State Department Says Canada’s Pro LGBT Laws are a Threat to U.S. Religious Freedom

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On Tuesday, the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released the State Department’s annual Report on Religious Freedom, a report detailing several legal battles in Canada over conscience protections and parental rights. In the report, Pompeo describes these Canadian laws and policies as dangerous to religious freedom both internationally and in the United States.

Lifenews has more details:

The report discusses Ontario’s Christian doctors’ fight for conscience rights and the government’s inclusion of gender expression and identity in child welfare law. Pro-life and pro-family advocates have warned that the latter gives the state license to remove children from homes if their parents are not accepting enough of the LGBT cause.

Pompeo also called attention to the United State’s commitment to the protection of religious freedom, declaring it the “most fundamental of human rights” while maintaining that “the United States will not stand by as spectators” while people are being persecuted and ostracized because of their religious beliefs. According to the Washington Post, “Pompeo also announced that he personally will host the department’s first-ever international “Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom” in Washington in late-July:”

The high-level meeting, to include faith leaders and top diplomats from “like-minded governments” around the world, “will break new ground” and “not just be a discussion group,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters at department headquarters Tuesday.

“It will be about action,” he said in remarks that appeared to be geared at putting the issue on the front-burner of the Trump administration’s wider human rights policy. “We look forward to identifying concrete ways to push back against persecution and ensure greater respect for religious freedom for all.”

US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback briefed reporters on the report on Tuesday and called religious freedom “a foundational human right” from which other rights draw their foundation.
“We put forward in the report everything that’s happening around the world,” Brownback said according to CNN, “and we report it without favor or analysis.”
While talking about the report, Brownback also called for the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been detained in Turkey.
The report calls out threats to religious freedom from both friends and foes of the United States. China was listed in the report as a nation with a troubling decline in religious freedom, while noting a drop in instances of violence in Russia due to religious practice. North Korea was listed as a country of concern in the report, while Saudi Arabia was listed as a place where the State department was hopeful about improvements taking place.

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