Category

Religious Liberty

A Call to Prayer for CWA Members: International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2018

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On November 4, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, Concerned Women for America (CWA) will join thousands of Christians all over the world in praying for those who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. Will you join and pray with us? As Americans, God has blessed us with a country abounding in prosperity and founded on freedom of religion, belief, and conscience — all of which we enjoy and continue to fiercely defend. But, in our busy and full lives, sometimes we forget that our sisters and brothers in Christ around the world are being persecuted for the same beliefs and endure political, economic, or social discrimination, beating, imprisonment, and even tortuous death.

According to a Pew Research Center report in 2015, Christians are “harassed”in more countries than any other religious groups in the world; Christians are harassed in a total of 128 countries, a number which increased from 108 in 2014. Harassment includes both social hostilities and government restrictions and takes many different forms, such as verbal or “physical assaults, arrests and detentions, desecration of holy sites, and discrimination … in employment, education and housing.”

A pertinent example of growing harassment against Christians is in the People’s Republic of China. This week we learnedthat the Chinese government, in its escalating campaign to “Sinicize” religion and solidify loyalty to the Communist Party, has closed and raided churches in Beijing and several other provenances, burned Bibles, destroyed crosses, and forced Christians to sign statements renouncing their faith. Freedom House reportsthat since 2012, when Xi Jinping took over the Chinese Communist Party, religious persecution for all religion in China intensified. China’s 72 to 102 million Catholics and Protestants experience moderate to high levels of persecution, and protestants, who make up 60-70 million of China’s Christians, have in particular experienced a rise in government campaigns to remove their Christian crosses, demolish their churches, and punish their leaders and the human rights lawyers who defend them.

According to the U.S. Department of State, China has been designated as a Country of Particular Concern since 1999 under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for either “engaging in or tolerating particularly severe violations of religious freedom.” As Secretary of State Pompeo commentedin the International Religious Freedom Report of 2017 about the state of religious freedom in China: “In China, the government tortures, detains, and imprisons thousands for practicing their religious beliefs.”

Like in China, all around the world the news reports and pictures of persecuted Christians can be overwhelming. Truly, it can be hard to understand what we can do individually, but this is why our prayers for the protection and freedom of our brothers and sisters are so important. Will you commit to prayer with us?

Throughout September and October, in anticipation of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on November 4, CWA will send you updates on persecuted Christians around the world. We will also offer weekly prayer suggestions that you, and your Bible study, prayer group, or church may use to join with us in prayer.  At the end of October, CWA will sponsor an event at Capitol Hill dedicated solely to praying for our Christian brothers and sisters.  We hope that you and your communities will join with us in agreement and “pray without ceasing.”

 

Dr. Shea Garrison, Vice President, International Affairs, Concerned Women for America

 

How to Protect International Religious Freedom from the Politicization of Human Rights

By | National Sovereignty, Religious Issues, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Join CWA for a panel event co-sponsored by The Heritage Foundation on “How to Protect International Religious freedom from the Politicization of Human Rights”. This event is a side event for Secretary of State Pompeo’s Ministerial for Advancing Religious Freedom held at the U.S. Department of State July 24-26th 2018.

Panelists will discuss how our “natural” or fundamental human rights, such as religious freedom, protect the fairness of the political process by ensuring that individuals are free to think, speak, and act according to their convictions. Increasingly the human rights of individuals are being conflated with the social and economic policy priorities of particular groups and governments.  This undercuts the moral legitimacy and persuasive power of our natural rights, including our freedom to live according to our religious convictions.

Conservative Women Rally to Support Judge Kavanaugh

By | Blog, Kennedy, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

This week many Americans were glued to our TV’s waiting to see who President Trump had chosen to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.  For many of us, it was our first opportunity to hear directly from the man whose young daughter’s basketball team calls “Coach K.” He did not disappoint.

Judge Kavanaugh, who currently sits on the D.C. Circuit – considered the “Second Highest Court in the Land” – shared with us his story which highlighted so many values we, as Americans, hold dear, including family, faith, and hard work.

As the Senate begins the process to “advise and consent” the president’s nominee, it’s important to take a measure of the man in judging his fitness for office.

