Trump official Rick Perry claims gay university president ‘stole’ election in a ‘quest for diversity’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Donald Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry has lashed out at the first openly gay student President in Texas, in an unprecedented intervention.

Out economics student Bobby Brooks was recently elected as student President at Texas A&M University, overcoming old-fashioned homophobia in the Lone Star state.

Brooks encountered strong homophobia from some of his opponents during the race – and now former Texas Governor Rick Perry is weighing in to the controversy.

Perry, who strongly opposes LGBT rights, penned a column for the Houston Chronicle claiming the election had been “stolen outright” in favour of Brooks, after another candidate was disqualified for expenses violations.

The Trump administration official claimed: “Brooks’ presidency is being treated as a victory for ‘diversity’. It is difficult to escape the perception that this quest for “diversity” is the real reason the election outcome was overturned.

“Does the principle of ‘diversity’ override and supersede all other values?”

He continued to lash out at the gay student, saying: “The administration must explain why it stood passive while equal treatment was mocked in the name of diversity, and why officials did not brief the Board of Regents.

“Campus diversity is something every school and student should strive to consistently improve. But it must be done the right way.

“The quality of diversity on a campus depends on fair treatment, rather than preferred outcomes or engineered results.

“McIntosh’s treatment suggests that A&M is choosing preferred outcomes over equal treatment: that the ends justify the means, and that not every student is deserving of the same treatment.”

Like many other members of the Trump Cabinet, Perry holds extreme anti-LGBT stances.

Perry led the charge against gay people being allowed to serve in the military, releasing a notorious ad while running for President in 2012 claiming there’s “something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas”.

While serving as Texas Governor in 2014, he compared gay people to alcoholics.

He had claimed: “Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that.

“I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”

His comments came after the Texas Republican Convention announced its support for gay-to-straight conversion therapy.

Running for President again last year, the former Governor launched an attack on the Boy Scouts of America after the organisation opted to end a ban on openly gay scoutmasters.

Perry had claimed: “Openly active gays, particularly advocates, present a problem. Because gay activism is central to their lives, it would unavoidably be a topic of conversation within a Scout troop. This would distract from the mission of scouting.”

Asked whether he would retract the comments, he insisted: “I believe that scouting would be better off if they didn’t have openly gay scoutmasters.”