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Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) grilled Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo during his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday about Pompeo's stated opposition to gay marriage.

Booker was referring to a speech Pompeo made in 2015 while he was a Kansas congressman, which cited a prayer delivered by the Rev. Joe Wright.

"America had worshiped other Gods and called it multiculturalism. We’d endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle,” Pompeo said.

"Those are your words," Booker said to Pompeo. "Is being gay a perversion?"

Pompeo replied by stating he had a "clear view" on whether gay marriage was "appropriate" while he was a politician in Kansas, and that he stands by those views today.

Booker continued to press Pompeo, saying he knows same-sex couples within the State Department who were married under Pompeo's leadership.

"You do not believe that should be allowed?" Booker said.

Pompeo answered by saying he treats gay couples who work at the CIA with "the exact same set of rights" as anyone else.

He concluded by saying, "My respect for every individual -- regardless of their sexual orientation -- is the same."

Booker finished by saying to Pompeo that he doesn't think his beliefs reflect the nation's values.

Watch the exchange between the New Jersey senator and outgoing CIA director above.


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