Longtime gay-rights opponent Tony Perkins named to U.S. religious freedom panel

by Julie Moreau

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appointed Family Research Council President Tony Perkins — a longtime opponent of LGBTQ rights — to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

“From my post at USCIRF, I look forward to doing all that I can to ensure that our government is the single biggest defender of religious freedom internationally,” Perkins said in a statement released Tuesday. “It is my hope that through the work of USCIRF, the world will become one step closer to recognizing the vital role religious freedom and the defense of religious minorities play in peace, security and human flourishing.”

USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan commission created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA) that is “dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.” Its nine volunteer members — three chosen by the president, two by the president’s party and four by the opposing party — serve renewable one- or two-year terms.

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