A West Virginia lawmaker has no intent to back down after multiple incendiary remarks about the LGBTQ community that politicians on both sides of the aisle have decried as bigoted and intolerant, CNN reports. Republican Delegate Eric Porterfield of West Virginia’s 27th district, in response to a proposed state bill that would provide anti-discrimination protection to LGBTQ individuals, said that the group his fellow lawmakers sought to protect was, in fact, the most intolerant and dangerous group in America today.
“The LGBT is the most socialist group in this country,” Porterfield claimed.
“They do not protect gays. There are many gays they persecute if they do not line up with their social ideology.”
In response to calls for a reprimand, if not resignation, for his comments, Porterfield unabashedly went even further, calling the local Gazette-Mail, and doubling down on his comments. According to the paper, Porterfield called the LGBTQ community “brutal monsters” and a “terrorist group.”
“The LGBTQ is a modern-day version of the Ku Klux Klan, without wearing hoods, with their antics of hate,” he reportedly said in his conversation with the Gazette-Mail.
In case Porterfield’s position was unclear at that point, he returned to local media for another round of remarks, this time on local television station WVVA, now sporting a distinctive red hat emblazoned with the familiar “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan of President Donald Trump.
“The LGBTQ is a modern-day version of the Ku Klux Klan, without wearing hoods with their antics of hate,” Eric Porterfield said. https://t.co/yKIiLa6TTO— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) February 10, 2019
At that point, the Virginia delegate danced puzzlingly around a personal question posed by the station, who wants to know what Porterfield would do if he learned that one of his own children was in fact gay. He answered slightly differently for each of his children but closed each response with the declaration that he would see if they could swim. When pushed for clarification about that statement, Porterfield coyly obfuscated the answer and refusing to confirm or deny is he was, in fact, claiming he would indeed murder his theoretically gay children.
“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,” Porterfield said while smiling. “If it was my son, I would probably take him hunting, I would take him fishing, then I’d see if he could swim.”
West Virginia Republican leadership was quick to denounce Porterfield, joining Democrats in condemning the series of remarks and in fact making absolutely clear that they expect the lawmaker to resign.
“These comments are unacceptable and we denounce them,” West Virginia Republican Party Chairwoman Melody Potter said in a statement. “They have no place in America.”