GLAAD launches #AskPompeo campaign to pressure senators to hold Mike Pompeo accountable for his personal ties to anti-LGBTQ hate and extremism

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today launched a campaign to expose Mike Pompeo’s personal ties to anti-LGBTQ hate and extremism and pressure members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to hold Pompeo accountable to his anti-LGBTQ record in his upcoming confirmation hearing for the position of Secretary of State.

“During his time in the Trump Administration, Mike Pompeo has personally consulted with Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group that supported Uganda's efforts to punish and execute LGBTQ people. The American people deserve answers about Pompeo’s ties to anti-LGBTQ extremism, which should have no place in the U.S. State Department," said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Unless Mike Pompeo can unequivocally state that LGBTQ rights are human rights, he is wholly unqualified to be the nation’s top diplomat.”

Mike Pompeo’s anti-LGBTQ record goes far beyond his personal beliefs opposing marriage equality and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Pompeo has worked closely with the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ group which openly supported Uganda’s efforts to punish and execute LGBTQ citizens – known as the “Kill the Gays Bill, ” promotes and defends the dangerous practice of conversion therapy, and actively opposed overturning laws that criminalize homosexuality. Meanwhile, Pompeo earned Family Research Council’s endorsement and praise, appearing on their anti-LGBTQ radio program at least six times, and personally consulting with their president, Tony Perkins, while serving the United States as CIA Director.

The following research exposing Mike Pompeo’s disturbingly close ties with the Family Research Council will be delivered to the offices of all 21 members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations today by GLAAD Campus Ambassador Tony Hernandez.

GLAAD is asking these members to take this research into full consideration and ask Mike Pompeo one of the following during his upcoming nomination hearing and urging other LGBTQ, reproductive rights, Muslim, and immigrant rights organizations to join the conversation by using the #AskPompeo.

GLAAD’s Suggested Questions to Mike Pompeo:

  • Do you believe protecting the human rights of the LGBTQ people abroad is an important aspect of U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy?

  • Given your record of working closely with Family Research Council, which has supported the efforts of the Ugandan government to punish and execute LGBTQ citizens, do you think you have the credibility to will you advocate for LGBTQ human rights abroad?

  • Do you believe that LGBTQ rights are human rights?

GLAAD’s research is also being hand delivered to the offices of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, calling on them to lead Democrats in opposition to Pompeo’s confirmation.


Anti-LGBTQ Record of the Family Research Council (FRC):

Actively lobbied against a congressional resolution denouncing Uganda’s “kill the gays bill:” “The blog Joe. My. God.,working with a reporter from Gay City News, reported that the conservative Family Research Council spent $25,000 "to lobby Congress against approving a resolution denouncing Uganda's plan to execute homosexuals. The site posted three screencaps from the Family Research Council's lobbying report; they suggest $25,000 was spent on lobbying what FRC described as "Res.1064Ugandan ResolutionPro-homosexual promotion." [CBS News; 6.4.10]

Claimed the Ugandan bill that aimed to punish and execute LGBTQ people “upholds moral conduct:” The President [Obama] criticized Ugandan leaders for considering enhanced penalties for crimes related to homosexuality…The President said that "We may disagree about gay marriage, "but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are." Mr. President as long as you characterize efforts to uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable, as attacking people, civility will continue to evade us.” [Family Research Council via the Internet Archive; 2.4.10]

Opposed overturning Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law, which criminalized consensual sexual intimacy between same-sex couples: “To extend homosexual sodomy the same protections given to the marital union would undermine the definition of marriage and could open the door for homosexual marriage. The court should demonstrate judicial humility and decline to deconstruct in radical and revolutionary ways the bedrock social institution of marriage.’” [Family Research Council via the Internet Archive; 6.25.03]

Spent over $75,000 to lobby to keep “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in place: “The Traditional Values Coalition and the Family Research Council, have each spent more than $75,000 so far on their overall lobbying expenditures this year. Both groups support keeping the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in place.” [Open Secrets; 11.3.10]. Family Research Council President, Tony Perkins, also claimed there is "blood of young marines" on hands of legislators who voted to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. [YouTube, Right Wing Watch; 11.20.10]

