Civil and Human Rights Groups Urge Senate to Reject Pompeo

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights joined 54 other civil and human rights groups in urging U.S. Senate opposition to the confirmation of Secretary of State nominee Michael Pompeo. The groups noted Pompeo’s troubling history of statements and policy positions, which imperils his ability to represent all in America and to promote human rights abroad.

Pompeo’s record as a congressional candidate and House member makes clear his animus towards Muslim Americans and his marginalization of other vulnerable populations. Specifically, as a House member, he opposed LGBTQ rights and women’s access to vital reproductive health care. He also supported expanding mass surveillance programs, called for a ban on all refugee admissions, and called those who engaged in torture “patriots.”

As the groups wrote, “The Secretary of State is one of our most important positions for promoting and protecting human rights. This cabinet level position has a unique and important role requiring the ability to build international coalitions and serve as our representative in international negotiations. Mr. Pompeo’s documented anti-Muslim bias is dangerous to American foreign policy, will cripple his ability to develop essential relationships with Muslim-majority countries, and will irreparably undermine his ability to lead the State Department workforce.”

The full text of the letter is available here, and the signatories are listed below:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Alliance for Justice
American Jewish World Service
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Arab American Institute
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)
Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, California State University-San Bernardino
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Defending Rights & Dissent
Emgage Action
Equal Justice Society
Equal Rights Advocates
Equality California
Farmworker Justice
Global Forum on MSM & HIV
Global Network of Black People working in HIV
Housing Works, Inc.
Human Rights Advocates
Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Watch
International Association of Women in Radio and Television – IAWRT
Japanese American Citizens League
Lambda Legal
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Muslim Advocates
Muslim Public Affairs Council
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Association of Human Rights Workers
National Association of Social Workers
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Jewish Women
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Immigration Law Center
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Organization for Women
People For the American Way
PFLAG National
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Population Institute
Protect Democracy
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Interfaith Center of New York
UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza)
Veterans For Peace
Woodhull Freedom Foundation
World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit