Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.: Pursuant to your questioning of secretary of state candidate Mike Pompeo, I’d like to ask you some forthright questions. I understand you might never read this article. Or, if you do read it, you might choose not to respond. At the least, though, we can put these questions on public record.
When questioning Pompeo during his confirmation hearing, you asked him about his views on same-sex “marriage,” which he had previously opposed.
To be candid, I very much appreciate the fact that Mr. Pompeo did not back down on his conviction that marriage is reserved for two members of the opposite sex. He said, “When I was a politician, I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry. I stand by that position.”
As you surely know, his position agrees with the historic view of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as with the current view of more than 85 percent of the countries of the world.
Mr. Senator, since the secretary of state is required to reach out to all the countries of the world, shouldn’t you be glad that Mr. Pompeo’s views are in harmony with the vast majority of these nations? Isn’t that a positive rather than a negative, especially when he stated that, regardless of his personal views, he would treat all couples with respect?
In his own words, “I believe it’s the case we have married gay couples at the CIA. You should know I treated them with the exact same set of rights.”
But not only did you ask him about his views on same-sex “marriage.” You also asked, “Do you believe gay sex is a perversion, yes or no? Yes or no, sir? Do you believe that gay sex is a perversion, because that’s what you said here in one of your speeches. Yes or no, do you believe gay sex is a perversion?”
May I ask you, Sen. Booker, what this has to do with serving as secretary of state?
You clarified your remarks by adding, “Your views do matter. You’re going to be dealing with Muslim states on Muslim issues. And I do not necessarily concur that you are putting forward the values of our nation when you believe there are people in our country who are perverse.”
But again, may I ask you: Did you think through these words clearly? Did you intend to say what you said?
First, are you not aware that Americans remain deeply divided on homosexual practice? There has certainly been a shift toward affirming homosexuality in the last 20 years, but to this moment, we are a nation passionately divided over LGBT issues. That means that if Mr. Pompeo said, “I think gay sex is wonderful,” he would not be speaking for our nation as a whole.
So, in your view, what are “the values of our nation” when it comes to homosexual acts?
Second, in this context, why did you bring up “Muslim states” and “Muslim issues”? Again, as you must surely know, the vast majority of Muslim states vigorously oppose homosexual practice. And they would agree that homosexual acts are perverse. In fact, their views on this subject are even stronger than those of Christian conservatives in America.
What, then, was the point you were making? Were you stating that you want our secretary of state to push gay activism on Islamic nations? To say to them, “If you want to partner with America, you’ll need to change your historic, deeply held religious convictions”? Was this you point? If not, what point were you making?
Third, what would you say to a traditional Jew or conservative Christian who affirms the teaching of Scripture? The Bible states plainly that homosexual sex is detestable in God’s sight, even while affirming God’s love for gay and straight alike. In your view, would these religious convictions disqualify someone from serving our nation? Are you proposing a religious test for the secretary of state?
Fourth, in your opinion, are any sexual acts perverse? Are any contrary to our biological design? Are any in violation of the intent of our creator? Can you answer with a yes or no?
Several years ago, a colleague and I had dinner with a local gay couple. We wanted to get to know each other on a personal level in the midst of our deep differences. At one point I asked these two men, “What about two adult brothers having a romantic and sexual relationship? Would that be OK?”
They were repulsed by the very thought, calling it “icky,” although they could give no specific reasons for their feelings. Do you concur with their position? Would you judge gay sex between consenting adult brothers or sisters to be perverse? If so, based on what criteria?
There’s actually a push in some gay circles to accept adult consensual incest. As a recent headline asks, “Why can’t gay or lesbian twins have sex with or marry each other? Why is incest wrong between same-sex siblings?”
If it’s appropriate for you to press Mike Pompeo on his views as to what constitutes sexual perversion, is it inappropriate for me to press you on your views? What kind of sexual acts would you deem perverse?
With all due respect to your office, sir, I would suggest that someone can serve our nation (and the world) admirably while believing that some sexual acts are contrary to God’s plan. Surely we all draw the line somewhere, do we not? And if Mr. Pompeo draws his lines in accordance with Scripture, while also loving his neighbor as himself, should he be penalized for it? Certainly not.