Donald Trump has named Iowa’s anti-gay governor, Terry Branstad, as his ambassador to China.
Branstad has extensive ties to China and a personal friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping that dates back decades. If his nomination goes through, the move could help reassure China’s leadership that Trump understands the importance of healthy relations with Beijing. […]
Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller told reporters later Wednesday that Branstad has accepted the president-elect’s offer.
“Governor Branstad obviously is Iowa’s longest-serving governor, someone who has considerable public policy experience but also someone who has a lot of experience and great grasp of trade issues, agriculture issues, has a tremendous understanding of China and Chinese people [and] is someone who very much impressed the president-elect,” Miller said. “It’s very clear that Governor Branstad is someone who will represent our country well on the world stage, and we couldn’t be prouder of this selection.”
Branstad, who remains a devout believer in so-called “traditional marriage”, was famously on the record in favor of banning same-sex marriage in The Hawkeye State after the state Supreme Court made it legal for same-sex couples to marry in 2009.
Branstad was also accused in 2012 of discriminating against a state commissioner because he is gay. Former Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey sued Branstad in 2012, alleging that his sexuality motivated Branstad to ask him to resign and cut his pay after he refused.
Watch a report on Branstad’s appointment, along with comments from Branstad on why he supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.