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Commission On Unalienable Rights Ends

By Charlotte Robinson, March 31, 2021

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that he has disbanded the Commission on Unalienable Rights that was created under the discriminatory Trump administration. Elisa Massimino, Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress stated, “Secretary Blinken’s repudiation of this misguided commission is a welcome signal, not only that the Biden administration rejects the cynical use of human rights language to infringe on the rights of others, but that it embraces the essential wisdom that human rights are interdependent. Matching this clarity of intention with action will go a long way towards delivering on the administration’s promise to put respect for human rights at the center of its foreign policy. Last year, more than 30 faith leaders signed a statement expressing grave concerns about a draft report on human rights issued by the commission. The leaders—who included Catholic, evangelical, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh & Buddhist leaders, as well as former State Department officials—warned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s effort to elevate religious freedom & property rights above other human rights would weaken religious freedom itself & undermine the protections for the universal values of human dignity.” Christian evangelical Pompeo insisted that religious freedom was the single most important human right from which all other rights arose. He established the Commission on Unalienable Rights & held annual international religious freedom conferences that sanctioned discrimination against our LGBTQ community & others. Secretary of State Antony Blinken report concluded, "Other marginalized populations, including older persons, persons with disabilities & LGBTQI+ persons, experienced particular vulnerability. Human rights are also co-equal. There is no hierarchy that makes some rights more important than others."

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