Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced that the agency's new human rights commission will be chaired by a Harvard Law School professor known for her opposition to same-sex marriage.

The newly-formed Commission on Unalienable Rights has been criticized by LGBT rights activists who have questioned its mission to stress “natural law and natural rights.”

Mary Ann Glendon, who was appointed U.S. ambassador to the Vatican by former President George W. Bush, has defended Bush's support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as a heterosexual union.

Glendon argued that marriage equality was not a civil rights issue and would threaten so-called religious freedom.

“What same-sex marriage advocates have tried to present as a civil rights issue is really a bid for special preferences of the type our society gives to married couples for the very good reason that most of them are raising or have raised children,” she wrote in an op-ed at the time.

“Every person and every religion that disagrees [with same-sex marriage] will be labeled as bigoted and openly discriminated against,” she added.

In announcing Glendon as chair, Pompeo described her as “the perfect person to chair this effort.”

In an op-ed on the commission published by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, Pompeo wrote that “rights claims are often aimed more at rewarding interest groups and dividing humanity into subgroups.”

Speaking with the Washington Blade, Council for Global Equality Chair Mark Bromley said that he “fears that this is part of a broader effort to push back against human rights for LGBTI individuals by creating a new hierarchy of rights – with religious freedom at the pinnacle and rights for LGBTI citizens in the 'alienable' category.'”

Neither Pompeo nor Glendon answered reporters' questions on Monday.