Anti-LGBTQ Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has announced that he’s divorcing his wife Cristina Cawthorn after less than a year of marriage.
In a statement, he blamed Congress, saying that he and his wife got engaged before he was elected to represent his district and “that change has been both hectic and difficult, it’s neither the pace nor the lifestyle we had planned for.”
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He said that he and Cristina were “committed to make things work, to fight for our marriage, and seek counsel for balancing the enormity of such a transition in life,” but they found that they had “irreconcilable differences” and that they “mutually decided to divorce.”
This news comes just a week after he told young conservatives at the Turning Point USA AmericaFest conference to “get married young, have as many kids as possible” and to drop out of college because “it’s a scam.”
Madison Cawthorn today to an audience of mostly college students: “I think you should home school. I was home schooled all the way through. I am proudly a college dropout. Unless you are becoming a doctor or lawyer or engineer, I highly encourage you to drop out.” pic.twitter.com/fgQ6v2yjKf
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 21, 2021
A personal statement from Congressman Madison Cawthorn: pic.twitter.com/A5R7NOmUwc
— Luke Ball (@LukeTBall) December 22, 2021
This isn’t the first time Cawthorn has said he has trouble balancing Congressional duties and marriage. Earlier this year, shortly after his marriage to Cristina in April, he faced public criticism for honeymooning in Dubai and missing 15 votes in Congress.
“It just shows how exactly the Democrats feel about the nuclear family here in America right now,” Cawthorn said at the time. “I was doing the only thing that I find more important than my service here in Congress and that is my service as a husband.”
Leaving aside the fact that there are hundreds of other members of Congress who manage to balance marriage and having a full-time job (and who take vacations when Congress isn’t in session), Cawthorn’s statement then, like his statement now on his divorce, said that there was tension between being married and being a Congressman.
But back then, he said that being a husband is more important, and now he’s saying that his job led to irreconcilable differences in his marriage.
Cawthorn is an opponent of LGBTQ rights. When the Citizen Times asked him about his views on LGBTQ rights when he ran for Congress last year, he said that he opposes government involvement in marriage, even as he was engaged to marry his wife.
“I don’t think the government should be involved in marriage,” Cawthorn said at the time. “I have very traditional views myself. I’m straight, I’m marrying a woman. I don’t think the government should be involved in marriage. I believe it should be between the marriage and God, that’s all that matters.”
The argument that “government shouldn’t be involved in marriage” is one that some conservative Christians bring up, but only in the context of same-sex couples getting married. When Cawthorn married his wife a few months later in April 2021, he said it was “the greatest honor, privilege and adventure of my life.” He did not mention keeping the government out of his marriage.
He is also opposed to protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.
Earlier this year, he voted against the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal civil rights legislation, banning anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment, credit, housing, and other areas.
He claimed that the bill would restrict parents’ rights when it comes to health care for their transgender children, something that was not in the bill. In fact, several states tried to pass bills to ban doctors from providing medically appropriate gender affirming care to transgender minors, and Cawthorn never spoke out against them.
The bill did not contain funding for abortion either.
I voted NO because:
❌Restricts parental consent & involvement in a child’s decision to have gender transition therapy.
❌Stops doctors from using medical advice on life-altering gender transition medical services.
❌Sets back Female Athletic protections
More Abortion funding https://t.co/iN8vkmppJj
— Rep. Madison Cawthorn (@RepCawthorn) February 26, 2021
In the interview with the Citizen Times, Cawthorn also said, “I don’t think we should indoctrinate extremely young children and allow them to have life-altering surgeries at a very young age and change their gender.”
Gender affirming surgery is not performed on minors. Gender affirming care for younger children involves social transitioning, where the parents create a welcoming and loving environment for their children to express their identity and be treated as the girl, boy, or non-binary person that they are.