President Donald Trump has tapped Jeff Mateer to become a district judge in Texas, but he has been caught on tape admitting he discriminates against LGBTQ people. The question is, will that stop his nomination?
The comments can be heard in audio obtained by Vice News from a speech Mateer delivered in 2015, at the National Religious Liberties Conference, while serving as general counsel for the right wing legal organization First Liberty Institute (then known as Liberty Institute).
“Guess what? I attend a conservative Baptist church,” Mateer told the assembled faithful. “We discriminate, alright. On the basis of sexual orientation, we discriminate.”
He then adds that he doesn’t think that should disqualify him from being a judge.
“Does that mean I can’t be a judge? In some states, I think that’s true, unfortunately,” he said.
But not in good ol’ Texas, and not in Trump’s America, unless he can be stopped during his confirmation hearings. Considering all the other anti-LGBTQ appointees that have gotten through, it doesn’t exactly look promising.
Mateer made a number of other controversial statements in that speech that are likely to come up at his hearing, including:
- Bible studies are necessary in the federal government.
- Diversity training is “brainwashing with the left’s agenda on LGBT.”
- Separation of church and state is not a valid concept because those exact words aren’t found in the Constitution. (It is found in the Constitution, it just isn’t worded that way, as the phrase itself comes from Thomas Jefferson’s writings on the importance of the Establishment Clause, and the Free Exercise Clause, as it provides “a wall of separation between Church & State.”)
- Marriage equality is unconstitutional, and presents a “challenge” for Christians.
- It’s a problem that there aren’t any Evangelical Supreme Court justices, or even any that are Protestant. (Note that Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch, who wasn’t yet on the court at the time of the speech, was raised Roman Catholic, but has attended a Protestant church for years.)
- Churches should be able to endorse candidates. (Note that Trump made it easier for churches to get directly involved in politics with his religious freedom executive order going after the Johnson Amendment.)
Mateer has also said that transgender children are “part of Satan’s plan.”
In a 2014 interview, he compared a Houston nondiscrimination ordinance offering protections to the LGBTQ community with Nazi Germany and “Stalinist Russia and Maoist China,” in audio obtained by via CNN’s KFile.
Listen to Mateer make the remarks below.