HRC Calls on Trump to Withdraw Anti-LGBTQ Judicial Nominee Jeff Mateer

by Elliott Kozuch

Washington -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, called on the Trump-Pence administration to withdraw its nomination of Jeff Mateer, an anti-LGBTQ extremist recently put forward for a district judge appointment in Texas.

“Judges are tasked with a sacred duty to enforce equal treatment for all people under our laws, which is why it is so alarming that Jeff Mateer has spent his career opposing anti-discrimination protections and attacking transgender children. Someone who publicly and unabashedly voices contempt for LGBTQ people has no place on the bench or in public office,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow.

HRC President Chad Griffin said, “The Trump-Pence administration either failed to vet Jeff Mateer or they knew his hateful, extremist views and nominated him anyway. In either case, they must withdraw the nomination of someone who viciously attacks transgender children, openly embraced Mike Pence’s license-to-discriminate law in Indiana, and has repeatedly opposed anti-discrimination protections throughout his career. If the White House won’t withdraw this nomination, it is incumbent on the Senate Judiciary Committee to block this attack on LGBTQ people and the civil rights of all Americans.”

In a 2015 speech titled “The Church and Homosexuality,” Mateer objected to a transgender student using the bathroom corresponding to her gender identity, saying “I mean it just really shows you how Satan's plan is working and the destruction that's going on.” As general counsel of the Liberty Institute -- now known as the First Liberty Institute -- he defended then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s ‘license-to-discriminate’ bill and objected to efforts to alter the legislation. Mateer also fought against non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community of Plano, Texas and San Antonio, Texas. Mateer also supports the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” and claimed that marriage equality will lead to bestiality.

With his nomination, Mateer joins the likes of fellow Trump nominee Stephen Schwartz, who has a history of supporting anti-LGBTQ -- and especially anti-transgender -- causes, including the discriminatory HB2 law in North Carolina that attacked the rights of transgender people. He also joins Mark Green, whose record includes using slurs against the transgender community, describing former President Obama’s guidance protecting transgender students an example of “tyrannical government,” saying being transgender is a “disease,” and encouraging the state of Tennessee to defy federal law and deny marriage licenses to gay couples.


The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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