Trump’s civil rights chief defended North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law

President Trump has reportedly picked a lawyer who defended an anti-LGBT law to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

The Republican this week named attorney John M Gore from law firm Jones Day to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which is responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws on behalf of the federal government and standing up for equality.

The appointment – which has not been officially announced – is likely to be seen as a direct provocation on LGBT rights, given Gore is one of the attorneys who has been defending North Carolina’s discriminatory anti-LGBT law HB2, arguing against allegations that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and federal law.

Gore had defended the law on behalf of the University of North Carolina, after then-Attorney General Roy Cooper refused to defend the law in court on behalf of the state.

The appointment has been slammed by progressive advocacy group People For the American Way.

PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker said: “John M. Gore’s long track record of distorting the Constitution to advance discrimination shows that if he’s confirmed to head the Civil Rights Division, he’ll undoubtedly neglect his responsibility to protect the rights of all Americans.

“Coupled with the Trump administration’s indicated desire to cut or reduce funding for the Civil Rights Division, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and Violence Against Women Grants, this latest appointment makes clear how little Trump and his administration respect core constitutional rights.

“This weekend, millions of Americans across the country marched to stand up for women’s rights, civil rights, religious freedom, and other central American values that Trump threatened during his campaign.

“Sadly, Gore’s appointment is just the latest decision from Trump and his team that flies in the face of the shared principles that the marchers and the vast majority of Americans stand for.

“As Senators consider whether or not they’ll vote for Gore, they’ll have to decide whether they stand on the side of the millions of Americans who will fight for equality, or the Trump administration and their concerning disregard for fundamental American rights.”

Trump’s Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions is a notorious opponent of LGBT rights.