A West Virginia Republican delegate faces calls to resign after he compared the LGBT+ community to the Ku Klux Klan.
Eric Porterfield has also joked about drowning his children if they were gay and believes that anti-discrimination ordinances are against the first amendment.
The born-again Baptist missionary, who is blind, made the comments comparing the LGBT+ community to the KKK in an interview with the Charleston Gazette Mail.
He said he was being “persecuted” by the community which he described as a “terrorist group”, before adding:
The LGBTQ is a modern-day version of the Ku Klux Klan, without wearing hoods, with their antics of hate.
Porterfield has a history of making bigoted comments, but things came to a head after a House of Delegates meeting over a proposed amendment to an LGBT-discrimination bill, two days before the interview. He opposed the bill, which would include LGBT+ people as a protected class under the state’s Human Rights Act, describing it as “intolerant”.
A few days after he made the KKK comparison, Porterfield made another set of hateful remarks to local TV station WVVA.
When asked by the interviewer what he would do if he had a son or daughter who was gay, he said:
Well, I will address my daughter first. I would take her for a pedicure, I'd take her to get her nails done, and see if she could swim.
If it was my son, I would probably take him hunting, I would take him fishing, then I'd see if he could swim.
I just want to make sure they could swim.
Many people on Twitter were horrified by Porterfield’s remarks.
While others criticised the WVVA reporter for the way she handled the interview with Porterfield.
Eric Porterfield was elected in November 2018 and represents parts of Mercer and Raleigh counties in West Virginia.
West Virginian Democrats and several of the state’s Republican leaders have criticised Porterfield’s recent comments about the LGBT+ community.
And, on Monday, the West Virginia Republican Party chairperson Melody Potter officially denounced his words.
In a statement, she said:
These comments are unacceptable and we denounce them. They have no place in America.