Metro Weekly

HRC opposes anti-LGBTQ Scott Garrett for Export-Import Bank post

Former U.S. representative amassed a strong anti-LGBTQ record over his 14 years in Congress

U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett – Photo: U.S. Congress, via Wikimedia.

The Human Rights Campaign has announced it s opposition to the nomination of former U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) to lead the Export-Import Bank, which he had previously proposed abolishing.

Garrett appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs for a confirmation hearing on Wednesday, where he tried to convince members of the committee that he would carry out the mission of the government-owned bank, which provides loans and financial assistance to exporters.

As a member of Congress from 2003 to 2017, Garrett had previously raised the issue of abolishing the Export-Import Bank and voted two separate times against bills that sought to reauthorize it.

The committee didn’t take a final vote to advance Garrett’s nomination to the full Senate on Wednesday, but is expected to vote later this month.

Besides advocating for the elimination of the post he now seeks to fill, Democrats were largely sour on Garrett’s nomination because of his anti-LGBTQ record and statements while in office.

Throughout his career, Garrett was a consistent vote against LGBTQ rights, opposing hate crime protections, workplace protections, and even opposing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act in 2013 because it contained provisions to protect victims of domestic violence in same-sex relationships. He also voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, and voted to keep the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in place.

In 2015, Garrett notably balked at having to pay dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee because it supported openly gay candidates Richard Tisei and Carl DeMaio during the 2014 cycle. Garrett later clarified that he did not object to the men’s sexual orientation, but rather their support of same-sex marriage, which Garrett saw as inconsistent with the GOP’s platform and principles.

“Scott Garrett is not qualified to be the President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. It makes no sense to appoint someone to lead an institution he does not believe should exist,” David Stacy, government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “Even among the many House Members with anti-LGBTQ records, Scott Garrett managed to stand out for his extreme positions on the inclusion of LGBTQ people in our country.

The Trump-Pence administration continues to dispatch anti-LGBTQ officials to all levels of government and Garrett is simply another disgraceful agent in their crusade against equality,” Stacy added. “We urge the Senate to reject his nomination.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com