Here are some glimpses into his influences and his character:

Judge Kavanaugh in his speech last week gave thanks and praise to both of his parents who each attended law school, his father working full-time while putting himself through law school at night. But it was Kavanaugh’s mother to whom he paid a special tribute, Maryland Circuit Court Judge Martha Kavanaugh. “My introduction to law came at our dinner table,” he said. Kavanaugh called his mother a trailblazer for women in the legal profession. She pushed through barriers and overcame obstacles as one of the few female prosecutors at the time to become a trial judge. As he accepted President Trump’s nomination, Judge Kavanaugh credited his mother and her legacy. “The president introduced me tonight as Judge Kavanaugh, but to me that title will always belong to my mom.”

Judge Kavanaugh devotes time and energy to his family and his faith. He is involved in his church and spends his time serving meals with Catholic charities and tutoring. He is a leader in his field.

Throughout his tenure as a judge, Kavanaugh has worked to diversify the legal field through the people he chose to work for him. Rebecca Tailbelson, a former Kavanaugh Clerk, not only spoke about Kavanaugh as a judge but also to the quality of his character as a boss and advocate.

“Judge Kavanaugh has had a really outsized role in helping to diversify this little sliver of the legal profession, and he’s done so by hiring predominantly female – I think a majority of his law clerks have been women which is sort of unheard of at this level. And then after he hires us, he goes to bat for us in every way. It’s impossible to get that Supreme Court clerkship if you don’t have an appeals court judge like Brett Kavanaugh going to bat for you. He goes to bat for us, and then he goes to bat for us for every job after that.”

From the respect with which he honors his mother, to his devotion to raising strong daughters, and his work diversifying the legal field, Judge Kavanaugh has shown through action, not just words, his choice to esteem women.

There are just nine individuals who safeguard our Constitution, the document that has protected our God-given rights for 231 years. There could not be a more qualified candidate to sit on this esteemed bench at this time.

Concerned Women for America is honored to stand behind Judge Kavanaugh and support him during his confirmation. We have launched a $500,000 campaign called “Women for Kavanaugh.” We are devoting considerable resources to this effort and rallying our happy warriors across the nation to use their voices in support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. We were active in Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and plan to be equally active for Judge K, because we trust that he will be another great justice!

CWA stands with Judge Kavanaugh, because his life and his work exemplify what we want to ensure for this generation and generations to come. This is about our children, our grandchildren, and the future of the home that we love. #ConfirmJudgeK


Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by The Stream. Click here to read it there.

Conservative Women Celebrate Freedom as the U.S. Supreme Court Decides Masterpiece Cakeshop

By | Blog, News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Washington, D.C. – Minutes ago, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion (7-2) in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Penny Nance, President and CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization had this to say:

“The Court is right in recognizing that it ‘is the right of all persons to exercise fundamental freedoms under the First Amendment.’ All Americans, whatever their view of same-sex marriage, should celebrate the Court’s strong stance for religious freedom.

“Those who want to promote tolerance should celebrate most of all. This is what true tolerance looks like. It was sad to see some of them stand on the wrong side of this case, trying to exercise a new form of intolerance against people of faith.

“As Justice Kennedy said during oral arguments, ‘tolerance goes both ways.’

“We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for its strong stance for religious freedom with only two justices dissenting on this important decision. We know the work is not done. Religious liberty must be protected at every turn. But today we can celebrate this strong affirmation from the highest court in the land.”

 

Pompeo: Religious freedom is a Universal Human Right

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This week, newly appointed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made international religious freedom “a front burner” issue for the U.S. Department of State, declaring it a “universal human right” for which the United States will fight around the world. These statements came in conjunction with the unveiling of the State Department’s 2017 International Religious Freedom Report which Pompeo deemed critical to the U.S. mission to defend religious liberty and “a testament to the United States’ historic role in preserving and advocating for religious freedom” across the globe. Furthermore, he underlined religious freedom as a fundamental right which the Founders recognized, saying:

Religious freedom is in the American blood stream. It’s what brought the pilgrims here from England. Our founders understood it as our first freedom, that is why they articulated it so clearly in the first amendment. As James Madison wrote years before he was President or Secretary of State, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”  Religious freedom was vital to America’s beginning; defending it is critical to our future. Religious freedom is not only ours, it is a right belonging to every individual on the globe. President Trump stands with those who yearn for religious liberty; our vice president stands with them, and so do I.

The 2017 report documents religious freedom abuses and violations committed by “governments, terrorist groups, and individuals” in 200 countries and territories. For example, the report calls out North Korea for denying rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and estimates between 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners in North Korea who are jailed “in remote areas” and under “horrific conditions,” some for religious reasons.

