Brownback testifies at his nomination hearing

Brownback testifies at his nomination hearing”

Tim Kaine, D-Va., questioned Brownback on his views on LGBTQ people, pointing to an executive order Brownback rescinded that former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius had signed to grant protection to state employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

"Gov. Brownback has been a long-time champion of the issue of religious freedom, globally, and sought to ensure that America's first freedom is infused into our US foreign policy", Rubio said.

Sam Brownback is testifying Wednesday in a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing.

A 2007 executive order applied to hiring and employment decisions by agencies under the Kansas governor's direct control.

"You have taken some steps, or Kansas has during your tenure as governor, that have been perceived as anti-Muslim", he said. She asked if Brownback would work with worldwide groups to defend human rights issues "not just for religious minorities, but for women and for people in the LGBTQ communities".

The former senator has made Kansas an economic laboratory for the nation by aggressively cutting taxes.

"Is there any circumstance under which criminalizing, imprisoning or executing someone based on their LGBT status could be deemed acceptable because somebody asserts that they're religiously motivated in doing so?"

Kaine wasn't satisfied with that, saying he expected an "unequivocal answer".

Brownback said he was an original supporter of the International Religious Freedom Act, which was signed into law in 1998.

Brownback argued his role as ambassador should focus strictly on religion. It was arranged by Overland Park businesswoman Margie Robinow, who established a company to handle the logistics two weeks after getting the state contract and went on the trip with Brownback.

"We have got to get more focus on this by a broader cross-section or we will not be effective with this, and if we're not effective on religious freedom, you're going to see violence continue to grow", Brownback said.

Brownback also took pointed questions from Sen. I pledge to you to continue that bipartisan effort on it.

Kaine also asked about Brownback's commitment to protect Muslims from persecution against the backdrop of his past religious freedom work and state-level policies Kaine said he thought could be seen as anti-Muslim.

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen followed up with how some countries use religion as a reason to deny women access to certain healthcare and contraceptive options.

In terms of protecting the rights of Muslims in the United States, Brownback said he would work with any group to protect all.

"I will stand up and fight for those communities as I have in the past", Brownback said.

"That's wrong. It should not take place".

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee didn't vote on the nomination nor indicate when a vote would take place. The nomination then goes to the full Senate for consideration and a final confirmation vote.

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