Trump appoints pro-life governor to protect freedom worldwide
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — President Trump has appointed one of the most pro-life and pro-natural marriage advocates to an ambassadorship designed to protect the rights of religious people the world over.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is Trump's pick for a religious persecution watchdog post called "Ambassador for Religious Freedom." Brownback will lead the Office of International Religious Freedom, under the State Department, which monitors how people of religion are treated across the globe.
The post was created in 1998 to promote religious liberty as "a core objective of U.S. foreign policy." Since then, an ever-increasing stream of Christians have fled Muslim countries, such as Iraq, and countries under Communism, such as China, because of widespread persecution.
Brownback has been an outspoken proponent of religious freedom domestically, defending the right of Christians and others of faith to live out their beliefs.
In 2016, Brownback signed the Campus Religious Freedom Bill that allows Christian groups or any religious student group to have membership standards consistent with the group's religious affiliation. He also signed laws protecting clergy who disagree with gender ideology, or choose not to solemnize same-sex "marriages."
As a congressman in 1996, Brownback voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The bill was signed into law by then-president Bill Clinton.
Brownback explained his belief that sodomy is immoral and against both Christian teaching and natural law. The homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign graded Senator Brownback's voting record as failing regarding LGBTQ issues.
The Brownback appointment was met with immediate disapproval from homosexuals. Equality Kansas called Brownback "bigoted" and "unsuited to represent American values of freedom, liberty, and justice, whether at home or abroad."
The governor is also a staunch defender of the sanctity of innocent human life. He signed 17 pro-life bills into Kansas law, including a dismemberment ban. In 2012, he signed legislation allowing pharmacists to follow their conscience and opt out of dispensing abortifacient drugs.
Most recently in June, Brownback signed a law requiring disclosure to potential patients of an abortionist's medical degree, local hospital privileges, malpractice insurance, and any disciplinary actions against him or her from the state Healing Arts Board.
It "can never really be true that an abortion is a right," Brownback expressed earlier this year. "Our rights come from God and amongst them is the inherent right to life — not the right to destroy it.”
In 2011, he blocked state tax funds from going to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.
"I see (abortion) as the lead moral issue of our day," Brownback explained, "just like slavery was the lead moral issue 150 years ago."
President Trump has noted in past speeches that many Christians have experienced a dramatic shift in American life, from protecting religious freedom to oppressing its expression, especially in the workplace. When Trump signed an executive order "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty" in May, he promised to defend the practices of people of faith.
"We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced anymore. And we will never ever stand for religious discrimination," he said.
Upon U.S. Senate confirmation, Brownback will step down as governor. Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who also is pro-life, will serve the remainder of Brownback's term throughout 2018.