Controversial State Department Human Rights Commission Disbanded

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One of Queer News Tonight’s favorite political reporters, The Washington Blade’s MK Lavers reported that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced the State Department has officially disbanded a controversial human rights advisory commission that LGBTQ+ activists sharply criticized. Blinken told reporters “One of the core principles of human rights is that they are universal. All people are entitled to these rights, no matter where they’re born, what they believe, whom they love, or any other characteristic. Human rights are also co-equal; there is no hierarchy that makes some rights more important than others. At my confirmation hearing, I promised that the Biden-Harris administration would repudiate those unbalanced views. We do so decisively today.” Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2019 announced the commission — chaired by Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard Law School professor and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican who is known for her opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples — would stress “natural laws and natural rights.” Blinken is among the administration officials who publicly acknowledged the Transgender Day of Visibility. Blinken told reporters after the State Department released its annual human rights report the pandemic “has disproportionately impacted the individuals and groups in our societies who were already subject to abuse, to discrimination, to marginalization before the pandemic, such as racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI persons.”

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