US: Trump Taps LGBTQ-Rights Opponent Sam Brownback as Religious Freedom Ambassador

Last Wednesday, on what LGBTQ advocates have called the “administration’s anti-LGBT day,” President Donald Trump said he would nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a vocal opponent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.

If confirmed, Brownback would lead the Office of International Religious Freedom, a section of the U.S. Department of State responsible for “promoting religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy.”

In addition to Trump's tweets stating transgender people will not be able to serve "in any capacity in the U.S. Military" and the Justice Department's brief opposing the extension of Title VII discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation, Brownback’s nomination last week appears to be a nod to Trump’s conservative base, and some commentators see this as a reinvigoration of culture wars thought to be over.

As a congressman, Brownback actively opposed same-sex marriage. Once elected governor of Kansas, Brownback revoked a 2007 executive order signed by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that provided non-discrimination protections to state employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Then in 2016, Brownback signed SB 175, a piece of state legislation that allows university groups to exclude LGBTQ students. Student groups can claim that LGBTQ membership violates their religious convictions and still be entitled to receive university funds. At the time, the Human Rights Campaign called it “part of an onslaught of anti-LGBT bills being pushed … by anti-equality activists around the country.” Read more via NBC