President Donald Trump’s judicial nominee for Texas’ Eastern District is no advocate of LGBTQ rights.
The state’s first assistant attorney general, Jeff Mateer, used to work for the religious advocacy group the Liberty Institute (then known as the First Liberty Institute) as its general counsel. And in a 2015 speech called “The Church and Homosexuality,” Mateer had some choice words for the transgender community. Referencing a lawsuit in which the parents of a transgender girl were suing to allow their child to use the girls’ room, Mateer called transgender children part of “Satan’s plan.”
“In Colorado, a public school has been sued because a first grader and I forget the sex, she’s a girl who thinks she’s a boy or a boy who thinks she’s a girl, it’s probably that, a boy who thinks she’s a girl,” Mateer said, according to a video of the speech. “And the school said, ‘Well, she’s not using the girl’s restroom.’ And so she has now sued to have a right to go in.
“Now, I submit to you, a parent of three children who are now young adults, a first grader really knows what their sexual identity?” he continued. “I mean it just really shows you how Satan’s plan is working and the destruction that’s going on.”
Mateer also criticized the 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage across the United States, suggesting that LGBTQ rights are reintroducing a Biblical era where “debauchery rules.”
“I submit to you that there’ll be no line there,” he told the audience. “And actually in the arguments Chief Justice Roberts, who’s in the center there said, I mean, what is the limiting? Why couldn’t four 4 people wanna get married? Why not one man and three women?”
Mateer also claims there are “illegal attacks” that LGBTQ Americans are “unleashing” on the U.S., arguing that Christian churches are having their religious freedoms eroded.
“Our founders understood that we need to protect that rule of religion because religion was a check on government,” he said. “And so the founders put in place mechanisms in the Constitution, protections in the Bill of Rights, to protect the centrality of religion.”
Audio obtained by CNN also shows Mateer defending LGBTQ “conversion therapy,” in which counselors, often Christians, attempt to change a patient’s sexual orientation or gender identity, despite the practice widely being condemned as torture.
“Biblical counselors and therapists, we’ve seen cases in New Jersey and in California where folks have gotten in trouble because they gave biblical counseling and, you know, the issue is always, it’s same sex,” Mateer said, according to CNN. “And if you’re giving conversion therapy, that’s been outlawed in at least two states and then in some local areas. So they’re invading that area.”
Mateer still faces confirmation from the U.S. Senate. But he certainly isn’t the first controversial Trump administration nominee. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was criticized early on in the administration for his pro-religious freedom stances, and controversial blogger John. K Bush was confirmed to the federal courts despite his anti-LGBTQ sentiments. President Trump’s nominee for the USDA’s chief scientist also has woefully out-of-touch views on the LGBTQ community.