Metro Weekly

Anti-gay activist wants Trump’s human rights commission to reverse LGBTQ rights globally

Brian Brown wants the Commission on Unalienable Rights to promote the "natural family"

Brian Brown — Photo: Elekes Andor

Anti-LGBTQ activist Brian Brown believes that the Trump administration’s new Commission on Unalienable Rights offers an opportunity to reverse LGBTQ equality.

The commission was unveiled earlier this month by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and will purportedly examine the role of human rights in America’s foreign policy.

However, critics have argued that the commission could be used to roll back LGBTQ equality, particularly given it is staffed and led by noted anti-LGBTQ figures.

And that view seems to be shared by Brown, who is no stranger to opposing LGBTQ rights.

Brown is co-founder and president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-LGBTQ organization founded in 2007 that worked (unsuccessfully) to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The group has also fought against transgender students and in 2013 Brown spoke in Russia about the need to ban LGBTQ people from adopting.

Brown is also president of the World Congress of Families, a Christian organization that opposes same-sex marriage and promotes a society built on “the voluntary union of a man and a woman in a lifelong covenant of marriage.”

The group was placed on Southern Poverty law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups for opposing LGBTQ rights internationally and helping Russia pass its ban on “gay propaganda,” which has led to an increase in anti-LGBTQ animus in the country.

As such, it comes as no surprise that Brown supports the theory that the Commission on Unalienable Rights could roll back LGBTQ rights.

In a message to his followers, Brown said that Trump’s new commission had created “an extraordinary opening to push for clear and consistent recognition of the natural family.”

Brown argued that the commission “gives us a forum to challenge American foreign policy that has in the past advanced the extreme agenda of the left that has been cloaked in the language of so-called human rights.”

Natural family is a term often used by anti-LGBTQ organizations to mean families with two parents of the opposite sex.

It echoes language used in the creation of the commission, which Right Wing Watch reports will bring a “natural law” lens to its examination of human rights.

Speaking to CNN after the commission was announced, Jeremy Kadden, senior international policy advocate for the Human Rights Campaign, told CNN that the “whole thing has been characterized by unusual language.”

“This is an attempt to pull back a U.S. human rights vision that we’ve had for decades and create this new vision that uses these new terms like ‘unalienable rights’ or ‘natural rights’ or ‘natural law,’” Kadden said. “These are all things that have been used by extremist people on the far right, to create a gap between what they consider unalienable rights and alienable rights.”

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

Leave a Comment: