Lawmakers urged to block Trump’s anti-LGBT Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo

Senators have been urged to block President Donald Trump’s anti-LGBT nominee for Secretary of State.

The outgoing head of the State Department Rex Tillerson had maintained some of the work on global LGBT rights that had begun under the Obama administration.

While other federal government departments worked to undermine civil rights protections, Secretary Tillerson struck a conciliatory tone and issued statements to mark Pride Month and the Transgender Day of Remembrance, continuing commitments to basic LGBT rights.

But Trump recently nominated former Republican lawmaker Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson – and LGBT rights groups are concerned about his extensive anti-LGBT record.

Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

As a GOP lawmaker Pompeo was co-sponsor of the State Marriage Defense Act, a proposed law that would have allowed states to continue to refuse recognition of same-sex unions.

He also co-sponsored the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, which would have issued a ‘license to discriminate’ against LGBT people based on religion.

LGBT rights groups this week urged senators to block the nomination of Pompeo, because of the potential implications of his appointment on LGBT equality.

The Human Rights Campaign, Global Forum on MSM & HIV, National LGBTQ Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality all signed a joint letter from rights groups expressing “serious doubts about his ability to represent all in America and promote human rights for all individuals abroad.”

HRC President Chad Griffin said: “Mike Pompeo’s record demonstrates a grave threat to the safety and dignity of women, LGBTQ people, and Muslims. His time in Congress was spent fighting to dismantle crucial reproductive healthcare access.

“He opposed the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and sought to block non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. He called the landmark Obergefell decision an ‘abuse of power.’

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