JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi state lawmaker, commenting on the announcement by President Barack Obama affirming support for same-sex marriage, invoked an old testament bible passage on his Facebook page, calling for gay men to be “put to death.”
GOP State Representative Andy Gipson, a Southern Baptist Minister and business attorney, is Republican state Representative from Braxton, Miss.
On May 10, writing on his Facebook page, Gibson said that homosexuality is a “sin,” citing Leviticus 20:13:
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“Been a lot of press on Obama’s opinion on ‘homosexual marriage.’
“The only opinion that counts is God’s: see Romans 1:26-28 and Leviticus 20:13. Anyway you slice it, it is sin. Not to mention horrific social policy.
Leviticus 20:13 reads, “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
In response to a follower, Gipson later wrote that same-sex relationships are “unnatural” and suggested they will inherently “result in disease”:
Sorry I’ve been busy and not had a chance to reply. David, in addition to the basic principal that it is morally wrong, here are three social reasons it’s horrific social policy:
1) Unnatural behavior which results in disease, not the least of which is its high association with the development and spread of HIV/AIDS;
2) Confusing behavior which is harmful to children who have a deep need to understand the proper role of men and women in society and the important differences between men and women, and fathers and mothers; and
3) Undermines the longstanding definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, a definition which has been key to all aspects of social order and prosperity. Anytime that definition is weakened our culture is also weakened. And yes, that is also true for other conduct which weakens marriage’s importance in society.
A screen capture of the original posts:
Gipson is not backing down on his comments, and said, “To be clear, I want the world to know that I do not, cannot, and will not apologize for the inspired truth of God’s Word. It is one thing that will never ‘change’.”
Gibson’s comments (screenshot above) however, have been since been removed from his Facebook profile.
Knol Aust, Chairman of Unity Mississippi, criticized Gipson, writing on his organization’s website that it was not Gipson’s place to impose his religious beliefs on his constituents.
“Mr. Gipson is wrong when he states the only opinion that counts is his god’s. As a representative of Mississippi, the only opinions he should be concerned with are those of his constituents. While his particular god may play an important role in his life, it is not his job to impose his beliefs and faith upon the people he represents,” Aust said.
Aust then countered Gipson’s arguments, writing:
Being gay does not equal disease just like being straight does not equal disease-free. A heterosexual person with HIV or terminal cancer can still get a marriage license, but a loving gay couple of 20+ years cannot.
To argue that disease is a legitimate reason to deny marriage to loving same-sex couples is absurd. Humans spread disease not sexual orientation.
Research shows children who grow up in households with gay parents have normal self-esteem. Also, churches, governments, and individuals telling children and adults they are unnatural is what’s harmful to children. Love is a simple concept for children to grasp; bigotry and hate are what confuse and harm children (and adults).
Mr. Gipson needs to realize he represents all of his constituents. He should not cherry-pick which constituents he wants to work for. He should also realize his positions are neither popular nor Republican. LGBT individuals, couples, and families help pay Gipson’s salary. It’s important that he remember that.
While polling shows that nation’s approval of same-sex marriage has trended slightly above 50 percent in a recent poll, a November 2011 poll found that only 13 percent of Mississippi voters thought it should be legal, while 78 percent said it should remain illegal.
Even among Democrats, only 19 percent expressed support.