The Human Rights Campaign just released a list of the five worst Trump nominees that still need confirmed by Congress and this group of deplorables is stunning in their prejudices. While the Trump/Pence administration has been stocked full of homophobes and bigots, these five really stand out.
Here’s the full list and HRC’s reasons why they should be voted down by the Senate.
Jeff Mateer has been nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. In a 2015 speech titled “The Church and Homosexuality,” Jeff Mateer objected to a transgender student using a restroom consistent with her gender identity, saying “I mean it just really shows you how Satan’s plan is working and the destruction that’s going on.” He defended then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s ‘license-to-discriminate’ bill and objected to efforts to alter the legislation. Mateer fought against non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community in Plano and San Antonio, Texas, and he even supports the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” Mateer also claimed that marriage equality will lead to bestiality.
Damien Schiff, nominated to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, has been unabashed in his anti-LGBTQ views. He called Anthony Kennedy a “judicial prostitute,” opposed anti-bullying policies, opposed the decriminalization of same-sex relationships, and has been a longtime critic of marriage equality. In his writings, Schiff has encouraged parents to opt out of public schools in response to new curriculum that discouraged LGBTQ bullying and normalized families with same-sex parents; opposed the Supreme Court ruling decriminalizing same-sex relationships; defended supporters of Prop 8, falsely claiming same-sex couples had the same legal benefits as married opposite-sex couples before Prop 8.
Steven Grasz, nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, served on the board of a non-profit that backed the abusive practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors and was unwilling to clarify his own views during his confirmation hearing. Grasz said that language protecting people on the basis of “sexual orientation” opened the door for protections for pedophiles and argued Nebraska should not recognize marriage equality in other states. Grasz also opposed allowing same-sex parents to adopt. The American Bar Association has deemed Grasz unqualified to serve in the position Trump has nominated him for.
Mark S. Norris has been nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Currently the Senate Majority Leader of the Tennessee General Assembly, Norris has voted to support legislation giving business a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people and supported a state law preventing local municipalities from passing LGBTQ non-discrmination protections. Among a host of other positions supporting discrimination, Norris opposed federal guidance from the Obama administration helping to protect transgender students from discrimination and harassment in public schools.
Stephen Schwartz, nominated to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, has a demonstrable anti-LGBTQ record. HRC joined in an opposition letter with 27 LGBTQ groups, including Lambda Legal and the National Center for Transgender Equality, opposing Schwartz. His work opposing equality includes defending North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2. He also notably served as co-counsel to the Gloucester County School Board in Virginia after it was sued by transgender student Gavin Grimm for discrimination. Grimm challenged the school board in court for denying him use of the boy’s restroom.