Additionally, Secretary Pompeo announced that the U.S. will host the first-ever ministerial to advance religious freedom at the U.S. Department of State July 25-26. The event will affirm a shared commitment of advancing religious freedom as a universal human right and will include ministers from collaborative governments around the world, as well as representatives from international organizations, religious communities, and civil society. However, Pompeo declared that the upcoming event will be held not only to discuss important issues, but will be about “action,” and the identification of clear and effective ways to ensure religious freedom is respected for all people.

“Religious Freedom is indeed a universal human right that I will fight for” Pompeo declared, “The United States will not stand by as spectators. We will get in the ring and stand in solidarity with every individual who seeks to enjoy their most fundamental of human rights.” Concerned Women for America stands with Secretary Pompeo in the fight against religious persecution and for the right to religious liberty that we believe “is not a gift from the government, but a sacred right from Almighty God.”  Please join with CWA in prayer and support as we monitor religious persecution around the world and advocate for liberty, the fundamental right of all people.  

 

Dr. Shea Garrison, CWA Senior Advisor, Foreign Affairs

North Dakota, Please Respond Now! CIA Nominee Needs Our Prayers and Action!

By | North Dakota, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Gina Haspel is a strong, intelligent woman of integrity who has unquestionable qualifications to serve as our nation’s next Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director. She worked her way to the top in a male-dominated field, but she has risen based on her earned credentials and hard work. If confirmed, she would be the first woman to serve as CIA Director.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to vote on Haspel sometime next week, and they to hear from you!

Will you be a part of helping this nominee through a successful confirmation process?  It only takes a brief moment.

Please take action now!

  1. Call and email Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Ask her to vote to support Gina Haspel.  Be sure to tell her office that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of North Dakota.  Call (202) 224-2043 and email.
  2. Forward this message to family and friends.  Every contact is counted!
  3. Commit to praying for Gina Haspel and the senators.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, stated this in support of Haspel:

“Haspel is undeniably well-qualified for this crucial position. She has served in the CIA for over three decades and has shown a commitment to the rule of law and to the mission of the CIA. She previously served as Deputy Director under then-Director Pompeo and now serves as Acting Director. She has served in numerous senior-level positions, rising through the ranks of the CIA, proving her worth with each earned promotion and numerous awards and recognitions.

“Haspel requested a transfer to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center to join the fight against al Qaeda. Her first day was a day our nation must never forget, September 11, 2001, the day we were attacked on American soil and almost 3,000 lives were lost. All of our lives forever changed.

“Perhaps most tellingly, Haspel is widely supported by her peers in the intelligence community and from national security officials. For example, Leon Panetta, former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense during the Obama Administration, said ‘I’m glad it’s Gina because, frankly, she is someone who really knows the CIA inside out.’ It’s one thing to win awards; it is another thing entirely to earn the respect of your colleagues and superiors.

“As our nation faces numerous threats from abroad, the CIA remains a crucial element of our national security. Haspel’s career at the CIA has no doubt prepared her, but her own hard work, integrity, and expertise in the field of intelligence is what makes her the best candidate for this job.

“I urge all senators to put partisan bickering and theatrics aside, focus on what is best for our national security, and swiftly confirm Haspel to be our next CIA Director.”

Thank you ladies, for all YOU do to help bring good leaders, like Gina Haspel into places of influence!

“… that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love,” Ephesians 4:14-16.

White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative

By | LBB, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Penny Nance, CWA’s CEO & President, with United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback at the Rose Garden.

President Donald Trump has taken several steps to protect religious freedom within the Executive Branch during his time in office. On the National Day of Prayer, in his second year in office, he once again showed his commitment to people of faith by signing an executive order establishing the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

This is no small thing, though we have seen similar efforts in the past.  The attacks on religious freedom — and freedom of speech in general — are ongoing, and a proactive approach to protect these rights is desperately needed.

President Trump announced the initiative at a Rose Garden event attended by Concerned Women for America CEO and President Penny Nance, saying:

The faith initiative will help design new policies that recognize the vital role of faith in our families, our communities, and our great country.  This office will also help ensure that faith-based organizations have equal access to government funding and the equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs.

We take this step because we know that, in solving the many, many problems and our great challenges, faith is more powerful than government, and nothing is more powerful than God.

He is absolutely right. One of the sad things about modern government hostility towards religious groups is the fact that they are negatively affecting these groups’ great, charitable, loving work. Remember the attacks on the Little Sisters of the Poor? Why would the government want to hinder in any way the work of these poor, religious women who are caring for the elderly in our nation? Or how about the state governments that have forced out of their state Christian adoption agencies? These are services that are needed, yet as government intolerance of differing views, especially in the area of sexuality, continues to grow, we see many are willing to let the poor and needy suffer at the altar of liberalism.

