President Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who is set to replace John Kelly, has a history of supporting anti-LGBTQ policies that is alarming advocates.
Mulvaney has served as Director of the Office of Management Budget, and prior to that served in the South Carolina House and Senate, as well as the United States House, and has consistently stood in the way of the advancement of LGBTQ rights.
He has been an outspoken opponent of marriage equality, co-sponsoring a bill in South Carolina defining marriage as between one man and one woman; as well as another seeking to protect anti-marriage equality opinions as free speech; and yet another, the so-called First Amendment Defense Act, which would allow for a religious exemption to anti-discrimination laws.
Mulvaney also signed onto a letter asking Congress to include “language protecting traditional marriage on the National Defense Authorization Act,” as well as one urging the Obama administration to abandon its decision to offer protections to transgender students.
During his run for state Senate in 2008, a made-up group calling itself the Alliance for the Advancement of Gays and Lesbians put out a robocall claiming to support his opponent, Mandy Powers Norrell, and talking up her support for “homosexual unions and abortion rights.” Mulvaney would go on to distance himself from the call.
Earlier this year, Mulvaney claimed the Obama administration had persecuted African countries by threatening to withhold funding on the basis of a lack of marriage equality protections.
The threats were actually tied to laws criminalizing homosexuality, such as Uganda’s eventually abandoned legislation colloquially known as the “Kill the Gays” bill.
Mulvaney is set to replace Kelly at the start of the new year.