New Jersey Senator Cory Booker questioned CIA Director Mike Pompeo over his anti-gay track record.
During Pompeo’s bid for U.S. Secretary of State, Booker asked him about his previous comments on LGBTI rights.
When the U.S. legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, Pompeo said at the time: ‘It is a shocking abuse of power. It is wrong. I will continue to fight to protect our most sacred institutions.’
Booker asked if Pompeo still holds the view that same-sex marriage ‘endorses perversion’. He follows up with: ‘Is being gay a perversion?’
Pompeo responds: ‘When I was a politician, I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry [and] I stand by that.’
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) 13 March 2018
When asked to clarify, Pompeo furthermore adds: ‘I continue to hold that view.’
Then Booker asks if, under Pompeo’s future leadership, should same-sex marriage be allowed?
He responds: ‘I believe it’s the case we have married same-sex couples at the CIA. I treated them with the exact same set of rights.’
‘Do you believe that gay sex is a perversion?’
Booker takes the questioning even further by asking if Mike Pompeo thinks gay sex is a perversion.
Evading the simple yes or no question several times, he declines to comment but says he gives everyone respect.
Then Booker concludes with the best summary of his line of questioning.
He said: ‘You’re going to be Secretary of State of the United States at a time that we have an increase in hate speech and hate actions against Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, Indian Americans. Hate acts are on the increase in the nation.
‘You’re going to be representing this country and its values abroad, in nations where gay individuals are under untold persecution [and] violence.
He also added: ‘Your views do matter.’