It was fitting that in announcing this initiative and commemorating the National Day of Prayer, President Trump remembered the loss of “America’s Pastor,” Rev. Billy Graham.  He said:

As we gather this morning, our thoughts also turn to the memory of a man who awakened the light of God in the hearts of millions of America’s pastors.  And that’s the great, legendary, wonderful Billy Graham.  Great, great man …

Today, we remember the words of Reverend Graham, “Prayer is the key that opens [to] us the treasures of God’s mercies and blessings.”  Always beautiful.

As you know, prayer is foundational for Concerned Women for America. Everything we do is done not in our own power, but by the strength and opportunity given to us by God Almighty. It is a reality that we know to be true personally and can attest to throughout our great history. That is why we continually remind our culture of America’s rich history of faith and prayer. President Trump is fully aware of that history.  More importantly, he is very proud of it.  At the Rose Garden ceremony, he said:

The prayers of religious believers helped gain our independence, and the prayers of religious leaders like the Reverend Martin Luther King — great man — helped win the long struggle for civil rights.  Faith has shaped our families, and it’s shaped our communities.  It’s inspired our commitment to charity and our defense of liberty.  And faith has forged the identity and the destiny of this great nation that we all love.

Americans of faith have built the hospitals that care for our sick, the homes that tend to our elderly, and the charities that house the orphaned, and they minister — and they really do, they minister to the poor, and so beautifully and with such love.

We are proud of our religious heritage.  And as President, I will always protect religious liberty.

This is our identity as American, whether many or few recognize it. It is the genius of our nation and the key to liberty and freedom.

 


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Another Win for Religious Liberty

By | LBB, Religious Liberty | No Comments

A nomination for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is usually not a controversial thing. But, as I have told you before, when Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) decided it was appropriate to impose a religious test on the nomination of Russel Vought for this position, his nomination became a top priority for us at Concerned Women for America (CWA).

It is simply unconstitutional to impose such a test on any nominee for public office. Thankfully, we have defeated another attempt at it this week.

I want to thank those of you who called your senators and expressed your concerns about what was done to Russell Vought. I am incredibly proud of the vocal role our CEO and President Penny Nance took on his nomination.

You made your voices heard, and you were heard.  The Senate voted on Wednesday to confirm him by a vote of 50-49. You did it!

As you can probably guess, Vice-President Mike Pence had to cast the deciding vote. And this should remind us of two very important takeaways from this fight.

First, it is a testament to your involvement with CWA. Your support and constant involvement with CWA is what makes us effective. We speak for you. So, when we all take action together on the issues about which we care, real change is possible.

Second, it should remind us that we are living in a crucial moment in our history. We don’t have the luxury to let up on this fight. This nomination should not have been so close. Just think about it.  This nominee was almost defeated only because he is a Christian. This should never happen in America.

But we stand very close to letting that be our reality.  We’re just a few senators away from that! That is how close we are, and if we do not stand strong now, this will become a trend, leading to a norm.

So, let us take the opposite approach to complacency. Let us redouble our efforts in support of religious liberty. In support of our faith.  As a member of CWA, let your friends and family members know how important it is that they too join CWA and add their voices to this chorus for righteousness and justice.

May we forever be known that way.

CWA’s Senior Advisor for Foreign Affairs Addresses Christianity in Iraq

By | Blog, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

In America, we trace our Christian heritage to before the founding of our nation, when European Christians sought a home free from religious persecution where they could practice their faith according to their own convictions.  But in the Middle Eastern country of Iraq, Christianity has very old roots stemming from the 1st century A.D., even before the birth of Islam in early 600 A.D.

In spite of their roots, Iraqi Christian communities began to steadily decline after the birth of Islam, a decline which has continued throughout the past century.  According to an article in the Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy[1], Christian populations in Iraq declined significantly between 1910 and 2010, falling from 6.3% to 1.4% of the population.  And by 2025, that number is estimated to fall to .6%.

Since June 2014, ISIS has brought a particularly bloody decline to Iraqi Christian populations with an onslaught labeled as “genocide”[2] by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in 2016. The genocide has involved the murder of thousands of Christians, Yazidis and Shiite Muslims (other religious minority groups) under the control of ISIS. Thousands of families have been killed, taken hostage, kidnapped, and driven out of Iraq.  Currently, there are only an estimated 200,000 Christians left in Iraq.

