The Trump White House will not pressure African countries to repeal anti-LGBTQ laws, according to Mick Mulvaney.
Mulvaney, a former Republican congressman and current Director of the Office of Management and Budget as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, made the statement while speaking at the State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, DC.
Mulvaney said that the Obama administration had gone too far in trying to promote equal rights, such as President Barack Obama saying he would put an emphasis on the importance of LGBTQ rights in a visit to Kenya in 2015. Kenya currently punishes homosexuality with up to 14 years in prison.
“Our US taxpayer dollars [were] used to discourage Christian values in other democratic countries, he said. “It was stunning to me that my government under the previous administration would go to folks in sub-Saharan Africa and say, ‘We know that you have a law against abortion, but if you enforce that law, you’re not going to get any of our money. We know you have a law against gay marriage, but if you enforce that law, we’re not going to give you any money.’
He added: “That’s a different type of religious persecution. (…) That is a different type of religious persecution that I never expected to see. I never expected to see that as an American Christian, that we would be doing that to other folks. I am here to let you know there are many people in our government who care about [these issues.] There are a lot of people in this government who want to see things done differently. They want to do something.”
Mirroring many members of the Trump Administration, Mulvaney has opposed LGBTQ rights multiple times, scoring him zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard.
He was also a co-sponsor on the First Amendment Defense Act, which would have permitted religiously motivated LGBTQ discrimination.