In a moment of American history where trans rights are being rescinded and all aspects of LGBTI life feels under threat, being gay while being President Donald Trump’s press secretary feels almost like an oxymoron.
But that’s the reality for Judd Deere, a gay man with that very title on his resumé.
Nevertheless, in an interview with Buzzfeed yesterday (2 July), he defended the President’s refusal to support the Equality Act and his call to ban trans troops from the military, while saying that the administration being anti-LGBTI is just a ‘smear campaign.’
On several legal and cultural battles occurring across the states, Deere had thoughts; from the battle of religious freedom vs wedding cakes to crucial pro-LGBTI bills.
When it came to whether a Christian cake-maker can refuse to offer their services to queer people, ‘that’s fine,’ Deere said.
‘I’ll just go find another cake shop that will.’
Deere said trans people ‘erode military readiness.’
Moreover, he claimed the ban ‘was developed through extensive studies within the military by senior military officials.’
This is despite reports that Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was not only surprised by the ban, but wasn’t even consulted on it. Many top military officials had similar reactions.
‘It’s just a smear campaign’
While having more LGBTIs in Trump’s orbit tracks with a trend of growing acceptance and accommodation within conservative circles, to Deere, it’s liberals who are intolerant.
‘The left tends to preach complete and total equality except for when you don’t agree 100 percent with them on every issue,’ he told BuzzFeed.
‘The left really wants to continue to push what I consider to be a disgusting message that LGBT Americans are threatened under this administration,’ he added.
‘It’s just a smear campaign.’
Has Judd Deere ever encountered homophobia within White House walls?
No, he specified.
‘These individuals that I work with in this building don’t treat me any differently because I’m gay.’
And that even includes Trump. Although, Deere admittee he’s not sure the President is entirelt aware of his sexual identity.
But ‘If he asked me, sure, I’d have the conversation with him,’ he added.
Who is Judd Deere?
Overtime, Deere has risen the ranks in the White House. But his resumé acts as a record of his remarks.
He used to be a Arkansas attorney general’s office spokesperson, where he had to defend anti-LGBTI policies. Such as the state refusing to list both members of a same sex couple on their child’s birth certificate.
A policy that the US Supreme Court has since invalidated.
Furthermore, he went onto join the White House as director of media affairs in August 2018. In January this year he was promoted to his current position.