President Trump’s latest controversial appointment has angered LGBTQ advocates. Last Wednesday, the president nominated Sam Brownback to be Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedoms. The diplomatic position would give the Kansas governor and outspoken critic of LGBTQ rights the authority to implement religious freedom initiatives that could negatively impact LGBTQ communities abroad.
GLAAD is taking a stand against Brownback’s appointment. The LGBTQ media advocacy group has posted a breakdown of Brownback’s political positions that highlight the many instances he used his political office to further his anti-LGBTQ agenda. Brownback’s office has eliminated protections that shielded state workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He also voted against LGBTQ hate crime legislation. These measures have left LGBTQ citizens in Kansas vulnerable to harassment and violent attacks.
Brownback has also spoken out against marriage equality, calling it “harmful to the future of the Republic.”
Trump's decision to appoint Brownback to the position has confounded many familiar with his record. Burdett Loomis, professor of political science at the University of Kansas, told NBC News that the appointment was “staggering.”
“As with many of Trump’s appointees, he’s appointed someone who needs to be fairly open about religion and human rights, but instead it’s someone who is fairly closed about it," Loomis said.
Should Brownback be confirmed, he would oversee the Office of International Religious Freedom. This promotion would give Brownback an international platform to spread his anti-LGBTQ agenda.