U.S. diplomats may soon be prohibited from using the phrases “sexual and reproductive health” and “comprehensive sexuality education” under a proposal being floated to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, four people familiar with the issue said.
The proposal is being pushed by a handful of conservative political appointees at the State Department and other agencies, including Mari Stull, an adviser at State whose alleged mistreatment of career government staffers has already sparked multiple federal investigations.
As a Kansas congressman between 2011 and 2017, Pompeo was known for his anti-abortion views and criticism of LGBTQ protections, co-sponsoring legislation that would have allowed states to subvert the Supreme Court’s protections for same-sex marriage.
Foreign Policy reports:
The memos underscore the growing influence under President Donald Trump of Christian social conservatives, who have scored a series of successes in recent weeks, including the White House decision to consider rolling back rights for transgender Americans in federal civil rights law. Much of the administration’s effort is focused on the U.N., where diplomats are discussing a raft of General Assembly resolutions on health, education, and social issues. In these discussions, U.S. diplomats have sought to strike references to the word “gender.”
“This is not a symbolic gesture,” said Beirne Roose-Snyder, the director of public policy at the Center for Health and Gender Equity, an organization that advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights in U.S. foreign policy. “It is a real harm to the health and rights of individuals, families, and communities and undermines the prevention and treatment of HIV as well as the avoidance of maternal deaths and unwanted pregnancies.”
A ban on “comprehensive sexual education,” which logically includes LGBT sexuality, has long been a goal of anti-LGBT hate groups including C-FAM, the Family Research Council, and NOM.