Senate committee approves Brownback nomination by thinnest of margins

The Kansas governor could be ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom

October 27, 2017 - 5:25 am
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel narrowly approved the nomination of Sam Brownback to be U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom despite complaints from LGBT rights groups over the Kansas governor's views on same-sex marriage and gender identity.

On an 11-10 vote Thursday, the Foreign Relations Committee recommended that the full Senate consider President Donald Trump's selection of Brownback for the State Department post. The committee also approved several other Trump nominees for ambassadorships. Among them was Richard Grenell to be U.S. envoy to Germany. Grenell would be the first openly LGBT ambassador for Trump if he's confirmed.

Brownback thanked the committee in a tweet "for voting on my nomination favorably."

LGBT rights groups have decried Brownback's nomination because of his conservative views. During his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Brownback defended his decision as Kansas governor to scrap an executive order that barred discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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