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ALERT: Defense budget may include anti-gay provision

House GOP pushing clause that some fear could lead to harassment of gay service members

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House Republicans are aggressively pushing for an anti-gay provision in a defense bill proposed by Rep. W. Todd Akin. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Some House Republicans are pushing for inclusion of a “conscience protection” clause in the final version of Pentagon budget legislation that could enable discrimination against gay service members, according to LGBT advocates familiar with conference committee negotiations.

The measure could be made final as soon as today.

Two LGBT advocates, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said House Republican conferees working on the final version of the fiscal year 2013 defense authorization bill are pushing for language along the lines of the “conscience protections” in the House version of the legislation under Section 536. One source said this language is “very much in play” for being in the final version of the bill and is one of the final issues yet to be resolved as conferees wrap up the legislation.

Under the language, the U.S. military would have to “accommodate the conscience and sincerely held moral principles and religious beliefs of the members of the Armed Forces concerning the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality” and may not use these beliefs as the basis of any adverse personnel action or discrimination. Additionally, it would prohibit the U.S. military from taking action against military chaplains who decline to serve a particular service member based on religious beliefs.

This language has been understood to mean service members could actively harass their fellow comrades for their perceived or actual sexual orientation without fear of reprisal. Additionally, it has been understood to mean that chaplains would have free rein to discriminate against service members on any basis — including religion, gender, sexual orientation, race or any other characteristic — simply by saying serving them is contrary to their beliefs.

The provision was added during the House Armed Services Committee markup of the legislation in May by outgoing Rep. W. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), an anti-gay lawmaker who became notorious during his bid as a U.S. Senate candidate for suggesting a woman can resist becoming pregnant after a “legitimate rape.” One of the LGBT advocates said the final language may not be exactly like Akin’s language in the House bill, but something along similar lines.

Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), affirmed that House Republican conferees are actively trying to include some type of exemption modeled after the “conscience protections” in the House bill.

“Leader Pelosi strongly opposes the inclusion of a ‘conscience provision’ in the final NDAA conference report,” Hammill said. “This language is a completely unnecessary attempt to address a phantom problem. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is in the dustbin of history where it belongs and Republicans need to stop trying to alter the tide of progress for gay and lesbian servicemembers.”

According to one source, House Republicans are pushing for the provision in exchange for giving up on the other anti-gay provision in the House defense authorization bill, Section 537, which would prohibit the use of Defense Department property for same-sex marriage ceremonies.

The Republican-controlled House approved a defense authorization bill with both these provisions as part of its $642 billion package in May, but the Senate left out this language in its $631 billion legislation passed last week.

The sense that this language is in play for the final version of the bill isn’t universal. A Senate Democratic aide familiar with the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he’s heard no discussion about the language and would be “very surprised” if it wound up in the final bill.

“I have not heard of it being in play and when that issue has come up — it came up last year and came up in mark up this year — it has always been outright rejected,” the aide said. “I know that there are House Republicans that want this, but I would be very surprised if it were enough of a group of House Republicans to be able to really play ball on this.”

Conferees may produce a final version of the legislation as soon as today, but likely not until next week. A floor vote is expected on the final version of the bill shortly thereafter. The aide said an informal meeting of conferees took place on Wednesday.

Asked if Democrats are putting up a fight, one source said he thinks Democrats would be happy if the anti-gay provisions were left out, but they may be talking about a compromise that would allow something along the lines of “conscience provisions” to appear in the bill. But the Democratic aide said Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin has strong objections to the provisions and would have raised them.

The debate over the language has been somewhat under the radar because controversial provisions included in one chamber’s version of legislation, but not the other, are usually dropped when conferees meet to hammer a final bill. Spokespersons for the House and Senate armed services committees say they wouldn’t have a comment until a final conference report is produced.

