This week, the U.S. Senate confirmed former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback — a well-known anti-LGBTQ apologist — as U.S. Ambassador At Large for International Religious Freedom. But Sam Brownback is hardly the only anti-LGBTQ nominee or appointment by the Trump Administration. In fact, an annual GLAAD report recently recorded its first-ever decrease in LGBTQ acceptance – and a likely contributing factor was the continued anti-LGBTQ rhetoric coming from this administration.
“Trump ran for president saying he would be a champion for the LGBTQ community, but time and time again he has attacked and demeaned our community and empowered others who do so. By appointing anti-LGBTQ officials to administration positions and lifetime appointments to our federal court system, Trump has set up an institutional shift that will continue to dehumanize LGBTQ Americans and roll back our rights for years to come,” said DNC LGBTQ Media Director Lucas Acosta.
Trump has appointed Cabinet and administration officials who believe being transgender is “a disease” and “don’t like gay people.”
Mark Green was nominated to serve as Secretary of the Army and replace Eric Fanning, the first LGBTQ person to hold the post:
- New York Times: Green told the Chattanooga Tea Party, “If you poll the psychiatrists, they’re going to tell you that transgender is a disease.”
- New York Times: “We are back to where the country was at its beginning, and it’s the armed citizen who will defend this nation,’ Mr. Green said then. “And there’s something else that we’ve got to protect ourselves from, and it is an overreaching federal government. The notion that Mr. Obama thinks that he can tell the state of Tennessee who can go into a men’s bathroom or a women’s bathroom is absurd.’”
- Green’s nomination was ultimately withdrawn.
Carl Higbie was nominated to serve as the Chief External Affairs Officer for the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps after serving as a spokesperson for the Trump-aligned Great America PAC:
- CNN: On his radio show, Higbie said, “I mean, you are breaking the morals, the moral fiber of our country. You know, I don’t like gay people. I just don’t.”
- CNN: “So go over there, be gay, don’t march down in the middle of the street and your drag outfit being fairies and things like that. Don’t throw it in my face. Don’t make me like it because I don’t — do it on your own. Do it over there and let it be your thing.”
- Higbie was forced to resign in disgrace after these comments, among others, were made public.
Sam Clovis, was nominated to serve as the Chief Scientist for the Department of Agriculture after serving as the Chair of Trump’s 2016 campaign for president:
- CNN: At a campaign stop in Iowa during his failed run for Senate, Clovis said, “If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia?”
- CNN: “When a questioner said some might call what Clovis’ words extreme — comparing the approval of same-sex protections to allowing pedophilia. Clovis said it was ‘logical.’ ‘I don’t think it’s extreme,’ said Clovis.”
- Clovis ultimately withdrew his nomination.
John Bush, Trump’s confirmed nominee to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit:
- Slate: “In 2005, he used the word ‘faggot’ in a speech to a private club, quoting Hunter S. Thompson.”
- Slate: “In a 2016 paper, Bush bemoaned the Kentucky Supreme Court’s protection of same-sex intimacy, criticizing a 1992 ruling which ‘immunized consensual sodomy from criminal prosecution under the state constitution.’”
Don Willett, Trump’s confirmed nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- Huffington Post: “Willett told the Senate Judiciary Committee he wasn’t mocking same-sex marriage when he tweeted in April 2015 that he ‘could support recognizing a constitutional right to marry bacon’ ― a day after the Supreme Court heard arguments in the landmark marriage equality case.”
- Willett’s reaction to a transgender high school student being permitted to play on her school’s girls’ softball team: “Go away, A-Rod.”
Joan Larsen, Trump’s confirmed nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit:
- Vice: “In 2016, when she held a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court, she, too, expressed hostility toward LGBT people when she refused to hear a case on same-sex parental rights, and suggested gay families were ‘lesser’ than heterosexual ones.”
Matthew Kacsmaryk, Trump’s nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas:
- Jezebel: “Matthew Kacsmaryk believes that LGBT identity and abortion rights are a ‘lie’ produced by ‘the erotic desires of liberated adults.’
- Kacsmaryk’s nomination is currently pending.
Howard C. Nelson, Jr., Trump’s nominee for the U.S. District Court for Utah:
- HRC: Nielson has a long track record of hostility and discrimination towards the LGBTQ community. He has stated that being gay is a choice, argued in favor of Prop 8 and abusive conversion therapy techniques, and had the audacity to claim a gay judge could not be impartial in a ruling involving LGBTQ rights. Nielson is unfit to serve on the federal bench, and the Senate Judiciary Committee should reject his nomination.
- Nielson’s nomination is currently pending.