An assistant attorney general in Texas has been fired after Media Matters for America drew attention to his anti-LGBTQ+, anti-Muslim, racist, and misogynist tweets.
Moutos has worked in the office under Attorney General Ken Paxton, who himself has a history of anti-LGBTQ+ actions, since 2017 in the criminal prosecution division. This year Moutos sought the Republican nomination for U.S. House in Texas’s 35th Congressional District but lost in the primary. The offending tweets were on the Twitter feed related to his congressional bid, which he has continued to use even after the primary.
His anti-LGBTQ+ tweets include one saying transgender people “are an abomination and have a mental disorder.” In another, he denounced the American Civil Liberties Union for defending trans people and said Americans should use the ACLU for “target practice.” He used the hashtag #NormalizingPerversion in a tweet about Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is a lesbian, while saying Black Lives Matter activists are terrorists. He referred to a gay commenter as “the homosexual offspring of the #WhoreOfBabylon.”
The Whore of Babylon is a figure representing evil in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. Fundamentalist Christians see Revelation as a prophecy of the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Moutos also used the phrase to refer to women politicians, including Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Omar is Muslim, and Moutos has expressed a particular hostility to Muslims, calling Islam a virus that “seeks only to steel [sic], kill, and destroy.”
In other tweets, he called Michelle Obama the husband of Barack Obama and said he expects to fight the former president in a second American civil war. He advanced the debunked idea that the COVID-19 pandemic is due to a Chinese plot and expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory, which posits that a ring of “globalists” and pedophiles, with many prominent entertainers and liberal politicians as members, is working to bring down Donald Trump. He invoked the COVID “plandemic” concept in a tweet confirming his firing.
Moutos’s boss, Paxton, is no friend to LGBTQ+ people either. As Texas AG, in 2016 he joined in lawsuits challenging the trans-inclusive provisions of the Affordable Care Act and President Barack Obama’s guidelines for school districts on equal treatment of trans students. That same year he spoke out in support of North Carolina’s anti-trans “bathroom bill,” now largely repealed.
Last year he led a group of state attorneys general who filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that existing sex discrimination law does not cover sexual orientation and gender identity (but the court ruled this year that it does). He and a Catholic archdiocese in Texas also sued the federal government in 2019 in hopes of allowing faith-based adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate and still receive federal funds. The Trump administration has now adopted a policy that agencies can indeed receive the funds even if they practice religiously rooted discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and others.