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State Department Objected to Pomepo's Speech to Anti-LGBTQ+ Group

Mike Pompeo upsets State Department employees by speaking to a pro-conversion therapy group

Family Policy Council is a noted supporter of conversion therapy.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised eyebrows and objections from staff in the State Department recently over his decision to speak before an anti-LGBTQ+ group that espouses the debunked benefits of the discredited and torturous practice of conversion therapy. The Miami Herald reported the complaints came after advance teams for Pompeo's speech found overtly anti-LGBTQ+ flyers at an event with the conservative Christian group, Florida Family Policy Council.

"Secretary Michael Pompeo is a man of great character and faith; whose diverse professional life experiences uniquely qualify him to serve as Secretary of State," John Stemberger, president of Florida Family Policy Council, said in a statement posted to their website announcing Pompeo's visit. "We are honored to have an official of his caliber address us and celebrate our 15th Anniversary as an organization."

The Florida Family Policy Council is not shy about its support of conversion therapy, claiming on its website that bans on the practice are actually "unconstitutional limits on freedom of speech" that don't take into account the "right" of patients and parents to "pursue avenues of therapy consistent with their beliefs and choices."

Mother Jones reported on the extreme nature of Pompeo's own personal views on LGBTQ+ rights, noting he opposes marriage equality and once described homosexuality as a "perversion." They also point out he has maintained a close relationship with the Family Research Council, a group designated by the Southern Poverty Leadership Council as an extremist right-wing hate group. Pompeo's Commission on Unalienable Rights unveiled a report in August that found marriage equality and a woman's right to make choices about her own body were "divisive social and political controversies" rather than constitutional issues such as religious freedom. He also enacted President Trump's ban on flying Pride flags from official U.S. embassy flag poles.

Mother Jones also noted Secretary Pompeo and his wife are currently the subject of an inspector general inquiry into whether they abused public funds for private personal use.

RELATED | Mike Pompeo is a Danger to the Global Queer Community

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