On Monday, the deputy White House Liasion to the U.S. Agency for International Development was fired after a series of scathing comments and tweets about LGBTQ rights and gay marriage.
What We Know:
- In a series of tweets Monday, which have since been deleted, the liaison, Merritt Corrigan, wrote, “for too long, I’ve remained silent as the media has attacked me for my Christian beliefs, which are shared by the majority of Americans. Let me clear: Gay marriage isn’t marriage, Men aren’t women, US-funded Tunisian LGBT soap operas aren’t America First.”
- Corrigan took her made her previously private account public late in the morning on Monday and blasted USAID, congressional Democrats, and the media in her series of tweets. She referred to the LGBTQ identity as “sexual deviancy,” claimed there was “rampant anti-Christian sentiment at USAID,” and that top democrats, representative Eliot Engel and senator Robert Menendez, “engaged in a corrupt campaign” to remove her from USAID.
- Sources close to the agency said the USAID’s acting administrator, John Barsa, fired Corrigan after she began posting her tweets on Monday. Barsa received no pushback from the White House when he informed them of the decision to let her go as he repeatedly said he will hold people at the agency accountable for inappropriate behavior regardless of their hiring category.
- During her tweetstorm, Corrigan announced she planned to host a news conference on Thursday “to discuss the rampant anti-Christian sentiment at USAID.” Corrigan shared that Jacob Wohl and Jack Burman would be joining her at this conference. Wohl and Burman are conservative activists who have a long history of creating false conspiracy theories and fabricating sexual assault allegations about the political opponents of President Trump.
- By Monday afternoon, USAID confirmed that Corrigan no longer works at the agency. “USAID takes any claim of discrimination seriously, and we will investigate any complaints of anti-Christian bias Ms. Corrigan has raised during her tenure at the Agency,” Pooja Jhunjhunwala, acting USAID spokesperson, said in a statement. Jhunjhunwala did not answer questions if Corrigan was fired, saying that USAID does not comment on the specific basis in which an employee leaves the agency.
- USAID’s mission statement reads, “USAID’s vision is a world in which the human rights of LGBT persons are respected and able to live with dignity, free from discrimination, persecution, and violence.” Critics of Corrigan said that her views did not match up with the organization’s and therefore she shouldn’t be working at the agency, writing in a letter to Barsa that Corrigan held positions “in direct opposition to the work USAID supports.”
- In June, twenty House Democrats demanded Corrigan’s resignation for “her record of public remarks, including disparaging LGBTQ people and those who express support for them, women in positions of leadership, and immigrants.” The letter to Barsa also shared that Corrigan had previously stated her desire to “restore the patriarchy”, arguing against the “false pretense of [women’s] equality with men.” Corrigan had a history of sharing similar ideas, she once wrote an op-ed article that called for women to assume traditional gender roles of mother, wife, and homemaker.
- Once the news of Corrigan’s departure became public, Representative Joaquin Castro tweeted his support for the decision, saying hate shouldn’t be promoted in the government. He also called for the removal of another problematic appointee at USAID who has shared homophobic and Islamophobic opinions.
Our government should not promote hate.
Good news that Merritt Corrigan has left @USAID after her homophobic comments and pressure from @HouseForeign Democrats.@Ilhan and I have also called for Mark Kevin Lloyd, who has Islamophobic views, to resign. https://t.co/NWMJCOdRb5
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) August 3, 2020
Corrigan was a Trump appointee at USAID. She did not comment on her departure from the agency, and it is unclear what her next step will be.