President Obama's memorandum on use of U.S. foreign policy to advance LGBT equality prompted Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry to say in a statement, "Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America's interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers' money."
In the statement, Perry said, "Just when you thought Barack Obama couldn't get any more out of touch with America's values, AP reports his administration wants to make foreign aid decisions based on gay rights. This administration's war on traditional American values must stop."
He went on to say, "But there is a troubling trend here beyond the national security nonsense inherent in this silly idea. This is just the most recent example of an administration at war with people of faith in this country. Investing tax dollars promoting a lifestyle many Americas of faith find so deeply objectionable is wrong. President Obama has again mistaken America's tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles. I will not make that mistake."
Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper pushed back, saying in a statement, "With all due respect, Governor Perry is wrong. Speaking out for the basic human rights of LGBT people to life and liberty is anything but 'at war with American values.'"
Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said in a statement, "Rick Perry has made no secret of his dislike for LGBT Americans -- but his most recent remarks are outrageous even by his own standards. It is bewildering that someone who wants to be President of the United States wouldn't want to see our nation be a global leader in universal human rights. This is further proof that Rick Perry doesn't want to represent the best interests of all Americans -- he wants to advance an extremist, anti-gay agenda that represents the fringe views of a very small few."
Cooper also compared Perry's view with another Texan, former President George W. Bush, stating, "Throughout his administration, President George W. Bush was strongly committed to supporting and protecting dissident and minority voices abroad. Our nation can be proud of its long, bipartisan legacy of promoting freedom for all. Around the globe today, gay and lesbian people are often subject to 'corrective' rape, state-sponsored torture, imprisonment and execution. Combatting these injustices is not advocating for any kind of 'special rights,' and it is shameful for Governor Perry to suggest that American people of faith do not support protecting vulnerable populations from brutality."