Despite being a stalwart conservative and one of President Donald Trump’s strongest supporters in the U.S. Senate, Utah Sen. Mike Lee strongly opposes one of the president’s nominations to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC boasts three commissioners, one of whom happens to be gay rights activist Chai Feldblum. Former President Barack Hussein Obama used a recess appointment in 2010 to supersede the authority of the GOP-led Senate and place her on the board. She’s remained there ever since.
For a reason not understood by religious conservatives, Trump chose to renominate Feldblum to the EEOC. But her potential confirmation — as well as the confirmation of two other candidates, Janet Dhillon and Daniel Gade, both Republicans — remains in limbo because of Lee’s refusal to support it.
Unless she’s confirmed, her ongoing term as an EEOC commissioner will expire Dec. 31.
So why is Lee blocking her confirmation? Listen to his explanation below:
In a speech delivered earlier this month, he noted that Feldbum has a history of making controversial remarks about religious liberty. During an interview in 2006, she suggested that if a case involves a conflict between religious liberty and “LGBT liberty,” religious liberty should always lose.
“Sexual liberty should win in most cases,” she said. “There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win because that’s the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner.”
So if an LGBT couple were to sue a Christian baker for not preparing a custom wedding cake for them, Feldbum would likely automatically side with the LGBT couple. That seems unfair to Lee.
“These are not the words of an open-minded jurist, Mr. President,” he said during his speech on the Senate floor. “These are not the minds of an open-minded lawyer. These are the words of an activist intent on stamping out all opposition to her cause. In fact, she’s even said as much.”
“The federal government should never, Mr. President, be used as a tool to stamp out religious liberty. That principle is so central to our nation’s founding and human happiness itself. It’s so important that we’ve got to stand behind it. Ms. Feldblum, however, wants to deny exactly that.”
Though the evidence shows Feldblum did indeed say exactly what Lee claimed she said, according to Fox News she issued a statement this week pushing back against his criticism.
“Senator Lee and others may feel they have kept a rabid opponent to religious liberty off the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They are wrong,” she reportedly said.
“It is true that they have ensured that someone who cares deeply about both religious liberty and LGBT rights won’t be protecting those interests from the perch of the EEOC. But I have fought for the civil rights of LGBT people, religious people and others for years. I won’t be stopping now.”
Learn more about her statement below:
She also reportedly claimed that her quotes had been taken out context.
Tony Perkins, the president of The Family Research Council, was not impressed, especially given her past actions: “She has taken positions that are 180 degrees from the Trump administration when it comes to religious freedom,” he said Friday during a discussion with Fox News host Shannon Bream.
“And so I applaud Sen. Mike Lee for taking this stand in defense of religious liberty. She reflects an era of the past — the Barack Obama era of hostility toward religious freedom.”
True. When Trump first renominated Feldblum to the EEOC last year, renowned conservative attorney Daniel Horowitz warned that was the “the lead architect of Obama’s transgender agenda.”
It was because of her that schools were required to cater to “transgender” students. And it was because of her that “the EEOC has codified the entire sexual alphabet soup agenda, including ‘sex stereotyping,’ into the Civil Rights Act without approval from Congress,” Horowitz noted.
Listen to Perkins’ statements to Bream below:
What remains unclear is why Trump renominated Feldblum to her post and why so many of Lee’s Republican peers in the Senate support her confirmation. In fact, she’s long received GOP support.
“She’s been a commissioner since 2010, receiving support from both Democrats and Republicans,” Fox News reported.
From the looks of it, that support hasn’t made it onto social media, where conservatives left and right have been pleading with the president to rescind his nomination and choose someone else.
@realDonaldTrump Feldblum does not reflect the values of American people. In her view LGBTQIA trumps religious freedom. That won’t do, regardless of what the Obama administration, then and now, want! Mike Lee and Tony Perkins are most persuasive.
— DplorableFourpebbles (@Fourpebbles1) December 29, 2018
If Feldblum ? supported by @PattyMurray & is an Obama hold over this is a huge clue not to have her over the EEOC.
— Les’ Deplorables ? (@les_deplorable) December 29, 2018
@realDonaldTrump President Trump, please do not put Feldblum on EEOC! Senator Lee is right. We MUST protect Religious Rights! Find someone else! Feldblum can be somewhere else. Thank you!
— Libba McEnery (@libbamcenery) December 29, 2018
Please don’t support Chai Feldblum.
Otherwise you’re doing GREAT!!!
— David Erickson (@DavidSailorE29) December 28, 2018
@realDonaldTrump Keep your promise to protect religious liberty. Withdraw nomination of Chai Feldblum for Commissioner of EEOC. She places a so-called right to sexual deviancy above religious liberty & forces Christians to abandon their religious beliefs on marriage & sexuality.
— Tom Bradley (@TommyBradley) December 28, 2018
@POTUS @realDonaldTrump I Urge you to pull LGBT activist Chai Feldlbum’s nomination to serve as Commissioner of the EEOC. Feldblum is the same anti-religious liberty and pro-LGBT zealot whom President Barack Obama nominated in 2010. Vote NO! pic.twitter.com/gvNPvc0Utv
— Tim Ray (@MS_Dadx3) December 27, 2018
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