In testimony before Minnesota Senate and House committees last week, religious leaders and representatives from religious right organizations cited single-parent families and a skyrocketing divorce rate as reasons to protect marriage from being redefined to include same-sex couples by “activist judges” and “handfuls of legislators.” And GOP members rebuffed efforts by DFLers to include a ban on divorces in a proposed ban on gay marriage. However, a number of the legislators who say they want to protect marriage appear to have been divorced.
After viral video fame, Rep. Simon slammed by religious right for pro-gay comments
Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-St. Louis Park, briefly flirted with folk hero status in the LGBT community and beyond last week after comments he made in opposition to an anti–gay marriage amendment went viral. He asked, “How many gays must God create before we accept that he wants them around?” And with that increased attention, Simon has drawn the ire of religious right figures who have called him “evil” and a “blasphemer” who should be immediately removed from office.
Video of Rep. Simon’s remarks have generated just under 500,000 views on YouTube:
That footage drew harsh criticism from Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and Exodus International, a group that says it can convert gays and lesbians to heterosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.
Exodus International’s Randy Thomas questions Simon’s theology at the 9:30 mark:
“This is their life and they want your children,” said James White of the Alpha and Omega Ministries. “They can’t have them themselves so they’ll get them any way they can.”
“Those that are evil generally don’t sound evil,” he said of Simon’s remarks:
“Give me a stinkin’ break. That is blasphemy, Mr. Simon,” said Bradlee Dean of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide. In response to Simon’s remarks saying he believes God created gays and lesbians, Dean compared LGBT people to thieves, liars, adulterers and fornicators.
He mocked the idea that homosexuality may be an innate quality. “‘Oh, I was born this way. I can’t help myself.’ Really? Then you belong in jail.”
Jake McMillian, Dean’s sidekick, called for Simon to be removed from office. “He deserves to be kicked out of office and dethroned from his position.”
Dean agreed: “Immediately! He is violating your constitution, he is violating his oath, he is violating the God he’s supposed to serve and the people that he serves.”
He continued, “Blasphemy! But here the homosexuals are praising him. This guy is reprobate. He is off the radar folks. You need to be removed! Yes, I said it from the pulpit, you need to be removed!”
Here’s audio of Dean’s full remarks: