Trump angers evangelical allies with push to decriminalise homosexuality globally

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A reported Trump administration campaign to decriminalise homosexuality around the world is not sitting well with evangelical advisers to the leader.

Tony Perkins, who serves as a faith adviser to Trump and sits on his religious freedom commission, questioned whether “President Trump – or anyone else in the administration – authorized this campaign,” which is reportedly being put into action by Trump’s US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell.

Perkins is the president of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council, which “provides research and advocacy on issues related to religious freedom,” according to the US religious freedom commission website.

In a blog post, Perkins wrote: “Our own criminal laws against homosexual conduct were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.

“Despite what some on the Left claim, we are not advocating for their return. But that does not mean we should engage in ‘cultural imperialism’ by imposing policies that were imposed upon us by our Court on other countries with different cultures, traditions, and values.”

NBC News reported earlier this week that the out US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell would launch a global Trump administration campaign “to end the criminalisation of homosexuality.”

The plans were met with a lukewarm reception from LGBT+ rights groups, who expressed fears that officials were seeking to use the issue to detract from the administration’s poor record at home.

Plan to decriminalise homosexuality branded ‘cultural imperialism’

In his blog post, Perkins called on the administration to “refrain from imposing the values of the sexual revolution on the rest of the world,” accusing officials of following in the footsteps of Obama-era policies that “bludgeoned foreign capitals with ‘diplomacy’ designed to advance an LGBT agenda around the world.”

In 2018, Perkins penned a column that described the striking down of US sodomy laws to decriminalise homosexuality a “mistake.”

It is still against the law to be gay in roughly 70 countries around the globe.

Decriminalise homosexuality: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham September 9, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Donald Trump addresses the Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham September 9, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Trump ‘unaware’ of push to decriminalise homosexuality

State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino sought to downplay the campaign during a press briefing on Tuesday (February 19).

He confirmed that Grenell had a “strategy meeting… with 11 activists from different countries in Europe” on the issue.

However, Palladino added: “This really is not a big policy departure. This is longstanding and it’s bipartisan.

“I would say that this is a good opportunity to listen and to discuss ideas about how the United States can advance decriminalisation of homosexuality around the world, and that’s been our policy.”

However, Trump himself did not seem aware of any efforts on the issue.

When the issue was raised in a media briefing, the leader said: “I don’t know which report you’re talking about. We have many reports.”