First we had Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions denying that LGBT Americans face discrimination. Now, during his confirmation hearings, Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State nominee, won't admit that gay rights are human rights. Yet "friends" who voted for Trump continue to be baffled as to why I remain upset with them and find being around them difficult. I truly wish that these individuals had to walk in the shoes of typical LGBT citizens who fear firing daily and other sorts of discrimination so that they could get their heads out of their asses. Here are highlights from the Washington Blade:
President-elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of state on Wednesday declined to specifically say whether “gay rights are human rights.”
“American values don’t accommodate violence or discrimination against anyone,” said former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson in response to a question U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) asked during his confirmation hearing that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held.
Coons also asked Tillerson whether he believes the promotion of gay rights is “a piece of our human rights advocacy and agenda around the world.”
Tillerson did not specifically mention lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people.
Coons noted in his question that he previously met with a woman from Zimbabwe who received asylum in the U.S. because she was tortured “for who she was.” He also told Tillerson, who was a member of the Boy Scouts of America’s executive board when it voted to allow openly gay scouts into the organization in 2013, that he was “encouraged by his tough leadership moment.”
The promotion of LGBT and intersex rights abroad has been a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy during President Obama’s second term.
Tillerson on Wednesday did not say whether the Trump administration would continue the Obama administration’s policy. It also remains unclear whether the position of special U.S. envoy for the promotion of LGBT and intersex rights will remain at the State Department.