Republican lawmaker says he'd see if his kids "could swim" if they ever came out as gay
The LGBTQ+ community has made huge strides towards increased representation in recent years. Now, sexuality is no longer a barrier when it comes to making your love legally binding throughout the US, and people are slowly but surely beginning to realize that gender exists on a spectrum, with many insurance companies making changes to accommodate gender variant people. Despite this, there is still a long way to go when it comes to achieving equality.
Case in point, the prevalence of homophobic views amongst prominent members of the Republican Party. Many members of Trump's cabinet have supported groups with extremely disturbing attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community. Tom Price, for example, voted against gay marriage, and Tony Perkins has been linked to support of gay conversion therapy.
The latest Republican to pin his colors to the anti-LGBTQ+ agenda is lawmaker Eric Porterfield. After being elected to office as the representative for Mercer County in November, he has made a number of problematic comments about the community, describing LGBTQ+ people as a "terrorist organization" and complaining that he is being "persecuted" by them after comparing the LGBTQ+ community to the notorious white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan.
And when asked what he'd do if either of his children came out as gay, he said he'd see if they "could swim":
Porterfield made the above statement on local TV station WVVA on February 10.
"Well, I will address my daughter first," he said in response to the possibility of fathering a gay child. "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."
When pressed by the interviewer Rachel Anderson about what he meant by seeing if they "could swim", Porterfield simply said, "I'd just wanna see if they could swim."
Understandably, Porterfield's statement provoked quite the response on social media:
In response to the backlash, Porterfield claimed that what he said was, in fact, not what he said and that he'd only implied that he'd drown his children to upset liberals.
The Republican Party has also commented on Porterfield's remark. Chairwoman Melody Potter said in a statement: "These comments are unacceptable and we denounce them. They have no place in America."