One source said it’s unclear which of the House Republican conferees are actively pushing for the language and he doesn’t believe House Armed Services Committee Chair Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) was taking the lead in the effort. But notable anti-gay lawmakers are members of the conference, including Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) and House Armed Services personnel subcommittee chair Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

It also should be noted that despite concerns about the language, questions linger about whether it will be enforceable even if it becomes the law on the grounds of unit cohesion and morale. The Senate Democratic aide said military chaplains are already free to decline ministration to any service member on the basis of religious beliefs even if the provision weren’t in law. Additionally, the first part of the provision says nothing in the language precludes disciplinary action for conduct proscribed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice — although sexual orientation isn’t a protected class in military law.

The White House said in May the Obama administration “strongly objects” to the conscience provision in the House version of the defense authorization bill along with a provision prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying on military bases as part of its Statement of Administration Policy.

Still, the statement doesn’t go as far as issuing a veto threat if the final version of the bill includes these provisions. A White House spokesperson didn’t respond immediately on short notice to a request for comment.

NOTE: This article has been updated to include a comment from Drew Hammill.

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. lefabe

    December 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    douche nozzle til the bitter end.

  2. Jackson Euler

    December 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    as the US Ship of State sails away from the shores, there on the sand left behind are the Republicans, still thinking that there is a chance that they can be the captain of the ship, not realizing that ship has sailed!
    So much for all their efforts to re-shape the party, still seems petty and divisive to me.

  3. M Preston Chandler

    December 14, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Did these idiots learn nothing from the recent election? That they are outdated, outmoded and that the public at large is moving away from these neanderthals? Oh, wait, I'm crediting them for the ability to learn. My bad…

  4. Kelly Creech

    December 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    So much for the budget being their #1 priority! Not that that's a surprise.

    • Lanorexic

      December 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      The budget is their number one priority. They want all of it to go to defense contractors instead of going to the people that need to eat and get health care. Hence their attention to details of the membership of the armed forces.

  5. Dale Hankins

    December 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    when will these neanderthals go away?

  6. Adam Everett Colclasure

    December 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Republican idiots again trying to say that they don't let their religion dictate what they do really this seem like a prime example of them letting religion dictate what they do. We really need to do something to fix that in the house. Hold more house member accountable for not understanding the separation between church and state.

  7. Brent Milburn

    December 14, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Log Cabin Republicans/Gay catholics why continue to support a Party/religion that despises you?

    • Anthony Neff

      December 15, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Because they're stupid? Because they have crushes on people like Rush and Newt (yeah, ew)? Because they think that they can change the mentality of one screwed-up political party?

      I've actually talked to gay Repubs, and they're answer as to why they sided with evil is always, "Oh, the Republicans don't hate gays, it's just a few of them" or something similar.

      I think LCRs and gay Catholics should have their affiliation stamped on their foreheads so we can just ignore them when we see them coming. Strictly my opinion of course ;-)

    • Lanorexic

      December 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      You really have to wonder why they’d claim membership in such a group of haters. It must be self-loathing.

    • Lanorexic

      December 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Hey! The LCR’s might be getting more “footage” you-know-where from the uptight rethugnican party than all the other sources they know. Think about all the closeted fellas in that group.

  8. Cameron Robert

    December 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    I'll never understand why Rethuglican, conservative, right-wing, religious fanatics think they can force other normal people to accept their deviant views and lifestyle. They love to tell other people how to live their lives, while their own lives are in shambles. The Christian (esp. Catholic, Mormon, Evangelical, and Southern Baptist) Taliban in this country are going to face a violent wake up call soon if they keep trying to spread their hatred, intolerant views, and intolerant actions on normal Americans. And it is patently unfair that Gay Americans and their loved ones should suffer the effects of discrimination while the bigots and their loved ones go about their lives as if nothing is wrong. Anyone coming into contact with Todd Akin, Duncan Hunter, Joe Wilson, Vicky Hartzler, Steve King, Alan West, Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, other bigoted legislators, or their loved ones, SHOULD TAKE ANY ACTION POSSIBLE TO HARM THEM. Maybe when the bigots start paying a high price for their discriminatory actions, they'll think twice before committing the same crimes in the future.

