President Donald Trump's U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] nominee, Sam Clovis, has sparked controversy for comments he made in the past about homosexuality.
"If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect?" Clovis once asked in a video, CNN reports. "Are we going to protect pedophilia? Are we going to protect polyamorous marriage relationships? Are we going to protect people who have fetishes?"
"We're not thinking the consequences of these decisions through," he added.
When asked if this was an extreme comparison, Clovis continued to defend his views.
"I don't think it's extreme," said Clovis. "I think it's a logical extension of thought. And if you cannot follow the logic then you're denying you're in denial."
A CNN review of Clovis' writings, radio broadcasts, and speeches found Clovis repeatedly expressed similar sentiments between 2012 and 2014.
Some of them include arguments that "LGBT behavior" is a choice.
"Someone who engages in LGBT behavior -- I don't know what the science is on this, I think it's still out -- but as far as we know, LGBT behavior is a choice they make," Clovis said. "So we're being asked to provide Constitutional protections for behavior, a choice in behavior as opposed to a primary characteristic."
Clovis has argued left-handed people should receive constitutional protections too.
"If LGBT adherents were genetically predisposed, then one must ask why a segment of the population that constitutes numbers less than one third of those who might be left-handed or one fourth the number who might be blue-eyed or one eighth the number who might be genetically predisposed to obesity should receive 14th Amendment protections when others are not even considered," he wrote in local conservative blog The Iowa Republican.
Clovis has also defended businesses who choose not to hire based on sexual orientation.
"Businesses and their owners should be able to make decisions about who is employed if hiring people who do not behave in accordance with some deeply held religious belief system is at issue," he wrote in a KSCJ blog post. "Just as the government should not force business owners or enterprises to provide contraceptives or morning-after pills because of religious beliefs, the government should not be in charge of hiring practices, either."
The White House has yet to comment on the remarks. When probed about them, a USDA spokeswoman responded, "The Supreme Court settled the issue in 2015."