President Trump has ousted former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson—and nominated anti-LGBT CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace him.
Trump chose to remove Tillerson from his cabinet after months of lingering tensions, The Washington Post reports. The two were frequently at odds over policy decisions.
It was rumored as early as last December, when Tillerson abruptly canceled his World AIDS Day speech, that Trump wanted him out.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
Now, Trump has elected Pompeo, a former Republican representative, to fill the empty position. But queer advocates say his track record of anti-LGBT policies means he’s the wrong man for the job.
As a lawmaker, Pompeo opposed marriage equality and voted against the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” He even co-sponsored the Marriage and Religious Freedoms Act, which would have permitted anti-LGBT discrimination under the guise of religious liberty.
— GLAAD (@glaad) March 13, 2018
Pompeo also consulted with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies FRC as an anti-LGBT hate group.
In contrast, Tillerson was one of the only senior members of the Trump administration who publicly addressed LGBT issues. Last June, he issued a statement about Pride Month. And in November, he spoke out in support of America’s transgender community for the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
“The United States honors the memory of the many transgender individuals who have lost their lives to acts of violence,” he said in a statement. “Transgender persons should not be subjected to violence or discrimination, and the human rights they share with all persons should be respected.”
HRC president Chad Griffin called Pompeo a “reckless choice to lead our nation’s diplomatic efforts.”
“The decision to nominate anti-LGBT Mike Pompeo could have serious consequences for the U.S. and LGBT people around the globe,” Griffin said. “The State Department has a crucial role to play in advancing human rights—a role which was already rapidly declining under Tillerson. This decision has the potential to make a dire situation even worse.”