Trump coup lawyer John Eastman has a long history of pushing wingnut causes – especially homophobia
John Eastman. (CBS Denver/screen grab)

Attorney John Eastman has received intense notoriety lately as the legal architect of Donald Trump's plot to overthrow America's democracy. But doing the Far Right's legal bidding is nothing new for him.

Since clerking for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas decades ago, Eastman has built a career as an anti-LGBT, anti-birthright-citizenship, anti-abortion warrior. Until now, perhaps his highest visibility came last August, where he penned a latter-day-birtherism opinion piece for Newsweek arguing that then-Senator Kamala Harris was disqualified for serving as vice president because she was not -- in his definition -- a "natural born citizen."

Eastman was discredited and discarded in short order. More than 200 Chapman University faculty members circulated an online petition attacking Eastman's piece as "poorly argued, inaccurate, and racist."

Not incidentally, Eastman had served as dean of that university's law school between 2007 and 2010. Eastman recently "retired" from Chapman University amid clamors for his removal from the institution after he was a major participant at Trump's insurrectionist rally on January 6.

But that was just the latest outage: Eastman has been best known in conservative circles for years as a leading legal voice for homophobia. He is the long-standing board chairman of the anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage (NOM), from which he has futilely opposed same-sex marriage.

As far back as March 2013, Eastman was called out by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Here's what SPLC observed.

"NOM Chairman John Eastman was quoted in an Associated Press article that noted that both Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas have adopted children. Eastman contended that adoption by heterosexual couples is "by far the second-best option" (a family with married biological parents is, in NOM's view, the best option). Amid an outcry over his statement, Eastman claimed that the AP article "grossly misrepresented" his thoughts on adoption.

Eastman's first appearance at RawStory came later that year as he was flailing against same-sex marriage during a week of landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases on marriage equality. A year later, Eastman was still trying to challenge the marriage of four same-sex couples in Oregon well after most of the nation had started moving on from the issue. He lost again.

The anti-LGBT work has not been Eastman's sole culture-war cause. In 2016, he filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a Texas effort launched in 2013 that would have effectively banned all abortions. That, of course, was child's play next to Eastman's current role as Trump's favored insurrectionist. Or, to borrow former Senator Claire McCaskill's term of art, "nutjob."

But whatever happens going forward, nothing should erase Eastman's legacy of promoting homophobia. It earned him quite a listing at the GLAAD Accountability Project. Here are some of Eastman's greatest homophobic hits:

Has voiced support for Uganda's notorious push to imprison, and in some cases impose the death penalty for being LGBTQ, and those who "promote" homosexuality.

Called the Supreme Court's marriage ruling a "similarly illegitimate decision by the Supreme Court" as the notorious Dred Scott ruling in support of slavery; called on officials to reject it

Said: "This is not about anti-discrimination laws any more. This is about forcing people to bend the knee to an agenda to say things that are inherently immoral are in fact normal and moral.… It's a very fascist movement that forces a viewpoint on other people that disagree…. We're finding challenges to age of consent rules because a good portion of this movement seeks to remove age of consent so they can have sex with teenage boys."

Wrote that homosexuality is a modern form of "barbarism." Added: "And homosexuality, like polygamy, has for centuries been thought to undermine the institution of marriage and the civil society that rests on it."

Endorsed a book called Making Gay Okay that criticizes basic approval of "homosexual behavior," that the book "explain[s] the full scope of the dangers inherent in the modern homosexual rights movement. The movement threatens our very understanding of human nature, and hence of the American political regime that derives its understanding of rights and legitimate government from that nature. This book is a stark warning that should be read by every lover of liberty, and a call to action for those who would preserve it."

—When U.S. Senator Rick Santorum equated same-sex marriage with "man-on-dog," Eastman defended him by saying "the real 'crisis' is not with Santorum's comments, but with the inability of Republicans to provide a coherent defense." Eastman linked to a piece written by extremist Scott Lively, in which Lively wrote that society must "discourage the normalization of homosexuality."

Said same-sex marriage will have "catastrophic consequences for civil society."

Fought to repeal a California law that included the contributions of LGBTQ people in public school instruction, saying his was "an effort to restore some common sense to our schools."

Spoke out against gay-straight alliances in public schools, writing that "our public schools are not supposed to be forums for alternative lifestyles, nor incubators of moral relativism."