MS Representative says gays spread disease and weaken society
On May 10, 2012, Andy Gipson, a state representative for District 77 (Simpson, Smith, and Rankin counties), took to his Facebook wall to express his disagreement with President Obama’s support of marriage equality. His first post stated:
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.
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.
Later, on May 11, 2012 at 11:45am, Representative Gipson responded to criticism of his initial post:
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.
Point by point, we’d like to respond to Gipson’s response:
- Unnatural behavior which results in disease
Disease is a ridiculous argument. 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.The unnatural talking point is a tired and desperate argument since it has no science to back it. It’s clear Representative Gipson hasn’t kept up with biology since his high school days. To be fair, he studied law; it’s very possible biology wasn’t his strongest suit. To suggest being gay or lesbian is unnatural goes against basic science. Homosexuality exists in over 500 species; homophobia exists in one… Which seems more unnatural?
- Harmful to children
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).
- Culture is weakened:
A culture divided by bigotry is a weakened culture. When the LGBT community has full equality under the law, our society and culture will be stronger. Our youth will recognize that all Americans are equal and respected by our government. It’s really quite simple.
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.
If you live in Rankin, Smith, or Simpson country, we urge you to contact Representative Gipson and let him know he represents you. If you choose to contact Gipson, please be respectful. His contact information is below.
- 601-359-3770 (Capitol when in Session)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail)
— Knol Aust, Chairman, Unity Mississippi