    • Lanorexic

      December 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      I’m an ex-infantry soldier. The army discovered that I’m trans/bisexual after awarding me several commendations. They were incensed to say the least. They tried to discharge under less than honorable circumstances but being the “Battalion Soldier of the Quarter” it was in total contradiction to their own commendation they had just awarded me. It was almost comical. Then they decided I was a druggie. But I knew all the same people that I smoked the “goodies” with and they covered my back. In the end they settled for me leaving after labeling me as having “mental health issues”. The U.S. Military is the most homophobic organization on the planet. Bar none. Most of the men are so deeply in love with each other that they don’t even realize it! It’s so crazy.

  9. Sharon Akins

    December 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    I am getting so SICK of hearing all this gay bashing. I have friends who are gay and there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THEM! Being gay has NOTHING to do with serving in the Military as any gay man or lesbian woman has the right to fight and protect those they love. Their relationships are between them and their loved ones, and which ever god they choose to worship. It is not for the Human world to say it is wrong, we are NOT God(s). Leave them alone and treat them like human beings already! I swear anti-gay promoters make me sick!

  10. brian

    December 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Busted! More drill-down reporting from the Blade. Thanks.

  11. Beau

    December 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    This provision comes from the “legitimate rape” wordsmith known as Todd Akin

  12. I'm Just Sayin'

    December 14, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    This just goes to show how clueless LCR’s Clarke Cooper is when he tries to persuade anyone who is still listening to him, that republicans will not use every legislative maneuver at their disposal to undermine DADT. They may not be able to repeal it, but clearly they plan to act within their power to drive gay military personnel back into the “footlocker.”

  13. Christopher Erwin Hogan

    December 15, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Do these assholes EVER STOP?

  14. Michael Smith

    December 15, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Warriors have no Gods. Akin and his fascist cronies lost, they have no business pushing any kind of legislation.

  15. George M Melby

    December 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Wouldn't you THINK that the more these American christian Taliban push their anti-gay agenda, the more ground the GLBTQ community is going to gain for their forward moving equality target? These right-wing extremists never seem to learn their lesson. The Fundie/Conservie/TPods are going to be left in the dust in the present AND future of our progressive agenda! So be it!
    Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  16. Anonymous

    December 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    The doing away with DADT a year ago went uneventful as there were little if any problems. This by itself pisses off those that wanted to see this repeal backfire. So in response they are trying to stir something up that's not there. Shame on these "religious right" governed politicians.

  17. Danny Perez

    December 17, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Akin will continue to ooze his slime of hatred until the day he seeps back into the mire of the sewer from whence he seeped, him and his ilk. Fortunately soon it won't be as a legislator.

  18. Lanorexic

    December 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    By including such provisions they will be sure that this defense funding is vetoed. Our soldiers will be in the field without being payed, they’ll run out of ammunition and fuel and the legislation will have to be re-written. Oh to be a rethugnican.

  19. Lanorexic

    December 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    When will we outlaw the GOP?

  20. Lanorexic

    December 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    The sad thing is that one of these horribly bigoted Repthugnicans must have a gay or lesbian son or daughter. Can you imagine the nightmare of being born into one of those households?

  21. Tim Pollard

    December 30, 2012 at 2:07 am

    These right wing moralistic megalomaniacal self-centered hypocrites need to get their faces publicly slapped, and then these same hate-mongering pedagogues need to be censured and removed from office permanently, then be stripped of all their congressional pensions and benefits, which the American tax-paying people pay for.

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National

‘Very familiar’: Mark Glaze’s story brings into focus mental health for gay men

Experts see common story as LGBTQ people enter middle age

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Mark Glaze's death by suicide is bringing into focus mental health issues faced by gay men.

The death by suicide at age 51 of Mark Glaze, a gun reform advocate who was close to many in D.C.’s LGBTQ community, is striking a chord with observers who see his struggles with mental health and alcoholism as reflective of issues facing many gay men as they enter middle age.

