Jeff Mateer, an extremist lawyer who currently works for the Texas Attorney General's office, has also advocated for conversion therapy and has said that same-sex marriage will lead to bestiality.
Earlier this month, Donald Trump nominated Jeff Mateer, a top lawyer for the Texas Attorney General's office, to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Previously, Mateer, whose record tracks with the administration's recent actions to dismantle LGBT rights, served as former general counsel for a Christian "religious freedom" group, First Liberty.
The organization works to protect "pastors who mobilize their flock to overturn local non-discrimination ordinances, county clerks who refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and anti-abortion centers that trick women into thinking they're walking into actual medical clinics," according to the Texas Observer.
On Wednesday, CNN reported on two speeches Mateer gave in 2015 while he was working with First Liberty, in which he referred to transgender children as "Satan's plan" and made other bigoted statements.
In one speech, Mateer discussed a lawsuit involving a transgender girl who was fighting for the right to use the bathroom at school. "In Colorado, a public school has been sued because a first grader—and I forget the sex, she's a girl who thinks she's a boy or a boy who thinks she's a girl, it's probably that, a boy who thinks she's a girl," Mateer said in the video, according to CNN. "Well, she's not using the girl's restroom. And so she has now sued to have a right to go in. Now, I submit to you, a parent of three children who are now young adults, a first grader really knows what their sexual identity? I mean, it just really shows you how Satan's plan is working and the destruction that's going on."
He also said that same-sex marriage would lead to bestiality.
In another speech, Mateer defended conversion therapy, which has been banned in several states because it is considered torture. He lamented that conversion therapy is becoming an unacceptable practice. "We've seen cases in New Jersey and in California where folks have gotten in trouble because they gave biblical counseling and, you know, the issue is always same-sex," he said in an audio recording of the speech obtained by CNN. "If you're giving conversion therapy, that's been outlawed in at least two states and then in some local areas. So [the government has been] invading that area."
Advocates have rightly slammed Mateer's nomination, as his remarks underscore the multiple threats facing LGBT Americans—from dangerous "bathroom bills" to proposed federal legislation that would ban gay parents from adopting children—which, as a federal judge, Mateer will be able to carry out.
"Trump has been attacking LGBT people's civil rights in the workplace, the military, and schools," Faiz Shakir, the national policy director for the ACLU, told Broadly in a statement. "Mateer's nomination raises further concerns that this administration is intent on reversing hard-fought progress for equality."