US: The extreme anti-LGBTQ activists Trump is nominating to the federal bench

A transgender first grade student is part of “Satan’s plan,” according to Jeff Mateer, a lawyer that Donald Trump wants to put on the federal bench. Mateer also defended “conversion therapy,” which claims to reduce same-sex attraction, and warned that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy, bestiality, and whatever the word is for a person marrying a plant.

If a same-sex couple is allowed to marry, Mateer claimed in a 2015 speech, “why couldn’t four people wanna get married? Why not one man and three women? Or three women and one man?” Then his speech got weirder. “There are people who marry themselves. Somebody wanted to marry a tree. People marrying their pets.”

Mateer, who currently serves as a senior attorney in the Texas attorney general’s office and previously was a senior executive in a Christian right legal shop, may be Trump’s most bombastically anti-LGBTQ nominee — even Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has expressed concerns about Mateer’s loose-tongued rhetoric — but he is hardly an outlier ideologically. To the contrary, ThinkProgress identified at least half-a-dozen Trump judicial nominees with explicitly anti-LGBTQ records. They include lawyers at major religious conservative law firms, private attorneys with practices focused on restricting equal rights, and outspoken opponents of marriage equality.

If you want to catch the eye of Trump’s judicial selection team, one of the quickest ways appears to be joining the fight against LGBTQ rights.

Indeed, Mateer, who worked as general counsel for the First Liberty Institute, isn’t even the only Trump nominee to work for this obscure Christian right law firm. Trump also named Matthew Kacsmaryk, First Liberty’s deputy general counsel, to a federal district court judgeship in Texas.

Kacsmaryk seems to be more cautious in his rhetoric than Mateer — he does not appear to have made any public statements accusing schoolchildren of being the work of the Devil — but his views are no less radical. In a 2015 op-ed in the National Catholic Register, for example, Kacsmaryk railed against legalized contraception, a no-fault divorce law signed by then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan, and “the 1971 Model Penal Code, which eliminated legal penalties for fornication and adultery.”

He also endorsed the Catholic Church’s statement that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” and endorsed two Catholic bishops’ claim that the idea that transgender people exist is rooted in a “false idea.”

Kacsmaryk is joined by two federal appellate nominees, Kyle Duncan and Steven Grasz, both of whom also held leadership roles in anti-LGBTQ organizations. Read more via Think Progress