Speaking at a meeting about the future of Iraq’s Christians in September 2017, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin said the “conflicts and tensions of recent years represent a risk … for the survival of Christians”.  He continued to point out that also at risk is the hope and “possibility that the Middle East can be a place of coexistence between peoples belonging to different religious and ethnic groups.” [3]

Where does the U.S. government stand on the issue of persecuted religious minorities in Iraq? At an advocacy summit in Washington, D.C., on October 25 of last year, Vice President Mike Pence said that America will “stand with those who suffer for their faith because that’s what Americans have always done (and) the common bond of our humanity demands a strong response.” He said also the United Nations has “too often failed to help the most vulnerable communities, especially religious minorities” and that the U.S. will take a stronger lead in directly guiding funds to help persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. [4]

The Trump administration recently announced a renegotiated deal with the U.N. that purports to ensure that religious minorities will receive the U.N. assistance they were previously denied. This deal directs $55 million to the U.N. Development Program Funding Facility for Stabilization in Iraq for religious minority communities in the Nineveh Province of Iraq.  However Nina Shea, international human-rights lawyer and Director for the Center for Religious Freedom at Hudson Institute, has little hope that these funds will actually reach the needy populations in Nineveh.  In an article in The Christian Post, Shea cites the gross mismanagement of the UNDP and its deliberate marginalization of the “genocide that targeted Christian and Yezidi minorities for over the past two years”.[5]  Meanwhile, time lags on while thousands of families suffer in inadequate refugee living situations.

Over the next few months, Concerned Women for America will watch to see if and when the allotted resources are directed to help Christian and other religious minorities in Iraq rebuild their homes, families, and lives.  Pray that God would help them heal and for the wisdom of our nation in providing support for them.

[1] Johnson, T and Zurlo, G. Ongoing Exodus: Tracking the Emigration of Christians from the Middle East. Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy, 2013-2014, Volume III. Population statistics are taken from a table created by the World Religion Database.

[2] https://www.cnn.com/2016/03/17/politics/us-iraq-syria-genocide/index.html

[3] https://acnuk.org/news/iraq-cardinal-highlights-threat-to-christianity/

[4] https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/25/mike-pence-us-rely-faith-based-groups-over-united/

[5] https://www.christianpost.com/news/trump-designates-55-million-help-christians-religious-minorities-rebuild-iraq-213575/

Obama-Era State Department Leftovers: Re-direct LGBTI Cultural Acceptance Funding

By | Blog, Defense of Family, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

In the beginning, God made man and woman in His own likeness—two distinct sexes each with unique and special characteristics—and declared His creation “good”. Who could have anticipated that this God-given and inherent identity of gender and sex would be so debated, twisted, and redefined by the liberal left today? Even more incredible is that the U.S government under Obama-era policies, not content with promoting multiple gender and sexual “identities” within the U.S., spends millions of tax dollars promoting Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Inquiring (LGBTI) cultural acceptance into foreign countries under the guise of “gender development” and “human rights”.

As Americans, regardless of whether or not we agree with a person’s sexual or gender “orientation”, we strongly believe in supporting the human rights of all people around the world and applaud the efforts of our government in this regard. That is, the right of a people to seek fulfillment of their basic needs, to feed and clothe themselves, to fully participate in society, and to be defended against human rights abuses such as violence, killing, wrongful discrimination, and false imprisonment. To be clear, we strongly support any programming which condemns the abuse of people who identify themselves as LGBTI and which builds the capacity within countries to treat all people equally and with human dignity.

However, currently the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) promote LGBT cultural and social acceptance within foreign countries through taxpayer-funded programs that extend far beyond the context of basic human rights. Rather, these programs encourage the exploration of gender and sexual identity, and promote multiple identities/orientations as a “progressive” value. These programs are backed by a political agenda begun during the Obama Administration and continue today in spite of the differing viewpoint of the Trump administration.

