TAMPA, Fla. — Kansas Secretary of State and Mitt Romney surrogate Kris Kobach compared LGBT people to drug users and polygamists while debating the GOP platform’s marriage equality language in Tampa on Tuesday.
While arguing against an amendment that would have ended the party’s support for the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, Kobach said:
“Our government routinely judges situations where you might regard people completely affecting themselves … like for example the use of controlled substances, like for example polygamy, that is voluntarily entered into. We condemn those activities even though they are not hurting other people, at least directly.”
Kobach’s comments drew immediate criticism from the Human Rights Campaign.
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“Kris Kobach’s remarks are offensive and just the latest sign that the GOP platform is being influenced by people who certainly do not speak for the majority of Republicans,” said Fred Sainz, HRC Vice President of Communications.
“It’s time for leaders within the GOP to take some responsibility and realize that their outdated platform – and the incendiary and vitriolic language used by some of their colleagues like Kris Kobach – sends a dangerous message and has a very real impact on the LGBT community, particularly youth,” said Sainz.
Kobach, who is perhaps best known for using fear tactics to spread his anti-immigration agenda, employs similar tactics when it comes to matters of LGBT equality.
In 2004 he claimed that HRC and other LGBT organizations supported “homosexual pedophilia.”
Despite these remarks, Mitt Romney was quick to embrace Kobach’s endorsement earlier this year – saying he was “so proud to earn Kris’s support” and was pleased to “stand with this true conservative.”
Kobach’s remarks come just one day after the GOP’s draft platform revealed that the Republican Party was continuing to ignore the mainstream values embraced by a majority of Americans and an increasing number of conservatives by doubling-down on its refusal to embrace marriage equality.