Itā€™s bad enough that President Donald Trump has nominated the decidedly unscientific (and largely unremarkable) politics wonk Sam Clovis to be the United States Department of Agricultureā€™s top scientist. Now, thanks to some digging by CNNā€™s KFile team, we know that Clovis isnā€™t just unqualified for the roleā€”heā€™s a blithering homophobe to boot.

Steeped in the politics of right wing talk radio, Clovis reportedly made a series of stunningly anti-LGBTQ statements between 2011 and 2015. Among them:

The assertion that homosexuality is a ā€œchoice,ā€ per a 2011 blog post on The Iowa Republican:

The science on this issue seems to be uncertain, and if one followed the arguments from plaintiffs, the issue argued was that these individuals, because of ā€˜love,ā€™ should be allowed to ā€˜marry just like opposite-sex couples.ā€™ What is it really? Is this about genetics or about emotions?

Tying the LGBTQ community to child molestation:

If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? Weā€™re not thinking the consequences of these decisions through.


Itā€™s a comparison he then defended as ā€œa logical extension of thought.ā€

Clovis also argued in a 2012 blog post for KCSJ talk radio that legalizing same-sex marriage would lead, in his mind, to much worse things:

Is the LGBT community wanting to stop the marriage arrangement at any two consenting adults? This is illogical. If society chooses to alter the definition of marriage, how can there be a line drawn at two adults? What is to say that polyamorous arrangements should not be included?


When asked by CNN about Clovisā€™ homophobic rantings, a USDA spokesperson told the network simply that ā€œthe Supreme Court settled the issue [of marriage equality] in 2015.ā€

Clovis is also no stranger to making incendiary racist remarks, as well. Previous research from KFile shows Clovis had referred to President Barack Obamaā€™s attorney general Eric Holder as ā€œracist bigotā€ and a ā€œracist black.ā€

Beyond his deep-seated racism and homophobia, Clovis has also espoused his doubts about the science of climate change, telling Iowa Public Radio in 2014 that: ā€œI have looked at the science and I have enough of a science background to know when Iā€™m being boofed.ā€