- The Magazine
The Human Rights campaign has released an online video ad highlighting offensive and anti-LGBTQ comments made by Gordon Giampietro, who Trump nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Giampietro’s nomination first raised red flags after BuzzFeed reported that he had made comments disparaging diversity and LGBTQ rights, both in posts for a Catholic website, and in radio interviews. Giampietro did not disclose the online comments on the website in his Senate questionnaire, but did mention the radio interviews he gave.
Among the comments he made in those instances were that “calls for diversity” were “code for relaxed standards (moral and intellectual),” that birth control was “an assault on nature,” that marriage equality is “against God’s plan” and LGBTQ people are “troubled” and unfit to be parents.
The HRC ad highlights particular comments by Giampietro that same-sex marriages undermine marriage because they focus on “the sex act” between two LGBTQ individuals, as opposed to the love between two people, and that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy “went off the rails” by choosing to decriminalize same-sex consensual sexual relations in Lawrence v. Texas — which paved the way for Kennedy’s eventual decision in the case legalizing marriage equality — and that the Civil Rights Act was an “intrusion into private business.”
HRC is calling on Trump to withdraw Giampietro’s nomination, but given the administration’s past refusals to do so for other objectionable nominees, the ad takes a different tack, telling viewers to call their senators and ask them to block Giampietro’s confirmation.
“Gordon Giampietro’s disturbing views against the LGBTQ community, women, and other marginalized groups raise serious questions about his ability as a judge to enforce equal treatment for all people under our laws,” HRC Wisconsin State Manager Wendy Strout, said in a statement. “Someone who publicly and unabashedly voices contempt for equality and diversity has no place on the bench or in public office. HRC will continue to oppose Giampietro and other anti-LGBTQ nominees that the Trump-Pence Administration scrapes from the bottom of the barrel.”
HRC and several other LGBTQ or civil rights groups have raised serious objections to other Trump nominees in the past based on their inflexible conservative ideology or offensive comments. But only two judicial nominees have had their nominations withdrawn, one for a conflict of interest and the other being Jeff Mateer, a nominee to the federal bench in Texas whose comments about transgender children being evidence of “Satan’s plan” were so offensive that even Republican senators balked at confirming him.
Otherwise, a slew of other nominees, including Damien Schiff, Leonard Steven Grasz, Mark Norris, and Don Willett, have not only been nominated but confirmed to the positions for which they were considered.
Watch HRC’s ad below:
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