Donald Trump’s latest judicial appointee described transgender children as proof of “Satan’s plan” in a 2015 speech uncovered by CNN.
Jeff Mateer, a former attorney for the extreme right-wing First Liberty Institute, gave a speech entitled “The Church and Homosexuality.” In the anti-LGBTQ tirade, he singles out Coy Mathis, a trans elementary schooler whose parents fought for her right to use the bathroom appropriate to her gender identity. The family won that case in 2013, the first legal victory of its kind.
Mateer, however, was none too pleased.
“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 claimed in a video that has since been posted to Vimeo. “And the school said, ‘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?” he continued. “I mean, it just really shows you how Satan’s plan is working and the destruction that’s going on.”
Mateer, who was tapped by Trump in September, would sit on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas should he be confirmed by the Senate. His former employer, First Liberty Institute, has worked to erode LGBTQ rights across the country. It opposed an equal rights ordinance in Plano, Texas and defended a county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The LGBTQ rights organization Equality Texas once referred to Matter’s organization as a “hate group.”
But as CNN uncovered, advocates will find much to dislike about the nominee’s record. During that same speech, Mateer claimed that allowing same-sex couples to wed would lead to polygamy, bestality, self-marriages, and even people getting married to trees.
“I mean, it’s disgusting,” Mateer said. “I’ve learned words I didn’t know. Have you ever heard the word ‘throuple?’ That’s three people coming together of different sexes, maybe mixed sexes. Them coming together. There are people who marry themselves. Somebody wanted to marry a tree. People marrying their pets.”
He further claimed that these unions are reminiscent of the Old Testament: “We’re back to that time where debauchery rules.”
Mateer also came out in support of conversion therapy in the National Religious Liberties Conference, hosted by the notorious “Kill the Gays” pastor Kevin Swanson. The network posted audio from the event in which Swanson bemoans the national movement to outlaw the discredited practice. Often referred to as “anti-gay torture,” conversion therapy has been condemned by every reputable medical association.
“Biblical counselors and therapists, 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, it’s same sex,” Mateer said. “And if you’re giving conversion therapy, that’s been outlawed in at least two states and then in some local areas.”
He added that LGBTQ advocates were “invading” conversion therapists’ right to the free exercise of their religion.
Mateer is just the latest Trump appointee with a long anti-LGBTQ history. John K. Bush, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, supports sodomy laws targeting gay men. Neil Gorsuch, once described fawningly in a New York Times profile as having gay friends, opposed same-sex marriage in his 2005 dissertation at Oxford University.
As of press time, Mateer has not responded to the CNN report.