Although many have claimed that the State Department is "irrelevant" when it comes to social issues, the Obama administration has proved in the last eight years that the State Department can be an active agent in promoting the LGBT and abortion agenda around the world.
As the presidency of Barack Obama winds down, social conservatives have not shied away from criticizing his administration for using various federal agencies as tools to force the LGBT and abortion agenda on Americans, businesses, countries and people around the globe.
The State Department under Hillary Clinton and John Kerry has in the last eight years, tied foreign assistance money to nations' willingness to cave to the progressive sexual agenda, gave millions to efforts aimed at legalizing abortion in other countries, flown gay flags at embassies in countries deeply opposed to homosexuality and has done a number of other things to advance the social goals of the Obama administration.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told The Christian Post on Wednesday that the Obama State Department's prioritization of the advancement of social issues has come at the expense of the agency's statutory goal of protecting international religious freedom. He added that it will take more than just simply a new secretary of state to change an agenda that has become "layered" within the department.
"Contrary to what some have claimed that the State Department doesn't deal with social issues, that is a large portion of what this State Department has done under Barack Obama," Perkins explained. "And, it is not going to just go away. It has to be changed."
Perkins, who outlined in an op-ed earlier this month the number of ways in which the Obama administration has used the State Department to advance LGBT rights and abortion, has voiced his concerns about President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the State Department — former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
After the announcement in December that Tillerson was selected as Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Perkins posted on the FRC website about how Tillerson capitulated to the pressure of the Left and pushed for the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America to remove a ban on openly gay scout leaders in 2015. Perkins also voiced concern about how ExxonMobil is a corporate sponsor of the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.
At the time, Perkins claimed that Tillerson would be "the left's greatest ally" within the Trump administration.
Considering that Tillerson appeared before the Senate Wednesday and Thursday for his confirmation hearing, Perkins said that there is nothing he heard in Wednesday's hearing that gives him confidence that Tillerson will have the courage needed to roll back the systemic LGBT and abortion advocacy within the State Department.
"I mean, he is certainly not an activist. He's not somebody Barack Obama would pick as his secretary of state. I am not saying that his personal agenda is such that he believes in all these things, that he advocates for these things," Perkins said. "I just know his track record, that he capitulated in the face of this agenda when he was [on the executive board of] the Boy Scouts. The timing of that, those pushing the agenda were targeting the [Boy Scouts of America] in advance of the marriage case before the Supreme Court to try to show that there was some kind of major cultural shift. He didn't stand up when he was at the Boy Scouts."
"We were very involved in that. He has not addressed that as to why he didn't stand up and defend the Boy Scouts," Perkins continued. "I am just concerned that whoever comes into the State Department has to have the track record and the courage to be a change agent to return the State Department to the statutorily stated goals of the State Department."