A Texas official that President Donald Trump has nominated for a federal judge position made alarming remarks about homosexuality and transgender children in 2015 speeches first uncovered by CNN.
Jeff Mateer, Texas’ First Assistant Attorney General and a former general counsel of the First Liberty Institute ― a law firm dedicated to defending religious freedom ― discussed in one speech a Colorado case in which a first grader sued a public school over bathroom choice.
“A first grader really knows what their sexual identity [is]?,” he asked. “I mean it just really shows you how Satan’s plan is working and the destruction that’s going on.”
Mateer also referred to homosexuality as “debauchery” and claimed that same-sex marriage could pave the way for “people marrying their pets.”
In another speech that year, Mateer defended gay conversion therapy, a controversial practice that has repeatedly been proven to be both dangerous and ineffective.
“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 audio obtained by CNN’s KFile. “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.”
Raul Gonzalez, a former Texas Supreme Court Justice who serves as an adviser to U.S. Senate on Texas judicial nominations, defended Mateer.
“I trust Jeff’s judgment that he would make a decision not on personal views but on the facts and the law of the case before him,” Gonzalez told Dallas News on Wednesday.
Mateer isn’t the only Texas nominee to come from the First Liberty Institute; Trump also nominated deputy general counsel Matthew Kacsmaryk.
“I’m confident these nominees will serve Texans well on the bench by faithfully applying the law, and I hope the Senate will move quickly to confirm them,” Texas. Sen. John Cornyn (R) said in September following the nominations.