Donald Trump’s newest White House appointee has previously called the United States a “homo-empire” under threat from a “tyrannical LGBT agenda.”
Merritt Corrigan, a former employee of the Republican National Committee who describes herself as a “conservative political strategist,” was last week tapped to be the White House’s deputy liaison at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), ProPublica reports. USAID is a federal agency responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance.
Corrigan had used her now-private Twitter account to rail against “liberal democracy,” calling it “little more than a front for the war being waged against us by those who fundamentally despise not only our way of life, but life itself.”
In a tweet discovered by Politico, she wrote, “our homo-empire couldn’t tolerate even one commercial enterprise not in full submission to the tyrannical LGBT agenda.”
Acting USAID spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala told ProPublica in response to Corrigan’s comments that the agency has a “zero-tolerance policy of any form of discrimination or harassment based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other possible distinguishing characteristic that can define any of us.”
Jhunjhunwala added: “All employees are held to the highest of standards and are expected to treat one another with dignity and respect. Period. This includes political appointees, civil servants, foreign service officers and contractors.”
Prior to her new role, Corrigan worked as a “political liaison” at the Hungarian Embassy in the United States, where she used her Twitter account to champion Hungary’s far-right prime minister, Viktor Orbán, calling him “the shining champion of Western civilization.”
Orbán has been in power since 2010, and has overseen the Central European nation’s shift from one that favors European integration and centrist policies to a more nationalist and right-wing state, as well as a push towards anti-LGBTQ policies and stances.
Earlier this year, Orbán’s government successfully passed a law that ends the legal recognition of transgender people. The country also pulled out of the European Song Contest, an international singing competition, because of its LGBTQ-friendly nature and encouragement of LGBTQ representation.
Corrigan has also spoken out against feminism, writing an op-ed for a London conservative publication complaining about the “false song of feminism” and urging women to abandon careers and return to the “natural pleasures of the domestic,” to be mothers, wives, and homemakers.
“It’s time for women to return to the home,” she she wrote, “where we rightfully belong and where real joy and fulfilment await.”
“An appointee who eschews gender equality, meaningful democracy and LGBTI rights cannot possibly fulfill the mission of USAID,” Beirne Roose-Snyder, director of public policy at the Center for Health and Gender Equity, told ProPublica.
Corrigan wouldn’t be the first Trump appointee or nominee with an anti-LGBTQ record. Last year, Trump judicial nominee Lawrence VanDyke cried during his nomination hearing after he was asked about his attitudes towards the LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ organizations also decried another judicial nominee, Allison Jones Rushing, claiming that she had “expressed a deep hostility to the principles of equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law for LGBT Americans.”
And in 2018, an appointee to the federal agency overseeing AmeriCorps and other national service program resigned after it was discovered that he had made disparaging comments about African-Americans, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women, veterans with PTSD, and undocumented immigrants.
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