Democrat leaders in the House of Representatives are preparing to vote on the Global Respect Act, which would give the President the ability to impose sanctions on foreign political, cultural and religious leaders who may oppose the homosexual/transgender agenda.
The purpose of the bill is ostensibly to protect the human rights of individuals who identify as homosexual or transgender, but its effect would be to deter free speech and undermine religious freedom around the world.
The Global Respect Act wouldn’t just penalize egregious human rights violations like extrajudicial killings, torture, and genocide, which are universally condemned and severely punished by a federal law known as the Magnitsky Act. It includes a catchall penalty for any speech or actions that may contribute to any “flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of the individual.”
This broad catchall provision is designed to censor political and religious leaders who oppose the homosexual/transgender agenda. If adopted into law, it would give the president discretion to impose sanctions on political and religious speech against homosexual marriage or transgender rights, including for children.
Activists, UN human rights bodies, and UN staff already accuse religious believers of hate speech, incitement to violence, and even complicity in violence and torture when they express public disapproval of homosexual conduct and transgender ideology.
In a recent report to the General Assembly, the United Nations Independent Expert on Violence and Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, said, “States should adopt decisive action when religious authorities, leaders or agents infringe on the rights of LGBT persons through violence and discrimination, including hate speech.”
The UN expert specifically denounced religious authorities of the Orthodox Church for their opposition to the homosexual/transgender agenda, accusing them of “inciting” hatred and violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
A UN committee charged with promoting the rights of children under a UN treaty censored the Pope for opposing homosexual marriage and the transgender agenda. The committee went as far as criticizing the teaching of the Catholic Church on the “complementarity and equality in dignity” of the sexes because these concepts “justify discriminatory legislation and policies.” An official response from the Vatican Secretariat of State to the 2014 comments of the UN committee called it a “sword against freedom of religion.”
The Global Respect Act was voted out of the Foreign Affairs committee in late September. An amendment offered by Republicans to limit the authorization of sanctions failed along party lines. The bill is expected to come up for a vote this month.
A companion bill to the Global Respect Act in both the House and the Senate, called the Globe Act, includes the same kind of Magnitsky-style sanctions but also greatly expands the footprint of the LGBTQI+ agenda within the State Department bureaucracy. It codifies homosexual/transgender issues as a top human rights priority and gives permanent power and funding to a U.S. ambassador at large for such issues and other officials within the U.S. State Department.