Washington, D.C. (Aug. 2) – AUF Senior Advisor Tyler Deaton issued the following statement:
American Unity Fund, a conservative organization that supports pro-LGBTQ policies, strongly opposes Scott Garrett’s nomination to the Export-Import Bank and considers him unqualified to serve in a key post in President Trump’s administration due to his anti-gay extremism and his apparent obsession with vilifying gay Americans.
As the representative for New Jersey’s 5th congressional district, Garrett told his Republican colleagues he wasn’t paying his dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee because it “actively recruited gay candidates and supported homosexuals in primaries.”
In his bid for reelection in 2016, Garrett was defeated as members of the business community and the voters across the political spectrum came together to remove him from Congress. Republicans lost what should have been a winnable seat because of Garrett’s anti-gay extremism.
On the heels of last week’s announcement of a total ban on transgender Americans’ military service, the White House is displaying a troubling pattern of outright hostility to the LGBTQ community. We ask the President to consider the message he is sending to the LGBTQ community by nominating Garrett to such an important leadership role while his values are clearly out of step with the Republican Party, the business community, and the overwhelming majority of Americans.
If this nomination is not withdrawn, AUF calls on our pro-LGBTQ allies in the U.S. Senate to join us in opposing Scott Garrett’s nomination.
Additional background information on Garrett’s anti-gay record can be found below.
Garrett’s Protest Of The Republican Party’s Support For Gay Candidates Immediately Caused A Rift In The Party: “At a private caucus meeting, he got into a heated dispute with his colleagues by declaring that he’d withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars in National Republican Congressional Committee dues to protest the party’s support for gay candidates. His outburst immediately caused a rift in the caucus. ‘I was shocked,’ says Richard Tisei, a Massachusetts businessman who was one of the candidates Garrett objected to. ‘The first time I ran, I was nervous my sexuality would be a problem. But everyone was just great. John Boehner, Paul Ryan-they went out of their way to let me know it wasn’t. Eric Cantor pulled me aside and said, ‘You know, I’m the only Jew in the caucus, so I understand better than anyone how important it is to have you down here to broaden and diversify our ranks.'” (Joshua Green, “Wall Street’s Straight Man In Washington,” Bloomberg , 1/14/16)
Controversy Around His Views On Homosexuality Drove Away Corporate Donors In 2016 And Contributed To His Failed Reelection Bid: “Further complicating Garrett’s nomination is controversy around his views on homosexuality, which contributed to his failed reelection bid in 2016 after major corporate donors declined to continue backing him.” (Zachary Warmbrodt And Andrew Restuccia, “White House Under Pressure To Drop Export-Import Bank Nominee,” Politico , 7/17/17)
Garrett’s Anti-LGBTQ Remarks Prompted Some U.S. Companies To Pull Their Support For His 2016 Re-Election Campaign: “It doesn’t help that Garrett’s relationship with some companies is already frosty. He allegedly made anti-gay remarks when he was in Congress that prompted some corporate donors to pull their support during the 2016 campaign.” (Elizabeth Dexheimer, “Trump Pick For ‘Bank Of Boeing’ Faces Rare Corporate Backlash,” Bloomberg , 7/19/17)
Garrett Told Republican Colleagues He Had Not Supported The NRCC “Because It Actively Recruited Gay Candidates And Supported Homosexuals In Primaries”: “Garrett first responded that his procedural vote against leadership was a matter of conscience. Then he stunned the room with this explanation: He had not supported the NRCC in the past, he said, because it actively recruited gay candidates and supported homosexuals in primaries.” (Jake Sherman And Anna Palmer, “GOP Lawmaker: No Cash For Campaign Arm Because It Backs Gays,” Politico , 7/16/15)
Garrett Did Not Apologize For Anti-LGBTQ Comments And Said That The National GOP Should Not Be Spending Money To Support Candidates Who Support Same-Sex Marriage: “Garrett later clarified that he doesn’t oppose gay people running for office. But he does believe that the national GOP should not be spending money to support candidates who support same-sex marriage.” (John Riley, “Trump Nominates Anti-Gay Scott Garrett To Head Export-Import Bank,” Metro Weekly , 4/18/17)
Garrett’s Nomination Will Increase Criticism That Trump Is Nominating Officials With Anti-LGBTQ Views Or Records: “Additionally, Garrett’s well-known anti-gay record will likely increase criticism of Trump, who is already under fire for nominating several cabinet or high-level administration members with anti-LGBTQ views or records. Most recently, Trump nominated Tennessee State Sen. Mark Green, who has criticized attempts by the federal government to ensure that LGBTQ people aren’t discriminated against, to be Secretary of the Army. Green would replace Eric Fanning, the first openly gay man to lead a major branch of the military, which some Trump critics have argued signals a shift towards a less welcoming attitude regarding openly LGBTQ service members.” (John Riley, “Trump Nominates Anti-Gay Scott Garrett To Head Export-Import Bank,” Metro Weekly , 4/18/17)