Sen. Cory Booker grills Pompeo on gay rights

Mike Pompeo. AP photo.

(CNN) Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) pressed secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo about his past comments on gay marriage and Muslims.

Lawmakers questioned some of Pompeo's positions during his House career, particularly comments he has made about Muslims and the LGBT+ community. Pressed by New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, Pompeo professed that he is still personally opposed to gay marriage, but said he would support LGBT+ employees at the State Department.

Pompeo has promoted the conspiracy theory that a fifth column of Muslims intent on undermining the US exists within the country, according to the Anti-Defamation League, and said that American Muslim leaders are "potentially complicit" in past and future terrorist attacks by Muslims.

Asked by Booker whether he was pushing for the creation of "a special class of people in this country based upon their religion," Pompeo said that "when it comes to making sure we don't have terrorists brewing in places where Muslims congregate, there is a special place, right? It's more than a duty, it's an opportunity, right?"

He added that, "I promise you that I will treat persons of each faith or no faith with the dignity and respect that they deserve."

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The Gayly. April 13, 2018. 12:26 p.m. CST.