U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin is once again taking fire for his refusal to stake a position on President Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee, Mike Pompeo.
This time, a group of LGBTQ elected officials, calling itself the NJ LGBTQ Elected Officials Alliance, are demanding Hugin, the Republican front runner, to announce his position on Pompeo, who currently serves as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
“As a candidate for U.S. Senator of New Jersey, a position where you are charged with examining and voting on the President’s nominees, Bob Hugin must divulge whether he supports or opposes Mr. Pompeo’s nomination to be U.S. Secretary of State,” the group said in a joint statement. “His continued silence elicits complacency and should alarm New Jerseyans.”
Hugin has been notably silent on the issue, enduring similar calls from a group of the state’s Muslim elected officials last week. He did not break his silence today either, choosing to continue to decline to comment on the nominee through a spokesman.
The group opposes Pompeo for his stances on LGBTQ issues. When he was a congressman in Kansas, Pompeo said he opposed the 2015 supreme court decision that legalized gay marriage.
During his time in the House, he co-sponsored multiple bills that would limit the rights of gay couples, including the State Marriage Defense Act, which would have allowed states to continue to not recognize same-sex marriages regardless of what the decision. It never made it to the House floor.
“New Jersey is home to a growing LGBTQ community and the votes you cast as our representative not only reflect your core values as an individual, but whether you will support equal treatment of individuals regardless of where they come from, what they believe, or who they love,” the group, which opposes Pompeo, said in its statement.
Fifteen officials signed on to the statement, including, among others, Passaic County Freeholder Bruce James, Neptune Deputy Mayor Carol Rizzo, Hoboken Councilman Michale DeFusco, and Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn.