Trump law chief’s character witness compared homosexuals to paedophiles
A man who compared gay people to paedophiles was invited to testify as a ‘character witness’ for Trump’s Attorney General, it has emerged.
The Senate is currently confirming members of the incoming Trump administration, with new Attorney General Jeff Sessions facing a tough battle.
Senator Sessions has faced questions about whether he would be willing to uphold LGBT rights laws, as he is known as one of the most conservative and anti-LGBT members of Congress – holding a 0 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard. He fought vocally against equal marriage and discrimination protections for LGBT people, and opposed lifting the ban on openly gay people serving in the military.
Sessions has claimed he would “respect” the current law.
But his assertions that he has no problem on LGBT have been undermined – after it emerged he selected a man who likened homosexuality and paedophilia to testify before Congress as a character witness.
William Smith, a GOP staffer asked to testify on behalf of Sessions yesterday, previously made the shocking claims in a blog, unearthed by Right Wing Watch.
In the 2009 post, he criticised a Republican policy guru for speaking to LGBT group the Log Cabin Republicans, likening them to notorious paedophile group NAMBLA.
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Smith wrote: “I wonder if next week Schmidt will take his close minded stump speech to a NAMBLA meeting.”
He continued: “Lifestyle proponents would say that my opposition is based on the slippery slope approach.
“I say that it is based on principle and that it is no more close minded than their position for gay unions. The difference between me and Schmidt is that I’m not a maverick.
“I’m guided by something called Christian principles. And I don’t need people in California, New York and Washington to tell me what the principles should be.”
Judy Shepard, the mother of gay murder victim Matthew Shepard, has submitted a letter opposing the confirmation of Sessions – who fought against a hate crime law named in honour of her son.
She warned: “As Attorney General, Senator Sessions would be responsible for not only enforcing the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, but a myriad of other civil rights laws including the Violence Against Women Act, which includes explicit protections for LGBTQ people.
“Senator Sessions’ very public record of hostility towards the LGBTQ community and federal legislation designed to protect vulnerable Americans, including the Voting Rights Act, makes it nearly impossible to believe that he will vigorously enforce statutes and ideas that he worked so hard to defeat.
“Over a career that spans more than 3 decades in public life Senator Sessions has forfeited opportunity after opportunity to stand up for people like my son Matt and has, instead, used his position of power to target them for increased discrimination and marginalization, thus encouraging violence and other acts deemed to be hate crimes.”