Despite LGBT opposition, lawyer who represented Christian bakers is confirmed as federal judge

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Matthew Kacsmaryk. Photo from the First Liberty Institute.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Matthew Kacsmaryk to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas despite opposition from dozens of groups supporting LGBT rights.

Kacsmaryk was deputy general counsel at First Liberty Institute, a group that litigates religious liberty cases, report Texas Lawyer, Courthouse News Service, the Washington Post and Bloomberg Law. He was confirmed on a 52-46 vote.

Seventy-five groups representing LGBT interests had opposed Kacsmaryk, according to Bloomberg Law.

First Liberty Institute had represented former bakery owners in Oregon who were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The U.S. Supreme remanded the case Monday for consideration in light of a Supreme Court ruling last year on behalf of a Colorado baker who, like the Oregon couple, cited a religious belief that a marriage is between a man and a woman.

Kacsmaryk had opposed a constitutional right to gay marriage in an amicus brief and had opposed policies allowing transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity, according to Courthouse News Service.

The Washington Post points to controversial writings by Kacsmaryk. According to the Post, “he has described being transgender as a ‘mental disorder,’ called homosexuality ‘disordered’ and said that ‘sexual revolutionaries’ had made the unborn child and marriage secondary to ‘erotic desires of liberated adults.’ ”

First Liberty President and CEO Kelly Shackelford said in a statement that Kacsmaryk is one of the top legal minds in the country and a staunch defender of the Constitution.

Kacsmaryk was nominated in September 2017 and renominated this year after senators did not act on his nomination.

Kacsmaryk is a former Baker Botts associate and a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Texas. He received a qualified rating from the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.

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