The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday endorsed the nomination of Mike Pompeo to become the next secretary of state.

Members advanced Pompeo's nomination with an 11-9 vote.

Just before the vote, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a Republican previously opposed to the nominee, announced that he would support Pompeo as America's top diplomat.

President Trump last month nominated Pompeo to serve as secretary of state, succeeding Rex Tillerson, whom Trump fired.

Previous to serving as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Pompeo served six years in the U.S. House as a Republican from Kansas. During this time, Pompeo co-sponsored bills that would allow states not to recognize marriage equality and allow organizations and businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. He also opposed repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the military policy which prohibited gay troops from serving openly.

During his Senate confirmation hearing, Pompeo refused to answer whether he believes being gay is a “perversion.”

Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, asked Pompeo about his previous comments on LGBT rights, particularly one statement in which he suggested that being gay is a “perversion.”

“Is being gay a perversion?” Booker asked.

“Senator, when I was a politician, I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same-sex persons to marry. I stand by that,” Pompeo replied, referring to his opposition to same-sex marriage.

“So, you do not believe that it's appropriate for two gay people to marry?”

“Senator, I continue to hold that view,” Pompeo answered.

Booker pushed Pompeo for a “yes” or “no” answer to his question, but Pompeo refused, saying only that he respects all individuals regardless of sexual orientation.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called Monday's vote “troubling.”

“Mike Pompeo’s long-standing opposition to LGBTQ equality and lack of diplomatic experience makes him a poor choice to lead our nation’s diplomatic efforts,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Senate confirmation of anti-LGBTQ Mike Pompeo could have serious consequences for the United States and LGBTQ people around the globe. The State Department has a crucial role to play in advancing human rights — a role which was already significantly eroding under Rex Tillerson. This decision has the potential to make a dire situation even worse. The Senate should reject Pompeo’s nomination."