The State Department Refuses To Condemn Brunei's Anti-LGBT Stoning Law

During a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued about President Donald Trump's relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.Screengrab/CNN/Youtube

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his department won’t take a hard stance on the law to stone LGBT people to death.

On Friday, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said that it was "concerned" by a new Brunei law that permitted death by stoning as punishment for gay sex. But in follow-up questions with The Daily Beast, a spokesperson for U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to directly address whether "Pompeo and the State Department specifically objected to the violently anti-LGBT law, set to take effect on April 3."

Rather, the State Department took a generic stance on the issue: “Governments have an obligation to ensure that all people, including LGBTI people, can freely enjoy the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms to which they are entitled. We strongly oppose human rights violations and abuses against LGBTI persons, including violence, the criminalization of LGBTI status or conduct, and serious forms of discrimination.”

When asked again if Pompeo and the State Department had any other comments to make about the Brunei law in particular, a spokesperson again repeated parts of the above statement, adding that they didn't “have any further comment.”

Vice President Mike Pence, who has an enormous influence on U.S. foreign policy, did not respond to requests for comment.

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