Tony Perkins, president of the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council (FRC), joined a group of evangelical leaders from the United States to meet with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has been criticized as a dictator responsible for Egypt’s harshest political repression in the country’s history.
The el-Sisi government is also responsible for the murders of hundreds of protesters and the jailing of thousands of political opponents. And since 2013, it has also arrested hundreds of LGBT people — primarily gay men and trans women — as part of a larger crackdown on social freedoms.
“What’s happening now is unprecedented,” said Gasser Abed El Razek, executive director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which has been monitoring the crackdown.
On November 1, the evangelical group that included Perkins spoke with el-Sisi for nearly three hours at the presidential palace in Cairo, according to The Christian Post, where they discussed a series of issues, including the persecution of Egyptian Christians by Islamic extremists.
“I appreciate the opportunity to meet with President el-Sisi to discuss the concerns we have,” Perkins was quoted in The Christian Post as saying, “as American evangelicals, for the plight of religious minorities in Egypt, especially those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Other prominent evangelicals joined him, including Rev. Johnnie Moore, former U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and Egyptian-born author and pastor Michael Youssef. In August, Bachmann was announced as the leader of a ministry to the United Nations that was launched by anti-LGBT pastor Jim Garlow through his Skyline Ministries. Moore once served as faith advisor to current Department of Housing director Ben Carson.
According to Perkins on the FRC website, the trip was organized by Joel Rosenberg, an evangelical Christian who is known for his End Times writings. Perkins claimed that the delegation of evangelicals “made the trip to Cairo to try to repair the damage done by Barack Obama’s indifference to international religious freedom.”
Perkins also said that the meeting went from one hour to three, as the delegation then met with Khalid Fawzi, chief of Egyptian intelligence, and Andrea Zaki, president of the council of Protestant Churches in Egypt.
The FRC post did not address el-Sisi’s dictatorial policies toward his own citizens or the draconian policies currently being enacted toward LGBT people and their supporters, including a proposed law that dictates prison sentences for those who engage in homosexuality, those who support it, and media that “promotes” or mentions it.
No surprise, really, since Perkins has appeared wishy-washy in the past for the proposed anti-LGBT Ugandan bill (2009), which called for the death penalty in some circumstances.
In 2010, a congressional resolution (H. Res. 1064) was proposed to condemn the Uganda bill and FRC was criticized for lobbying against the resolution. A lobbying report noted that FRC paid $25,000 to deal with “Res.1064Ugandan ResolutionPro-homosexual promotion” (sic).
Perkins claimed that FRC did not lobby against the resolution, but rather against language FRC wanted removed from the resoluton that dealt with “assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.”
The resolution stated that “all people possess an intrinsic human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation, and share fundamental human rights.”
FRC doubled-down on that point in 2012, stating that the organization has never supported a policy that imposes the death penalty on homosexuals. Rather,
What we do oppose is the suggestion that gay and lesbian acts are universal human rights. So when Congress introduced a resolution in 2010 denouncing Uganda’s punishment for homosexuality, FRC fought—at the request of some Members—to strike the pro-homosexual “human rights” language from the final measure.
With such views on human rights and LGBT people, it’s no surprise that Perkins participated in a conversation with an authoritarian leader responsible for jailing and massacring hundreds of protestors and currently arresting LGBT people in his own country.