Mike Pompeo
via NPR

ADF International worked with Mike Pompeo for a year (and possibly longer) to create Pompeo’s new Commission on Unalienable Rights. ADF International also defined what those “rights” are. ADF International is a separate entity but Alliance Defending Freedom (an anti-LGBT hate group) funds and controls the organization.

Pompeo’s new group is headed by Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard law professor and former ambassador to the Vatican under George W. Bush. Glendon represented the Vatican at the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women sponsored by the United Nations. Glendon’s mission was to impose Catholic teachings on society. Notably, Glendon opposed the use of condoms to prevent HIV infection.

Glendon vigorously opposed marriage equality, claiming that it was a search for special rights. Glendon comes into focus in November, 2018 but first:

July 26, 2018: An announcement from ADF International:

Today, ADF International and the James Dobson Family Institute co-sponsored a side event at the margins of the “Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom”. Hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Ministerial is a three-day gathering of high-level government officials, civil society representatives, and religious leaders discussing the right to religious freedom as a priority in the future US foreign policy agenda.

“The State Department has turned an important corner in calling for this Ministerial consultation,” said Michael Farris, CEO of ADF International.


Other speakers at the event included Dr. Tim Clinton, Executive Director of the James Dobson Family Institute, Tony Perkins, Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and Michael Donnelly, Director of Global Outreach at the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Within that conference was a panel discussing parental rights. Parental rights as religious rights is code for anti-LGBTQ activities in public schools.

ADF International defines religious freedom through their Geneva Statement which is, in some ways, the international version of the Manhattan Declaration. At the outset the Geneva Statement seeks to redefine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), we reaffirm the understanding that fundamental human rights are based on the dignity that each person possesses.

The Geneva Statement is anti-choice:

WE CALL for a renewed attention from the UN and its Member States to the core human rights that currently are threatened
internationally, beginning with the right to life. People in all stages of life and in all regions of the world are increasingly vulnerable to
assaults on this foundational right. Respect for human life, from conception to a natural death, is the indisputable corollary of respect
for human dignity.

… and anti-LGBTQ:

WE CALL also for a renewed respect for the family as ‘the natural and fundamental group unit of society,’ which ‘is entitled to protection
by society and the State.’ Respect for the dignity of every child requires a commitment to ensuring, whenever possible, that children are
raised by both mother and father in a loving, safe, and stable home. Protection of the family should be centered on this ideal, including
through the safeguarding of parental rights, in particular the right to choose the education of their children, and the provision of support
to equip healthy families who will in turn contribute to the flourishing of society

A concurrent “Human Rights” campaign:

ADF International also has a campaign titled: I’m Human, Right? Commemorating 70 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pompeo is re-tooling these manufactured rights as “Unalienable Rights.”

Click to Enlarge

via ADF International Website

Pompeo has been quoted as saying that the group will “revisit the most basic of questions: What does it mean to say or claim that something is in fact a human right?” He has also said that “human-rights advocacy has lost its bearings and become more of an industry than a moral compass.”

I think we all know what that means. It is consistent with ADF International’s obvious anti-LGBTQ bigotry which they try to advance through images rather than text.

ADF International’s November 16, 2008 statement:

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ADF
International is urging the United Nations to renew its commitment to protect the fundamental
human rights enumerated in the UDHR. Individuals from more than 165 countries and territories
have joined ADF International to express our collective concern for the respect of human dignity
in an era where fundamental human rights are increasingly being threatened. Thus, The Geneva
Statement was created, calling on the United Nations to reaffirm the fundamental human rights
and the dignity and worth of the human person. Mr. Secretary-General, the United Nations should
recall its responsibilities to the human rights project, which are outlined in the accompanying
Geneva Statement.

ADF International’s November 21, 2018 announcement:

On 22 November, ADF International in association with its allies will be hosting an event to celebrate the 70 year anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The event will focus on the I’m Human, Right? campaign which calls governments from all over the world to preserve human dignity and protect human rights. The event will feature a talk by Ms. Rebecca M. John, Senior Counsel, on the topic of “Human rights, freedom of religion and criminal law.”

“We hope the I’m Human, Right? campaign will draw attention to the violations of basic fundamental freedoms faced by religious minorities and Christians across the globe.


Who: H.E. Archbishop Bernadito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations

H.E. Prof. Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law School

Mr. Michael Farris, President, CEO, and General Counsel for ADF International

Prof. Dr. Robert P. George, Princeton University

Prof. Dr. Paolo Carozza, University of Notre Dame

My only surprise, considering the above, is that Robert George is not one of the commissioners.

They are coming after us.

Most alarming is this statement from the announcement of the commission in the federal register:

Nature and Purpose: The Commission will provide the Secretary of State advice and recommendations concerning international human rights matters. The Commission will provide fresh thinking about human rights discourse where such discourse has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights.

Neither natural law nor natural rights are founding principles of our nation. Natural law and natural rights are well understood code for anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice initiatives.

In conclusion, it would appear that this so-called commission began at ADF International and its principles are those promoted by ADF International.

Were Pompeo really serious about human rights he might start with North Korea which reportedly has as many as 200,000 political prisoners. Turkey is holding 50,000 political prisoners as supposed terrorists. Yet these are dictatorships that Trump has cozied up to.

Pompeo is not really serious about international human rights other than to attempt to influence the imposition of conservative Christianity internationally. The good news is that this is just a waste of time and money. Don’t expect these people to actually accomplish anything. Yes, we live in an era when wasting money is sometimes a virtue.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.