Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy: Chaos and LGBT

2012-obama-state-of-the-unionAs President Obama nears the end of his term his foreign policy remains indecipherable even to experts. His reticence in foreign affairs – even in cases of genocide – is legendary, except for one matter. A coordinated game plan on one key issue emerges through officials’ speeches, obscure overseas funding, even “buttonholing” diplomats in UN bathrooms to reveal an Obama foreign policy priority.

“Internationally, this Administration has bent over backwards to promote LGBT rights globally but stay silent as Christian minorities abroad suffer persecution and in the Middle East genocide,” a former senior State Department official told the Friday Fax.

In 2011 Hillary Clinton declared lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights a priority and Obama established a “Global Equality Fund” to give money to LGBT activists who combat restrictions such as requiring that persons identify their biological sex on passports.

This expanded the political preference already given to abortion groups. In President Obama’s first week in office he directed U.S. aid go to abortion groups in other countries. The two issues go hand-in-hand, as they are called in international circles “sexual and reproductive health and rights.”

Before becoming Obama’s ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power was most known for advocating international action to end mass killings. But at the UN, Power described her effort to require the UN pay for benefits for the partners of homosexual staff as “working that vote as hard as any vote we have worked since I became U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.”

“We used every tool in our toolkit. And U.S. ambassadors around the world in capitals kicked into overdrive. We called in chits. And even when we suspected we’d gone from being behind to gaining a majority, we kept working,” she recently told the homosexual group Human Rights Campaign.

“When countries wouldn’t take our calls, we buttonholed them in the General Assembly Hall, at the Security Council, or even in the bathrooms.”

Power described the U.S. “responding swiftly and meaningfully when governments have repressed LGBTI rights,” a stark contrast to the Obama administration’s inaction on rapes, persecution and slaughter of religious minorities in the Middle East and Africa.

Since 2012, the U.S. gave nearly $41 million specifically to promote LGBT globally, not including resources spent as officials integrate LGBT issues throughout government work.

A 2013 Presidential Memorandum details the integration of abortion and homosexual rights through diplomatic means across 20 government agencies from Agriculture to the Peace Corps, and coordinated by the National Security Advisor.

A State Department fact sheet listed its “significantly expanded efforts” to promote LGBT through “private engagement with governments and civil society, public diplomacy, foreign assistance, and work in multilateral fora.” State Department leadership is “continually engaging, both privately and publicly, on behalf of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.”

Since 2009, U.S. funding has flowed to abortion groups like International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International. UNFPA, which partners with China’s agency that enforces its forced abortion policy, received over $230 million.

On Christmas Eve in 2014, the administration released new rules requiring faith-based charities, to be eligible for federal money, to provide abortions to child refugees. They also require providers train their staff in “LGBTQI” and identifying “transgender and intersex” children.

Wendy Wright is the Interim Executive Director at C-FAM.