Jeff Mateer is the assistant attorney general of Texas. He’s another “compassionate conservative” who has the backing of the entire Good Ol’ Boy class of his peers in his nomination to the federal bench by Donald Trump. And he is obsessed with children’s sexual identities.
An alumnus of First Liberty Institute, a religious organization dedicated to implementing Christian beliefs as law, Mateer comes with all of the baggage associated with a group that once sued a school because they wouldn’t let a kid hand out candy canes that said “Jesus” on them.
Now Jeff Mateer’s fervent religious beliefs are under even more scrutiny since his nomination by Trump. And as it turns out, he’s a little bit more fanatical than just wanting to make sure Christmas is a purely religious holiday.
CNN’s KFile unearthed a video of a speech Mateer gave in May 2015 entitled “The Church and Homosexuality,” in which Mateer talked about a Colorado lawsuit over a transgender girl’s bathroom rights:
“In Colorado, a public school has been sued because a first grader and I forget the sex, she’s a girl who thinks she’s a boy or a boy who thinks she’s a girl, it’s probably that, a boy who thinks she’s a girl. And the school said, ‘Well, she’s not using the girl’s restroom.’ And so she has now sued to have a right to go in. Now, I submit to you, a parent of three children who are now young adults, a first grader really knows what their sexual identity? I mean it just really shows you how Satan’s plan is working and the destruction that’s going on.”
It’s the “satanic” reference that really gives him away. Having grown up in a highly religious household, I can tell you that once a believer gets to the word “satanic,” the discussion is over.
In the same speech, Mateer resurrected the old conservative trope about legalizing same-sex marriage, arguing that it would lead to unimaginable horrors in matrimony:
“I mean, it’s disgusting. I’ve learned words I didn’t know. I mean, other than…my assistants here, have you ever heard the word ‘throuple’?’Throuple’ so that’s three people coming together of different sexes, maybe mixed sexes. Them coming together. There are people who marry themselves. Somebody wanted to marry a tree. People marrying their pets. It’s just like — you know, you read the New Testament and you read about all the things and you think, ‘Oh, that’s not going on in our community.’ Oh yes it is. We’re back to that time where debauchery rules.”
But perhaps the most disturbing thing of all about Jeff Mateer is the fact that he really wishes states weren’t banning the practice of “conversion therapy,” a form of “Biblical counseling” that involves the torture and abuse of children until they renounce their homosexuality. Although literally every institution in America concerned with mental health has condemned conversion therapy as potentially devastating to young minds, Mateer feels that outlawing the sadistic practice is an infringement on religious liberty. Nine states, twenty-four cities, and even the District of Columbia have all explicitly outlawed the practice.
KFile’s Andrew Kaczynski found audio from a Christian conference later in 2015 with Mateer’s remarks on the “invasion” of the government into conversion therapy:
There can be no doubt that Donald Trump has completely gone back on his promise to protect the rights and interests of the LGBTQ+ community. But nominating someone like Jeff Mateer is an outright attack.
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