The world is on fire.
Libya is in chaos. Baghdad is about to fall to a new and toxic strain of Islamism. Syria is in civil war. Israeli teenagers have been kidnapped by terrorists.
Russia is expanding, taking over Crimea, threatening Ukraine. Russia and China have signed trade deals.
Violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Sri Lanka has lead to terror killings. Thailand has been taken over by a military junta.
Somali radicals have attacked a Kenyan town, killing dozens.
President Obama’s critics accuse him of being soft or absent from most of these conflicts and many others. They say the US has ceded its global leadership role.
One area where the US under Obama has not retreated, indeed has ramped up American pressure, is in the promotion of LGBT rights. He issued a 2011 Presidential Memorandum that did just that.
Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts and 24 Democratic senators want to make this policy a part of U.S. law.
In legislation introduced last Friday, LGBT rights would become an official foreign policy priority of the United States and would include US training of “professional foreign military.”
The legislation would require the participation of all federal contractors, put US pressure on international institutions, and work in all global “sectors” including “economic, education, health, nutrition, legal and judicial…” The legislation calls for US pressure on individuals and also the family.
The legislation would also mandate that non-gay LGBT campaigners be given special refugee status in the United States.
The bill would establish a Special Envoy within the State Department, appointed by the President, to carry out the bill’s mandate. The Special Envoy would “direct all activities, policies, programs and funding relating to the human rights of LGBT people… for all bureaus and offices of the Department of State and in the international programs for all other Federal agencies….”
Under the law there would be a “global strategy requirement” such that within 180 days after enactment the Special Envoy must create a five-year global plan that will first “fully implement” President Obama’s 2011 Presidential Memorandum that first made LGBT the president’s foreign policy priority.
The administration has made it clear that LGBT is a red line governments cross at their own peril. The administration has stopped development funding for desperately poor Uganda because of Uganda’s new and, some would say, harsh laws governing homosexual activity. The halted funding included money to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Even liberals have suggested that the aggressive US stance on an issue not favored by most of the world has already caused a backlash. The President of Uganda, for instance, said he eventually signed the harsh new laws because he was offended by what he and others saw as an imperialistic push by the Obama administration.