Lobbied against LGBTQ-inclusive hate crimes legislation: “Social conservatives said the hate crimes bill would violate the First Amendment, and would be a step toward a larger gay rights agenda they oppose. ‘Expanding hate crimes puts America in lock step with the stated agenda of homosexual activists who will turn next to the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act, followed by the repeal of the ban on homosexuality in the military and then the Defense of Marriage Act,’ the Family Research Council warned on its Web site.” [The Washington Post; 10.23.09]

Printed and disturbed flyers defending the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy: “Although much attention has been focused on counseling techniques or therapies for unwanted same-sex attractions and on the work of “ex-gay” ministries, there is startling evidence that considerable numbers of people experience significant change in some aspects of sexual orientation, particularly their behavior, quite spontaneously, without therapeutic intervention.”[Family Research Council via the Internet Archive; 7.5.10]

Testified in favor of anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy before legislative bodies in New Hampshire, Washington D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts, and Vermont: “Testimony by Peter Sprigg in Opposition to New Hampshire House Bill S. 587-FN” [Family Research Council; 2.21.17], “FRC's Peter Sprigg Testifies before D.C. Council on Proposed Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Ban” [Family Research Council; 6.27.14], “FRC's Peter Sprigg Testifies Before MD State House in Opposition to Bill Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Therapy for Minors” [Family Research Council; 3.2.18], “Family Research Council Expert Testifies Before Massachusetts General Court” [Family Research Council; 6.7.17], Testimony by Peter Sprigg in Opposition to Vermont Bill S. 132 [Family Research Council; 2.26.16]

Lobbied against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) proposed legislation that would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. [Open Secrets; bills FRC lobbied, 2013]

Mike Pompeo’s Connections to Family Research Council:

Consulted with Tony Perkins while serving as CIA Director: “Pompeo has consulted with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled an anti-gay hate group.” [The Washington Post; 8.24.17].

Has made (at least) six appearances on Family Research Council’s anti-LGBTQ radio show. Live with Tony Perkins: October 6, 2016; March 22, 2016; July 26, 2016; September 3; 2015; July 22, 2015; May 5, 2014.

Family Research Council endorsed Mike Pompeo during his re-election to the U.S. House in 2014, specifically citing his “support for marriage” and “traditional family values” as reasons behind their support: The culture has been challenged beyond all reasonable limits. The strong, conservative men and women elected in 2010 and 2012 need reinforcements…The votes you have cast on the life issue reflect your concern for mother and child and your support for marriage as between one man and one woman.” [Pompeo for Congress, 3.5.14]

One of thirty House of Representative members to join the Family Research Council on an amicus brief challenging the Affordable Care Act in the case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. [FRC; 10.27.11]

Mike Pompeo’s Personal Anti-LGBTQ Record:

Vowed to continue to fight against abortion, marriage equality, and related matters "each and every day:” As a Kansan, I hold a deep reverence for the sanctity of life, the solidarity of family, and the solemnity of marriage. I will continue the fight to uphold these fundamental ideals each and every day...I also fully support the traditional institution of marriage. Strong families are the most important building block of our Republic, and we must preserve them for the sake of our community and our culture. [Vote Smart; 1.1.13]

Insists families with same-sex parents are less "ideal": "I think as you look back at civilization, look back at history, you find the strength of these families having a father and a mother is the ideal condition for childbearing," Pompeo said. "Doesn't mean there aren't great families with single parents, great young men and women raised without either parent. If you're asking for what is ideal, I think it's being raised by a man and a woman." [Vote Smart; 10.22.14]

Opposed the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, suggesting that "when you enter the army you give up a few of your rights, there’s a few things that you can’t do that we get to do a civilians, so I would not a have supported that policy—or would.” [YouTube; September 23, 2010 District 4 Congressional Debate; 9.14.10]

Called the US Supreme Court's 2015 ruling granting marriage equality to all fifty states as "a shocking abuse of power:” “Creating, out of nowhere, a federal right to marry, flies in the face of centuries of shared understanding of our Constitution," Pompeo said in an email Friday. "It is a shocking abuse of power. It is wrong. I will continue to fight to protect our most sacred institutions; Kansans and our nation deserve no less." [Vote Smart; 6.26.15]