WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a statement on Wednesday recognizing “LGBT Pride Month,” an act that some have noted President Donald Trump has not done, unlike predecessor Barack Obama, who released such a statement each year.
“In recognition of LGBTI Month, the Department of State affirms its solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom,” Tillerson said in a national press release.
He decried discrimination against homosexual and transgendered persons and vowed as diplomat to continue to support their rights around the world.
“We also recognize that LGBTI persons continue to face the threat of violence and discrimination. Violence and discrimination targeting any vulnerable group undermines our collective security as well as American values,” Tillerson stated.
“When all persons are protected on the basis of equality and with dignity, global stability is strengthened,” he said. “We will continue to support the human rights of LGBTI persons together with like-minded governments, businesses, and civil society organizations globally.”
As previously reported, Tillerson, a former president of the Boy Scouts of America, was stated to be instrumental in the organization’s decision to allow openly homosexual scouts and leaders.
“I can’t get into the intimacy of these conversations, but he agonized over this. He prayed on it, and ultimately he came to the conclusion the only thing that can guide him here is what’s best for the young boys,” John Hammer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told the Dallas News in 2014. “I think he became a key leader in helping the group come to a consensus.”
The Baptist Press also reported in 2013 that Tillerson, a Congregationalist, met with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Frank Page, and explained why he believed the Boy Scout’s policy on open homosexuals should be overturned.
“There are changing cultural winds on the issue of homosexuality, Tillerson said,” the outlet reported. “Local scouting organizations would retain control over their local leadership, he said, and national gatherings of scouts would accommodate troops who don’t have gay leaders.”
Some had consequently expressed concern about Trump’s selection of Tillerson as secretary of state, while others contended that homosexuality wouldn’t have anything to do with his job as diplomat.
“Trump calls Rex a ‘world class player and dealmaker,’ but if these are the kinds of deals Tillerson makes … risking the well-being of young boys under his charge in an attempt to placate radical homosexual activists—then who knows what sort of ‘diplomacy’ he would champion at DOS?” asked Tony Perkins of Family Research Council in December.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka likewise issued a statement recognizing Pride Month, posting two remarks to Twitter on June 1.
“[W]ishing everyone a joyful #Pride2017. This month we celebrate and honor the #LGBTQ community,” she wrote, as well as, “I am proud to support my LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans who have made immense contributions to our society and economy.”
As previously reported, Ivanka Trump also met with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards in January as part of her listening tour.
While President Trump did not issue any statements in recognition of Pride Month, he has made several remarks over the past year about homosexuals, and sold “LGBT for Trump” t-shirts and pins during his presidential campaign.
Proverbs 14:34 reads, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”