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Cruz grills State Department diversity official over email allegedly excluding 'straight white men'

Cruz suspects that Christians may be denied jobs due to not being considered part of the "right" religion

Published: July 27, 2022 11:32am

Updated: July 27, 2022 3:04pm

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is questioning a State Department diversity and inclusion officer about an email that allegedly details potential hires being denied jobs over disability status, being straight white men and not being of the "right" religion. 

Cruz raised his concerns Tuesday with Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the agency's chief diversity and inclusion officer, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Abercrombie-Winstanley, who has held her position since April 2021, denied the allegations, saying she has "never seen that before."

Cruz called the unverified email "deeply troubling" and put it on a poster for the hearing.

The official reportedly wrote:

"Unfortunately, over the past several months, a number of people have reported comments that certain candidates could not be hired because: 

  • they have a disability
  • they are white men
  • they are straight white men
  • they are not of the 'right' religion.

None of this is legal and none of it comports with Department regulations."

Said Abercrombie-Winstanley: "I am saying that [discrimination] is against the law. And we certainly are not overtly or on purpose breaking the law in the Department of State.

"Certainly there are members of our organization who do discriminate, who do harass, who do bully, which is why we are trying to put in place programs to address it and to strengthen accountability for those who do it, who break the law."

"What is your job if not to stop discrimination?" Cruz asked. "And unfortunately I believe your job in practice is encouraging this discrimination."

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