Glaze’s story resonates even though much of the attention on mental health issues in the LGBTQ community is devoted to LGBTQ youth going through the coming out process and transgender people who face disproportionate violence and discrimination within the LGBTQ community in addition to a growing focus on LGBTQ seniors entering later stages of life.

Randy Pumphrey, senior director of behavioral health for the D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Health, said Glaze’s story was “very familiar” as a tale of mental health issues facing gay men in the middle stage of life.

“You’re talking about a gay-identified man who is in his 50s, somebody who has struggled with alcohol misuse — or maybe abuse or dependence— and also depression,” Pumphrey said. “I think that there has always been a higher incidence of suicide for men in general in their middle age 50 and above, but this increases when you’re talking about gay men, and also if you’re talking about gay men who suffer with mental health issues, or substance use disorder issues.”

Several sources close to Glaze said his death did not come as a surprise. His family has been open about his death by suicide last month while he was in jail after allegedly fleeing the scene of a car accident in Pennsylvania and a long history of depression and alcoholism.

Pumphrey said Glaze’s situation coping with mental health issues as well as the consequences for his role in the accident, were reflective of someone who might “begin to perceive that this is an issue that they can’t get away from, or the consequences they can’t get away from exposure and that can lead somebody to a fatal outcome.”

“My experience is that there have been gay men that I have worked with over the years — particularly in their 50s and early 60s — it’s taken them a long time to recognize the severity of the problem, whether it’s their depression or their substance abuse, and then they find themselves in a very precarious situation because of shame, and so they may not necessarily seek help even though they need help.”

A 2017 study in the American Journal of Men’s Health found the prevalence of depression among gay men is three times higher than the general adult population, which means they are a subgroup at high risk for suicide.

The study found “scant research exists about gay men’s health beyond sexual health issues,” most often with HIV, which means issues related to depression and suicidality “are poorly understood.”

“Gay men’s health has often been defined by sexual practices, and poorly understood are the intersections of gay men’s physical and mental health with social determinants of health including ethnicity, locale, education level and socioeconomic status,” the study says.

The study acknowledged being male itself is one factor incorporated in addressing mental health issues in this subgroup because “regardless of sexual orientation, men can be reluctant to seek help for mental health problems.” Another study quoted in the report found 23 percent, less than one quarter of gay men, who attempted suicide sought mental health or medical treatment.

In addition to mental health issues facing gay men in Glaze’s age group, others saw his situation as a common story in the culture of Washington, which is notorious for celebrating and prioritizing success with little tolerance for personal setbacks.

In the case of Glaze, who had sparred on Fox News with Tucker Carlson as executive director of Everytown for Gun Safety, the threat of exposure and threat to his career may have seemed overwhelmingly daunting.

Steven Fisher, who knew Glaze since the 1990s and worked with him at the D.C.-based Raben Group, said one factor that contributed to Glaze’s condition was “he could only see upward in terms of his career trajectory.”

“We saw that in him and it had me very concerned because I felt like he might end up in a place that wasn’t good once he left Everytown, and that’s tragically and sadly what happened,” Fisher said. “I think he just had trouble adjusting to what is usually a roller coaster ride, I think, in people’s careers, especially in the D.C. world.”

Along with Glaze, Fisher has worked on gun issues for Everytown, which has been a client of his since 2015 after he worked for them in 2012 after the Newtown shooting.

Compounding the challenges that Glaze faced is a culture among many gay men focused on sexuality, which prioritizes youth and appearance and presents problems as those qualities start fading when men enter middle age.

Fisher said another factor in Glaze’s condition was social media, pointing out public perception about his identity was important to him.

“If you look at his social media — I think this is instructive to the rest of us — a lot of the comments are about how Mark was so good looking and he was charming, and he was so smart and so funny,” Fisher said. “That’s all true, and that’s why he was very appealing to many people, but those qualities don’t really tell you everything about a person. In fact, one could argue they’re superficial in a way, and people have to remember people are more complicated than what you see on social media.”

