Trump's New Judicial Nominee Believes Gay Judges Shouldn't Hear LGBT Cases

Donald Trump holds an LGBT flag given to him by supporter Max Nowak during a campaign rally in Greeley, Colorado. One of President Donald Trump’s newest judicial nominees, Howard Nielson, says he believes gay judges shouldn’t hear cases involving issues that affect the LGBT community. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Updated | One of President Donald Trump's newest judicial nominees says he believes gay judges shouldn't hear cases involving issues that affect the LGBT community.

A report by Alliance for Justice found that Howard Nielson was representing the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, a 2013 case that would have banned same-sex marriage in California. As the case played out, Nielson filed a motion saying chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Vaughn Walker "had a duty to disclose not only the facts concerning his [same-sex] relationship, but also his marriage intentions."

Since the case was about same-sex marriage, Nielson argued that Walker, a Ronald Reagan appointee, could not be unbiased unless he did not intend to marry another man. The Alliance reported that he wrote that only if Walker had "unequivocally disavowed any interest in marrying his partner could the parties and the public be confident that he did not have a direct personal interest in the outcome."

The motion was rejected by another judge, but Nielson continued his tirade against the LGBT community by arguing that sexual orientation is a choice, opposing the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

In his opposition to same-sex marriage, he wrote a brief that argued marriage must be between a man and a woman because "in particular, through the institution of marriage, societies seek to increase the likelihood that children will be born and raised in stable and enduring family units by both the mothers and the fathers who brought them into this world."

Nevertheless, reports indicate that children with same-sex parents have the same quality of life as their peers, and some research suggests that they're better off than their peers.

According to a report out of Lambda Legal, an LGBT legal advocacy group, nearly one-third of Trump's judicial nominees "have records that demonstrate hostility towards the rights of LGBT people." If they are confirmed, they would likely rule against LGBT protections, impacting generations of LGBT Americans.

Trump nominated Nielson to the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah, last September. GOP Senator Orrin Hatch of the same state said at the time that the president had made an outstanding move to nominate Nielson, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. "Howard Nielson is a first-rate talent with broad experience and a commitment to the rule of law," Hatch said in a press release.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, Newsweek inaccurately attributed a quote to Nielson that should have been attributed to The American Family Association.