Mick Mulvaney, set to become acting White House chief of staff because nobody else wanted the job, brings a virulently anti-LGBTQ record to the post.
Mulvaney, currently director of the Office of Management and Budget, will replace John Kelly as Donald Trump’s chief of staff at year end. A Republican, he is a former U.S. House member from South Carolina, and before that was a South Carolina state representative and state senator.
He has been involved with just about every anti-LGBTQ move of the past decade, according to GLAAD, which released a compilation of his record as part of its Trump Accountability Project.
As a state representative in 2007, he cosponsored a bill confirming South Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage, which had been approved by voters but still required legislative action to go into effect. The ban stood until it was struck down in court in 2014. In 2008, when he was running for state senator, his campaign put out a robocall in which a fictitious group called the Alliance for the Advancement of Gays and Lesbians that praised his Democratic opponent, Mandy Powers Norell, for supporting “homosexual unions and abortion rights.” The state even had a law against robocalls at the time. Mulvaney eventually distanced himself from the call.
In 2010, during his first run for Congress, he expressed support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage; it came on a survey from the Christian Coalition. He won the election and was reelected three times, remaining in the U.S. House until he resigned to become director of OMB in 2017. He received a zero in every term on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard.
While in the House, in 2011, he signed on to a letter urging the Obama administration to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which it had decided to cease supporting in court. DOMA prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and also allowed any state not to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The Supreme Court struck down the first part in 2013 and took care of the rest by invalidating all remaining marriage bans in 2015.
In 2015, he cosponsored the First Amendment Defense Act, which would allow for discrimination against LGBTQ people and others based on religious objections, without repercussions. The following year, he joined in a letter questioning the Obama administration’s guidance on equal treatment of transgender students, which included allowing them access to the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice and using their preferred names and pronouns.
Then this year, he denounced the Obama administration’s policy of withholding aid to countries with anti-LGBTQ laws. He called it “religious persecution” and said the Trump administration would end it.
On other issues, as director of OMB, Mulvaney has sought to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created under President Obama to assist consumers who have been treated unfairly by financial institutions. He opposes gun control, the Affordable Care Act, and many federal regulations.
He’s working for Trump despite having called him “a terrible human being.” In a 2016 congressional, debate, he said, “Yes, I’m supporting Donald Trump [for president]. I'm doing so as enthusiastically as I can, given the fact that I think he’s a terrible human being, but the choice on the other side is just as bad.” Video of the debate was recently posted by The Daily Beast.