor Robert George, a leading opponent of marriage equality and reproductive freedom, played a key role in the creation of the Commission.
'The Trump administration needs to stop trying to turn back the clock to a time when American foreign policy didn't include the promotion of women's rights, LGBTI rights, and the rights of religious minorities,' said Cicilline. 'Many people are asking what Secretary Pompeo is up to here. I share these concerns, and I'm glad that the House voted today to block funding for his efforts.'
According to a notice placed in the Federal Register, the Commission on Unalienable Rights will 'provide fresh thinking about human rights discourse where such discourse has departed from our nation's founding principles of natural law and natural rights.'
As Carol Giacomo of the New York Times editorial board points out, 'One concern is the reference to 'natural law,' which is held to be more powerful than the laws people write, and can suggest a narrower, religious sensibility. When the term natural law has been thrown about, it's often been by people concerned with what they think is unnatural - homosexuality, transgender rights, reproductive choice and sexual equality.'
Cicilline's amendment is co-sponsored by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (NY-16), Congressman Bill Keating (MA-09), and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (MN-05).