Trump’s Pick to be America’s Top Diplomat Doesn’t Think Gay Marriage Should Be Legal

CIA Director Mike Pompeo has a long record hostile to gay rights.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo (center), his wife Susan (left) and Vice President Mike Pence.Ron Sachs/CNP via ZUMA Wire

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Thursday during Senate hearings on his nomination to become the next Secretary of State that he stands by his earlier opposition to same sex marriage. He declined to directly answer questions about whether he thought gay sex was a “perversion.” 

Pompeo’s remarks before the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee came under questioning from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Pompeo is an evangelical Christian who has been accused of trying to weaken CIA’s diversity efforts undertaken by former Director John Brennan. During his time as a congressman from Kansas, Pompeo spoke against allowing gay service members in the military, once telling the Values Voters Summit that “we cannot use military to promote social ideas that do not reflect the values of your nation.”

After questioning Pompeo about his past anti-Muslim statements, Booker pressed Pompeo on his record on gay rights. “When I was a politician I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry. I stand by that,” Pompeo said. Booker pressed him further, citing the nominee’s past anti-gay rhetoric:

Booker: “Do you believe that gay sex is a perversion? Yes or no.” 

Pompeo: “Senator, if I can…”

Booker: “Yes or no, do you believe gay sex is a perversion? Because it’s what you said here, in one of your speeches. Yes or no, do you believe gay sex is a perversion?”

Pompeo: “Senator, I’m going to give you the same answer I just gave you previously. My respect for every individual, regardless of sexual orientation, is the same.”

Booker told Pompeo that his views were concerning because “you’re going to be Secretary of State of the United States at a time that we have an increasing hate speech and hate actions… You’re going to be representing this country and their values abroad in nations where gay individuals are under untold persecution, untold violence. Your views do matter.”

Watch the exchange below:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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