One issue for gay men facing mental health issues as they enter middle age is they don’t have the same resources as those available to LGBTQ youth, who have been more of a focus in terms of mental health issues in the LGBTQ community.

Among the leading organizations for LGBTQ youth is the Trevor Project, which has resources and a hotline for LGBTQ youth facing mental health crises.

Kevin Wong, vice president of communications for the Trevor Project, said his organization would be receptive to an older LGBTQ person who calls the hotline, but ultimately would refer that person elsewhere.

“If an LGBTQ person above the age of 25 reaches out to The Trevor Project’s crisis services for support and expresses suicidal thoughts, our counselors will listen, actively and with empathy, and work with them to de-escalate and form a safety plan, like any other contact,” Wong said. “However, our organization has remained youth-centric since its founding and our volunteer crisis counselors are specifically trained with younger LGBTQ people in mind.”

Much attention is focused on the coming out process for LGBTQ people, a time that can upend close relationships — as well as reaffirm them — and a process more commonly associated with youth.

Ilan Meyer, senior scholar of public policy at the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, said data is scant about suicide rates among LGBTQ people, but information on suicide attempts shows they tend to be at a heightened rate for LGBTQ people as they go through the coming out process.

“What we do know is that there is a connection with the coming out period at whatever age coming out happens,” Meyer said. “And so, we see a proximity to coming out whatever age that happened, we see the suicide attempts proceeding and after that.”

Suicide attempts, Meyer said, are much higher for LGBTQ people than the population at large. The self-reported rate of suicide attempts in the U.S. population as a whole, Meyer said, is 2.4 percent, but that figure changes to 20 to 30 percent among LGBTQ youth, which about to 10 to 15 times greater.

Black and Latino people, Meyer said, have been less likely to make suicide attempts in their lifetimes, although he added that may be changing in recent years.

With the primary focus on mental health issues elsewhere in the LGBTQ community, Glaze’s death raises questions about whether sufficient resources are available to people in his demographic, or whether individuals are willing to seek out care options that are available.

Meyer said whether the resources for suicidal ideologies among LGBTQ people are sufficient and what more could be done “is the the million-dollar question.”

“It’s definitely not determined by just mental health,” Meyer said. “So many people have depression, but they don’t attempt suicide. And so, then the difficult thing is to find the right moment to intervene and what that intervention should be.”

Meyer said much of the focus on mental health is on a person’s last moments before making a suicide attempt, such as making suicide hotlines readily available, but some of the stressors he sees “are more chronic, ongoing things related to homophobia and the kind of experience that LGBT people have as they come to terms to realize their sexual identity.”

Pumphrey said another factor in mental health issues not to be underestimated for almost two years now is “dealing with the COVID and loneliness epidemic,” which appears to have no immediate end in sight with the emergence of the Omnicron variant.

“There was always this piece of sometimes the experience of being in your 50s and early 60s…we talk about the invisibility factor,” Pumphrey said. “But when there’s just this sense of being disconnected from community, especially in the early days of the pandemic, and kind of being locked down, I think that just raised the risk.”

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U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS to be held virtually Dec. 2-3

Fauci, Levine, Pelosi to speak at opening session

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Dr. Rachel Levine, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health, is among speakers at this week’s U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Dr. Rachel Levine, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health who became the nation’s highest-ranking transgender public official earlier this year, are among dozens of experts scheduled to participate in the 25th Annual U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS scheduled to take place virtually Dec. 2-3.

Fauci and Levine were scheduled to join Harold Phillips, director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy; and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, as speakers at the conference’s opening plenary session at noon on Thursday, Dec. 2. 

Phillips and Levine were expected to provide information about President Joe Biden’s plans for updating the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which Biden was scheduled to announce on Dec. 1 at a White House World AIDS Day event.

Members of the U.S. People Living With HIV Caucus were also expected to discuss the federal policy agenda on HIV/AIDS at the opening plenary session. 

