CIA Director Mike Pompeo probably wasn’t expecting this line of questioning about homosexuality during his confirmation hearing Thursday to become secretary of state, but that’s exactly what Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) wanted to grill him about.
Pompeo insisted that if confirmed, he would treat all State Department employees equally, regardless of their sexual orientation, but sidestepped a question from Booker about whether he considered homosexuality as a perversion.
"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," Pompeo said, adding, "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."
That answer wasn’t good enough for Booker, however, who pressed him further on the matter.
"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?"
“[M]y respect for every individual, regardless of their sexual orientation, is the same, and it will be so if I'm confirmed,” Pompeo answered.
Booker wasn’t satisfied.
"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 are perverse," he responded.