News National News Trump Nominee to Federal Bench Admits to Discriminating Based on Sexuality

Trump Nominee to Federal Bench Admits to Discriminating Based on Sexuality


Further proof that the Trump Administration seeks to erode LGBTQ rights is evident in the nominees for federal judicial seats proposed.  One particularly egregious example is that of Jeff Mateer, nominated to become a judge in Texas.  VICE News reported this week that Mr. Mateer, admitted in a 2015 speech that he discriminates based on sexual orientation nor does he think his views should prevent him from serving on the federal bench.

“Guess what? I attend a conservative Baptist church. We discriminate, alright. On the basis of sexual orientation, we discriminate,” Jeff Mateer said during a speech to the National Religious Liberties Conference in 2015, long before Trump nominated him. At the time, Mateer was general counsel for the conservative legal organization First Liberty Institute. “Does that mean I can’t be a judge? In some states, I think that’s true, unfortunately.”

VICE Editor’s note: We’ve combined remarks from the two speeches, each an hour long, into a single audio file, with beeps indicating editing.

That remark is just one of many that Mateer — who’s currently the first assistant attorney general in Austin, Texas — made during a pair of speeches at the conference. In them, Mateer provided a roadmap for businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people without legal repercussions.

 In the two speeches — titled “Seven Things Every Christian Employee Should Know” and “Are You Ready? Protecting Your Church or 501(c)(3) Ministry” — Mateer also said the Constitution doesn’t mandate the separation of church and state and that diversity training “brainwashes” people into accepting the LGBTQ lifestyle.

Citing both speeches, 36 LGBTQ advocacy organizations sent a letter to the Senate on Tuesday demanding that its members vote down Mateer’s nomination. His comments, the letter states, “disqualify” him from public service.

The American Civil Liberties Union provided VICE News with audio of both speeches, which we’ve included below. While the content of the “Seven Things” speech has been previously reported, we highlighted notable moments from both talks that don’t appear elsewhere. Neither Mateer’s office nor the organizers of the National Religious Liberties Conference responded to VICE News’ request for comment.

“Trump has been attacking LGBT people’s civil rights in the workplace, the military, and schools,” the ACLU’s political director Faiz Shakir said. “Mateer’s nomination raises further concerns that this administration is intent on reversing hard-fought progress for equality.

More on this issue from VICE here.