In addition to the opening plenary and three other plenary sessions, one more on Thursday, Dec. 2, and two on Friday, Dec. 3, the conference was scheduled to include 140 workshop sessions on a wide variety of HIV/AIDS related topics.

The annual United States Conference on HIV/AIDS is organized by the D.C.-based national HIV/AIDS advocacy organization NMAC, which was formerly known as the National Minority AIDS Council before it changed its name to that of its widely known initials NMAC. 

“NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America,” the organization states on its website. “Health equity with communities of color is everyone’s challenge.”

Several of the workshop sessions cover the topic of expanding the local, state, and national efforts of using pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs known as PrEP as a means of preventing HIV infection. 

Other workshop sessions include: HIV CURE – Hot Topics in HIV Cure Research; A Town Hall on Aging and HIV; COVID, HIV, and Racism – How Providers Can Make a Difference; Expanding the Pleasure and HIV Prevention Toolkit: Kink As Harm Reduction; It’s About Time – HIV Research Just For Transgender Women; and Impact of COVID-19 on HIV Prevention Services Among U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Funded Community Based Organizations.

The conference’s fourth and closing plenary session, Foundation Stones to Building the EHE Effort in Indian County, “will highlight the work of those addressing HIV and COVID in Indian Country, rural states and among Alaska Natives with limited infrastructure,” according to a conference agenda statement. 

“This plenary addresses these challenges and provides innovative solutions by the Indian Country – making the case to support Native HIV care by providing essential building blocks,” the agenda statement says. 

Paul Kawata, NMAC’s executive director, says in a statement in the conference’s agenda booklet that he and his NMAC team are disappointed that the 2021 conference is being held virtually for the second year in a row.

“But we felt the issue of safety was simply too critical to ignore,” Kawata said in his statement. “I’ve been very concerned about our loved ones over 50 living with HIV through the whole COVID pandemic,” he said, noting that people in that category were dealing with isolation as well as a higher risk for COVID.

“I hope this conference, even though it is virtual, will help alleviate some of that isolation,” Kawata said. “We’ve worked very hard to make this conference not just an opportunity for training and education, but a chance to connect with others, reinforce those strands in your support net, and hopefully, establish some new connections.”

More information about the U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS and instructions on registering to attend can be obtained at nmac.org.

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N.C. lieutenant governor compares gays to cow feces, maggots

“If homosexuality is of God, what purpose does it serve? What does it make? What does it create? It creates nothing,” Robinson said

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North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson (Blade file photo)

WINSTON-SALEM – Speaking to parishioners at the Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem last Sunday, November 14, North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson attacked the LGBTQ+ community in remarks caught on the church’s livestreaming video on YouTube.

Robinson said in his sermon that he questioned the “purpose” of being gay; said heterosexual couples are “superior” to gay couples; and that he didn’t want to explain to his grandchildren why two men are kissing if they see that on television the Charlotte Observer reported.

The state’s Republican Lt. Governor then went on to compare being gay to “what the cows leave behind” as well as maggots and flies, who he said all serve a purpose in God’s creation. “If homosexuality is of God, what purpose does it serve? What does it make? What does it create? It creates nothing,” Robinson said.

Democratic lawmakers expressed their outrage on Twitter:

According to the Observer, “The video was distributed Friday by a pastor at St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church in Raleigh, the day before the Transgender Day of Remembrance. A protest rally was held Friday in front of Robinson’s office, but organizers also read the names of transgender people who have been killed.

This man’s theology and religious practices are not only flawed and a perversion of the Christian tenets; he places countless people at risk of violent attacks and even murder every time he opens his mouth,” said Vance Haywood, senior pastor at St. John’s, in a statement.

Robinson is expected to run for the governor’s chair in 2024. In another video of the sermon captured the Lt. Governor ranting in transphobic terms his opinion of the Trans community:

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (Twitter Video)

Video of remarks made by North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson courtesy of the Charlotte Observer.

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