Space: the final frontier. For tolerance, that is.
Scientists at NASA have reacted with hushed dismay at news that Donald Trump has nominated a long-standing homophobe to run the space agency.
Congressman Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma Republican, was named this week as the Trump administration’s nominee to head NASA.
The appointment has been controversial given the agency’s role in monitoring climate change, which Bridenstine reportedly does not believe exists.
LGBT rights groups have also voiced concern about the congressman’s long-standing opposition to equal rights.
A strong opponent of same-sex marriage, the congressman claimed that “many studies have shown that both a mother and father are essential for raising successful and healthy children”.
He railed against the 2013 Supreme Court decision declaring same-sex marriage constitutional.
He said: “The court’s decision was a disappointment not only because it is contrary to millennia of human experience, but also because it is clearly contrary to the choice of the people as expressed in a constitutionally valid process.”
The GOP lawmaker has also lashed out at the Boy Scouts for allowing openly gay members.
Speaking in 2013, he said on the issue: “The left’s agenda is not about tolerance, and it’s not about diversity of thought.
“It’s about presenting a worldview of relativism, where there is no right and wrong, then using the full force of the government to silence opposition and reshape organizations like the Boy Scouts into instruments for social change.”
The lawmaker also opposes transgender rights, accusing President Obama of “lawless federal bullying” for implementing civil rights protections for transgender children in schools last year.
The protections were later reversed by Trump.
Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, said: “The Trump administration has hired unqualified anti-LGBTQ blowhards from Day One and shown they are more concerned with furthering attacks on marginalized communities than selecting leaders who will better our country.
“NASA’s Kennedy Space Center released a LGBTQ Pride month video earlier this year featuring LGBTQ NASA employees as well as allies.
“It is critical for our country’s continued success that NASA employees bring their best selves to work, and that can’t happen when the head of an organization is known first and foremost for being anti-LGBTQ.”
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