A Mississippi lawmaker, who earlier this month invoked an Old Testament Bible passage on his Facebook page that calls for gays to be “put to death,” says he never endorsed the killing of gays, and that he and his family have received death threats after his comments were misinterpreted.
In a statement issued Monday, GOP State Representative Andy Gipson, a Southern Baptist Minister and business attorney from Braxton, Miss., said he has “never publicly or privately called for the killing of any people.”
“I believe all people are created in the image of God and I stand firmly for the sanctity of all human life. All people are entitled to the protection of the laws of our nation and state protecting human life,” Gipson said in his statement.
“Any reasonable person who reads the actual post can see that both scriptures were cited only for the proposition that same-sex marriage is morally objectionable — sin. I believe this reflects the values of the vast majority of Mississippians and the people of District 77 whom I represent.”
The statement comes in response to growing outrage from within the LGBT community and its allies over a comment Gipson posted May 10 on Facebook regrading President Barack Obama’s support for marriage equality.
“Been a lot of press on Obama’s opinion on ‘homosexual marriage,'” Gipson wrote (screenshots here).
“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, an Old Testament Bible passage, 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 a follow-up comment, Gipson also wrote that homosexuality was an “unnatural behavior which results in disease, … is harmful to children” and that same-sex marriage weakens our culture.
After Gipson’s comments were made public, he refused to back away from them, posting, “I do not, cannot, and will not apologize for the inspired truth of God’s Word.”
Gipson told MSNBC on Monday that he has received threats by phone and email, as well as a death threat against his family, which he reported to authorities.
Gibson also said his Facebook profile, which disappeared on Monday, was disabled by Facebook for “suspicious activity” because, he said, someone tried to hack into it. Gibson said he did not delete his page and is working to have it restored.
Prior to his Facebook profile being disable, Gibson’s comments, however, were deleted — shortly after they became public. Screenshots of the page, containing the comments, are here.
Gipson is not the only pastor to make news recently for suggesting violence against gays.
In North Carolina, Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church called for gays and lesbians to be exterminated by locking them behind an electric fence and waiting for them to die.
And Sean Harris, the Senior Pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., told his congregation that they should “beat the gay” out of their children.