We should have seen this coming. When the U.S. Secretary of State delivers a major address on U.S. foreign policy, the world listens — and responds. And many nations are a little, shall we say, perplexed, at Hillary Clinton’s announcement that the president has directed all American foreign assistance and diplomatic agencies to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.
Secretary Clinton said in a speech, “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” Actually, this new emphasis has little to do with human rights and almost everything to do with the presidential campaign. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, calls the initiative “more than likely a painless way for the Obama administration to placate the homosexual community in the U.S.”
Given the fact that this year the Obama administration decided not to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which acknowledges that marriage is only between one man and one woman, and that they oversaw the end of the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy in the military, it’s not hard to see the agenda that the administration is following.
Not surprisingly, the LGBT community is trumpeting the administration’s move. But how are countries around the world reacting? The Venezuelan press got it right when it proclaimed that the “rights” of LGBT people are now at the “heart of American foreign policy.” Imagine the implications of that, folks.
Predictably, leaders of many nations in Africa are shocked. A senior adviser to Uganda’s president told The Christian Science Monitor that this approach would be “anathema” to most African nations. “I don’t like her tone,” he said of Mrs. Clinton. “I’m amazed she’s not looking to her own country and lecturing them first, before she comes to say these things which she knows are very sensitive. ... Homosexuality here is taboo.”
Nearly all of Africa’s 54 nations ban homosexuality. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has just proposed banning so-called same-sex “marriages.” The Atlantic reports that “African countries are growing increasingly tired of [the West’s] preoccupation with this issue.” Britain, for instance, has “warned it will consider withholding aid from nations which do not recognize gay rights."
This is another setback for our relations with Muslim countries. We’re rubbing their noses in it, telling them that they have to take something that they see, that is homosexuality, as the ultimate expression of Western decadence, and they’ve got to embrace it themselves. Can we force countries to do this?
Well, the administration’s position is that countries should prohibit the brutalizing of gay people, and that’s a proper thing for the administration to do. No one should be, as Land said, “flogged or put to death for their sexual sins.”
But to actively promote the LGBT agenda abroad is disastrous. This new policy to affirmatively advance gay rights will compromise our relations with African countries, Catholic countries and Muslim-majority nations. And, as I said on BreakPoint earlier, contrast the administration’s aggressive stand here with their silence over religious persecution. Religious liberty, remember, is enshrined in our Constitution.
Any way you look at it, Secretary Clinton’s announcement is bad news. Either the administration is playing politics with our foreign policy to appease sexual liberals, or it is aggressively exporting its assault on traditional morality and marriage. For shame.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: December 20, 2011