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NASA Head, Despite Anti-LGBT Record, Recognizes Pride

NASA Pride

Jim Bridenstine joins Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a surprising Pride supporter, but there's still no recognition from the White House.

Donald Trump still hasn't recognized LGBT Pride Month, but one of his most anti-LGBT appointees has.

Jim Bridenstine, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, issued an email to NASA employees in observance of Pride Month. It reads:

Dear NASA Workforce, NASA has a unique ability to recruit and retain the finest workforce in the country. If we are to accomplish the awesome and sometimes daunting tasks ahead of us, we must maintain this unique ability.

In June, we recognize that part of this amazing workforce includes members of the LGBT community. You have heard me say it before, but I would like to reinforce that there is a no room for discrimination at NASA based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

We are all on a mission to make civilization changing discoveries, and all of us, working together, will continue NASA's storied legacy. Thank you! Ad Astra, Jim Bridenstine.

The message was shared online by the JoeMyGod blog. A NASA spokeswoman confirmed its authenticity to The Advocate and said it was sent to employees Monday morning.

Bridenstine, who was confirmed by the Senate as NASA administrator in April, had an intensely LGBT record as a congressman from Oklahoma. He has frequently spoken out against marriage equality and even proposed impeaching Eric Holder, President Barack Obama's first attorney general, because Holder ceased defending the Defense of Marriage Act. Bridenstine also called the admission of gay members to the Boy Scouts an example of left-wing social engineering and denounced the Obama administration's recommendation that schools allow transgender students access to the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice. While in Congress, he even filled in for Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Perkins's radio show.

He has also expressed skepticism about the role of human activity in causing climate change, a position that led critics to say he shouldn't head an agency so focused on science. In his confirmation hearing he did allow human activity was a contributing factor in climate change but declined to say it was a primary cause. He said he would support NASA research into extreme weather conditions.

LGBT employee groups are holding Pride Month events at various NASA locations. Bridenstine's recognition of Pride Month comes after another Trump appontee with an anti-LGBT record, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, issued a surprisingly supportive message on the observance.

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