CIA Director Mike Pompeo, in confirmation hearings before the Senate today as President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, stood fast to his anti-LGBT positions.
Pompeo, 54, who served as a congressman from Kansas, before Trump placed him in charge of the nation’s espionage agency, was asked by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), if “being gay was a perversion“. The spy chief tried to dodge the question, telling Booker, “”When I was a politician, I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry,” adding, “I stand by that.”
Booker, undeterred, followed up by asking, “So do you not believe it is appropriate for two gay people to marry?” Pompeo shot back, “Senator, I continue to hold that view“. Pompeo, who is set to replace Rex Tillerson, whom Trump fired last month, has been ab outspoken opponent of LGBTQ rights throughout his carer.
Pompeo advocated against President Obama’s historic repeal of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell”, which prohibited gay and lesbian troops from serving openly in the military, saying, “When you enter the Army you give up a few of your rights.” Speaking to a conservative Values Voters summit in 2011, he stated, “We cannot use military to promote social ideas that do not reflect the values of your nation.”
As a congressman, Pompeo sponsored two Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) bills, which were made moot by the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. When that ruling legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, Pompeo lashed out, remarking that the high court had committed a “shocking abuse of power.”
LGBTQ activists decried Trump’s choice of Pompeo as his Secretary of State, when his diplomatic portfolio in that position would necessarily include advocacy on international human rights. “His personal ties to anti-LGBTQ hate groups and clear refusal to support the hard-fought equal rights of the LGBTQ community make him wholly unqualified to promote human rights abroad,” said GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis. Citing Hodges, Lawrence v. Texas, and other landmark cases, the ACLU Tweeted, “Mike Pompeo may believe that same-sex marriage is ‘inappropriate’ and that gay sex is a ‘perversion’ but thankfully the Supreme Court doesn’t agree.”
For his part, Sen. Booker didn’t let Pompeo off the hook easily. “You’re going to be representing this country and their values abroad in nations where gays individuals are under untold persecution, untold violence,” Booker pointed out. “Your views do matter.” Pompeo does enjoy considerable GOP support in the Senate, and a simple majority vote would be sufficient to confirm him, Senate sources noted. The confirmation hearings continue tomorrow morning.