On Thursday, the U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed Oklahoma Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine to head NASA.
Although totally unqualified Bridenstine’s nomination was approved on the GOP party-line 50-49 vote. When he was first nominated, he was flagged by equality advocates because of his anti-LGBTQ voting record in Congress.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who wrote a letter to her colleagues on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation last October. In the letter, Murray criticized the congressman for his views on social issues and his denial of climate change — which Murray said raised questions about whether he understands basic scientific concepts, something essential for any NASA chief.
Bridenstine’s greatest anti-gay actions and statements have included his claim that President Obama’s nondiscrimination guidance to school administrators, was an aggressive attempt “to fundamentally transform America and a form of “lawless federal bullying.”
Bridenstine was also a major opponent of marriage equality, sponsoring several pieces of legislation seeking to ban same-sex marriage and advocating that state lawmakers refuse to recognize same-sex couples. He also called the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision repealing a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act “a disappointment”.
In addition, Bridenstine called for the impeachment of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder because of his refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act when it was challenged in court and also lashed out at “intolerant Left bullies” who argued that gay Scouts and leaders should be allowed in the Boy Scouts of America.