Mike Pompeo

70th United States Secretary of State
6th Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as “smart and cunning and capable,” in an interview with the Des Moines Register, hours before Russia invaded Ukraine. Pompeo also praised Putin in a call with the Center for the National Interest saying, “I have enormous respect for him… I’ve been criticized for saying that.” And he told Fox News: “He’s a very talented statesman. He has lots of gifts. He was a KGB agent, for goodness’ sakes. He knows how to use power. We should respect that.” Pompeo is the only former Secretary of State to praise Putin who signed legislation in 2013 to ban the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” which, writes Human Rights Watch, is “a reference universally understood to mean a ban on providing children access to information about LGBT people’s lives… The law has been used to shut down websites that provide valuable information and services to teens across Russia and to bar LGBT support groups from working with youth. But the law’s effects have been much broader: individual mental health professionals have curtailed what they say and what support they give to students, and the law gives the strong imprimatur of the Russian state to the false and discriminatory view that LGBT people are a threat to tradition and the family… Its passage coincided with an uptick in often-gruesome vigilante violence against LGBT people in Russia—frequently carried out in the name of protecting Russian values and Russia’s children.” Putin signed legislation in 2021 to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in Russia.—The Commission on Inalienable Rights, an agency formed by Pompeo at the State Department that promotes “natural law,” language used by far right groups to discriminate agaisnt LGBTQ people, produced a report that elevates religious freedom over LGBTQ rights and calls same-sex marriage a “divisive” “controversy.”

Prohibited embassies from flying Pride flags.

Canceled a planned speech at the CIA about diversity and LGBTQ rights set to be given by Judy and Dennis Shepard, founders of the Matthew Shepard Foundation

Consulted with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group.

Opposed repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” suggesting that “when you enter the army you give up a few of your rights.” Also said of DADT repeal, “We cannot use military to promote social ideas that do not reflect the values of our nation.”

Decried the US Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling granting marriage equality to all 50 states as “a shocking abuse of power” that “flies in the face of centuries of shared understanding of our Constitution.”

Has vowed to continue his 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 am, and always will be, pro-life and will defend life from conception to natural death. I will continue to oppose any taxpayer funding for abortion. 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.”

—Co-sponsored two bills, the State Marriage Defense Act and the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, both designed to undermine the effects of court rulings on marriage equality.

Denounced the Supreme Court rulings that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 as “both sad and counter to the most profound tradition of our great nation.”

—His campaign once sent a tweet promoting the view that Pompeo’s (Indian-American) opponent is a “turban topper” who “could be a muslim, a hindu, a buddhist etc who knows.” [sic] The campaign later apologized.

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.”

Joined the most conservative House Republicans on a letter calling on the Department of Defense to stop allowing military facilities for private functions to be used on a sexual-orientation neutral basis.

Falsely claimed (starts 9:16) that “the silence of Muslim leaders has been deafening” in response to the Boston bombing, and suggested Islamic leaders were “potentially complicit” for not loudly enough condemning acts of terror.


The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.