Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appointed the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the commission announced Wednesday.
During his tenure, Perkins will continue to head the FRC – a religious organization identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBTQ hate group.
Perkins will serve a two-year term on the commission, which is billed as an “independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.”
“Tony Perkins is a theocrat with no interest in protecting actual religious freedom,” said Ed Buckner, interim executive director of American Atheists. “Under his leadership, the Family Research Council has spent tens of millions of dollars attacking LGBTQ people, atheists, and religious minorities by weaponizing religion in our nation’s public policy. Perkins is only interested in one thing: elevating his own extreme version of Christianity above all other religious views.”
Extreme is an apt characterization of Perkins’ religious views:
In 2010, he defended Uganda’s infamous “kill the gays” bill as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects […] the most vulnerable.” In 2014, Perkins said that the First Amendment does not protect the religious freedom of Muslims nor Christians whose views Perkins believes are not “based on orthodox religious viewpoints” and in 2011 he said that the government shouldn’t treat adherents of “fringe religions” as equals to Christians.