Trump to nominate Kansas Governor Brownback as religious freedom ambassador

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump intends to nominate Republican Kansas Governor Sam Brownback as ambassador at large for international religious freedom, the White House said on Wednesday.

Brownback, who previously served in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, would assume the position created in the State Department by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, of which he was one of the key sponsors.

In 2015, Brownback issued an executive order protecting the religious freedom of clergy and organizations that opposed same-sex marriage as Kansas began to comply with the landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage.

“We … recognize that religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as Kansans and Americans, and should be protected,” Brownback, governor since 2011, said at the time of the order. He was re-elected in 2014 and is not eligible to serve a third consecutive term.

(Reporting by Washington Newsroom; Editing by Peter Cooney)