It’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 Agriculture’s top scientist. Now, thanks to some digging by CNN’s KFile team, we know that Clovis isn’t just unqualified for the role—he’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 “choice,” 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 ‘love,’ should be allowed to ‘marry just like opposite-sex couples.’ 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? We’re not thinking the consequences of these decisions through.
It’s a comparison he then defended as “a logical extension of thought.”
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 Clovis’ homophobic rantings, a USDA spokesperson told the network simply that “the Supreme Court settled the issue [of marriage equality] in 2015.”
Clovis is also no stranger to making incendiary racist remarks, as well. Previous research from KFile shows Clovis had referred to President Barack Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder as “racist bigot” and a “racist black.”
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: “I have looked at the science and I have enough of a science background to know when I’m being boofed.”