Recently, Concerned Women for America met with a Trump-appointed USAID senior official to express the concern that these programs contradict the priorities of foreign assistance and damage our relationship with foreign peoples. We base are concern on four main points:

  • First, these programs turn gender development funding and programming away from increasing the wellbeing of women and girls around the world. This is unfortunate, especially considering that initiatives protecting the rights of females and advancing their participation in the social, economic, and political spheres are severely lacking in support and funding. To consider: While millions of people are victims of human trafficking each year, 50% of whom are women and 21% of whom are girls under the age of 18[1], and while 41% of girls in the least developed countries are married before the age of 18,[2] the U.S. is funding homosexual and transgender cultural acceptance into foreign countries under the name of gender development. We at Concerned Women for America consider this taxpayer money that is not well spent.
  • Second, these programs and initiatives violate the conscience, culture, values and religious beliefs of the majority of the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian people in the countries we propose to “support” with U.S. aid.
  • Third, as taxpayer funded programs, these programs should represent the values of the majority of American citizens, but unfortunately they do not.
  • And fourth, there is little to no scientific research to show that the cultural socialization of LGBT values abroad contributes to foreign policy goals or even the developmental objectives of USAID’s Guiding Principles.

As was explained to CWA during the meeting at USAID, many of these programs have been left over from the previous administration and will remain until their contract runs out. Simply put, just because a new administration takes office, it does not mean that current programming will immediately expire or change. However, CWA wants our constituents to be aware of how foreign taxpayer dollars are currently spent and to know that we are monitoring the progress of the potential change in the focus of U.S. development aid and foreign relations. For example, the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism is currently seeking a nonprofit to “explore gender identities of boys and men in Kenya”, stating that men being “tough, heterosexual, aggressive, unemotional, and achieving” increases their vulnerability to joining groups of Islamic extremism. [3]

Concerned Women for America urges our government to strongly oppose human rights abuses against LGBT communities but also to no longer entangle U.S. tax dollars with LGBT cultural issues overseas through U.S. embassies, schools, and international programming. We ask that our tax dollars be redirected toward objectives that focus more clearly on U.S. foreign diplomacy and developmental goals. We ask that our “gender empowerment” tax dollars be used to promote policies and programs which best support the rights and wellbeing of females around the world. Last, we ask that State and USAID-funded programs be representative of the majority of the values and beliefs of Americans and of the foreign cultures which we support.

The following is only a small part of LGBT activist efforts on behalf of the U.S. government. According to the Obama White House Fact Sheet from June 2016: [4]

  • The U.S. Department of State … “launched two global funding partnerships – the Global Equality Fund and the LGBT Global Development Partnership – which have provided millions of dollars in assistance … to LGBT civil society activists and organizations” (emphasis added). The Global Equality Fund alone spent more than $30 million dollars in 80 countries.
  • Multiple departments and agencies, including State, USAID, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and the Peace Corps, provide training “for staff and implementing partners to better understand the issues of gender identity and sexual orientation and agency roles in advancing the human rights of LGBT persons”.
  • U.S. embassies, consulates, USAID missions, and Department of Defense installations around the world host and participate in gay pride events, and march in gay pride parades. U.S. embassies around the world fly rainbow flags to show homosexual pride support.

Currently, USAID supports a large number of field- and Washington-based programs and funding avenues that are LGBT-specific or LGBT-inclusive, including within schools in developing countries.  These programs are based on the principles written in the 23-page USAID policy document titled “LGBTI Vision for Action.”[5] A few examples are:

  • USAID’s LGBTI Global Development Partnership key activities include awarding over 100 grants to LGBTI civil society organizations and training over 1,700 LGBTI entrepreneurs and businesses
  • USAID promotes “LGBTI Education Inclusion” in schools around the world through multiple avenues including:
    • Regional Development Mission for Asia: Partnering the Purple My School initiative through a program called “Being LGBTI in Asia” in schools in eight different countries. This program is facilitated by teachers who discuss the issues of homophobia and the free expression of gender identity and sexual orientation. Students are encouraged to wear, draw, or make something purple.
    • Hosting LGBTI rights and inclusion training to over 140 school principals in USAID’s Basic Education Program in Kosovo within its annual School Management and Leadership Program.
    • Hosting a Live Chat for LGBTI Pride Month at the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia
    • Providing LGBTI Online Training courses through USAID University

[1] United Nations (2014) UNODC, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014, (United Nations Publication, Sales No. E 14. V.10) p. 5

[2] UNICEF Child-protection-child marriage database may 2016, Web Accessed August 2017 at: data.unicef.org.

[3] http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/22/state-department-spending-592500-to-explore-gender-identities-boys-and-men-in-kenya.html

[4] The White House Office of the Press Secretary (June 29, 2016) June 2016 Update. Web accessed October 17, 2017 at:  https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/29/fact-sheet-promoting-and-protecting-human-rights-lgbt-persons

[5] https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1874/LGBT%20Vision.pdf.