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Trump Judicial Nominee: Marriage Equality Part of 'Assault on Nature'

Trump Judicial Nominee: Marriage Equality Part of 'Assault on Nature'

Gordon Giampetro
Gordon Giampetro

The assault began with contraception, says federal court nominee Gordon Giampetro, who's made other anti-LGBT comments, along with racially incendiary statements.


Civil rights groups are calling on Donald Trump to withdraw the nomination of Gordon Giampetro for a federal judgeship after recordings surfaced of Giampetro making numerous anti-LGBT statements, including that same-sex marriage undermines "very idea of marriage" and is part of an "assault on nature" that began with contraception.

Giampetro, a nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, made the comments in a 2015 interview, just after the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision, and in another interview in 2014. His remarks were first uncovered by BuzzFeed,and both that site and People for the American Way published excerpts. BuzzFeed also found an incendiary online comment about racial diversity.

"No one would disagree with the fact that children, all the social science research shows this, are best raised by a man and a woman," he said in the 2015 interview with Lydia LoCoco, who hosts an eponymous show focusing on faith issues from a Catholic point of view. "This is natural, this is the truth, and it's irrefutable. And so I think it has to be articulated in a way which isn't dismissive of those troubled relationships, but it is reaffirming of the truth of marriage."

In addition to ignoring the many studies that show children raised by same-sex couples do as well in life as any others, he said legalization of same-sex marriage will lead to legalization of polygamy. "Given this constitutional principle that the court has laid down, there really is no principled reason to say that polygamy isn't the next thing to go," he said.

He said Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the ruling in favor of marriage equality, didn't use "legal reasoning" in arriving at his conclusion, and that Kennedy "went off the rails years ago" with the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, striking down sodomy laws.

Giampetro also agreed with the host that all of what they consider wrong with the nation began with the contraceptive pill. "Because that's an assault on nature," he told her. "And any time you assault nature there's going to be a backlash. And that's what we're seeing today. In all kinds of ways, not just with respect to contraception and marriage. Whenever you go against God's plan, bad things are going to happen."

In the 2014 interview on LoCoco's show, he claimed that same-sex marriage "focuses marriage on the sex act," while opposite-sex marriage is "intimately involved with procreation," as if that has nothing to do with sex. He also said that legalizing same-sex marriage would undermine the "very idea of marriage."

BuzzFeed also found a comment Giampetro wrote on a website called Catholic Thing in 2014, calling efforts to promote racial diversity a "racial spoils system" and characterizing "diversity" as "code for relaxed standards (moral and intellectual)."

BuzzFeed sought comment from the Trump administration on Giampetro's views, and an official said in an email, "Giampietro's personal religious views have nothing to do with what he will do as a federal judge. He demonstrated his commitment to the rule of law and the ability to put those views aside for over a dozen years serving the people of Milwaukee as an assistant United States attorney. He'll be able to do the same thing as a judge." The official did not directly address the "diversity" statement.

Lambda Legal, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Human Rights Campaign, Alliance for Justice, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and People for the American Way all called on the White House to withdraw Giampetro's nomination for the judgeship, which is a lifetime appointment.

"Even compared to the anti-LGBT record of so many other Trump judicial nominees, Giampietro's comments are appalling, said Marge Baker, executive vice president at People for the American Way, in a joint press release from the groups. "There's no way that members of the LGBT community could expect fair treatment in a courtroom presided over by this nominee. Any senator who claims to care about equal justice should demand that Giampietro's nomination be withdrawn."

One-third of the judicial nominees put forth by Trump have anti-LGBT records, according to Lambda Legal. Many of them are also hostile to reproductive rights, immigrants' rights, and affirmative action. The nomination of one of the worst, Jeff Mateer, was withdrawn in December. He had called transgender children part of "Satan's plan," supported so-called conversion therapy, and said marriage equality will lead to polygamy, bestiality, and people marrying inanimate objects.

But many anti-LGBT judicial nominees remain up for Senate confirmation, including Stuart Kyle Duncan, Matthew Kacsmaryk, David R. Stras, and Howard C. Nielson Jr. Some have already been confirmed, such as John K. Bush and Leonard Steven Grasz.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring, The Advocate's copy chief, has spent much of her journalistic career covering the LGBT movement. When she's not fielding questions about grammar, spelling, and LGBT history, she's sharing movie trivia or classic rock lyrics.
Trudy Ring, The Advocate's copy chief, has spent much of her journalistic career covering the LGBT movement. When she's not fielding questions about grammar, spelling, and LGBT history, she's sharing movie trivia or classic rock lyrics.