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Sam Brownback

U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom (State Department)

Nominated by Trump: 7-27-2017

Who is Sam Brownback?

So many senators opposed Sam Brownback’s nomination that Vice President Mike Pence had to come down to the Capitol to cast the tie-breaking vote. At the State Department, Brownback was the nation’s leader in promoting religious freedom worldwide. Brownback has a track record of citing religion to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, ban abortion, attack birth control access, and keep reproductive health information away from young people.

“We talk about abortion…Will that make the woman in a better situation if that’s what takes place? I don’t think so.”

Tell Congress: Support women’s health worldwide. End the global gag rule.

What Sam Brownback Controlled

Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. State Department

The Office of International Religious Freedom recommends and implements policies designed to promote religious freedom and combat religious persecution and discrimination worldwide. The Office and the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large are tasked with promoting religious freedom as part of a broader human rights framework under the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

Related Policies

The Title X Gag Rule

Global Gag Rule


LGBTQ+ Rights

Planned Parenthood

Sex Education

Refusal Policies

Abortion Coverage

Background on Sam Brownback

Supporting the Global Gag Rule

Sam Brownback voted repeatedly for the harmful global gag rule, which denies lifesaving health care to women in developing countries. He also voted against the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)’s lifesaving work, which promotes reproductive health in over 150 countries and responds to humanitarian crises.

Planned Parenthood
Promoting Abstinence Until Marriage

A staunch supporter of abstinence in the United States and around the world, Sam Brownback voted against the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) — an evidence-based education program proven to increase safer sex and help young people prevent unintended pregnancy. Undermining TPPP disproportionately harms sexual violence survivors, LGBTQ+ teens, youth of color, rural communities and others who face barriers to care.

On the Issues
Promoting Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination At Schools

Sam Brownback signed state legislation that lets university groups receive funds if they exclude LGBTQ+ students from membership, as long as they say it’s based on religious convictions.

NBC News
Voting to Restrict Access to Abortion

As U.S. senator and governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback voted to ban abortion at 21 weeks, make it impossible to get an abortion on military bases, and block important grants from abortion providers. Brownback also approved efforts to “defund” Planned Parenthood health centers.

Governing Magazine
Encouraging Organizations to Discriminate Against LGBTQ+ People

Under the guise of "religious freedom," Sam Brownback signed an order letting organizations refuse services to same-sex couples and LGBTQ+ groups. Among other things, it means a foster care agency could refuse to place children with their gay family members.

The Wichita Eagle