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MS Lawmaker Who Said Gays Spread Disease Tries To Explain Himself

GipsonMississippi state Representative Andy Gipson caused a firestorm last week after posting on Facebook condemnation of President Obama's gay marriage support that ended with Biblical scripture suggesting gay people be put to death.

"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," the scripture, the infamous Leviticus 20:13, reads. The lawmaker also said gay people spread disease.

As the news spread, Gipson, who is also a Baptist minister, tried to do some damage control, but to no avail, and the story soon went national and now Gipson claims he and his family are receiving death threats.

He also released a statement in which he again tries to plead his case:

Since [my posting], a well-known radical liberal blog (The Huffington Post) ran an article falsely claiming that this Facebook post was a call "to kill gay people." Nothing could be further from the truth. I have 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 protection of the laws of our nation and state protecting human life.

Any reasonable person who reads the actual post can see that both scripture 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.

That last bit's actually true: a November Public Policy Polling survey found that only 13% of the state's residents support gay marriage; 78% oppose. Mississippi also has the nation's largest population of same-sex couples raising children.

Maybe that familiarity theory of gay rights isn't quite right.

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  1. His suit needs to be resized or something.

    Posted by: Greg | May 21, 2012 8:33:09 PM

  2. He's just confused. I didn't send him a death threat, I just quoted Leviticus' prescription for death for wearing cotton/poly blends.

    Posted by: scollingsworth | May 21, 2012 8:44:17 PM

  3. The dishonesty is unshockingly "christian"

    Posted by: Mickey | May 21, 2012 8:44:56 PM

  4. Perhaps legislators should keep their Bible verses in their homes and out of their public media statements, because when they imply they take the Bible literally and then post scripture calling for the deaths of gay people, some of their more literal-minded constituents, as well as those of us targeted by the bigotry, might get the wrong idea.

    He sure scrubbed those pages fast, though, when those nasty radical liberals caught him. If the statements were so reasonable, why try to erase them?

    Posted by: Ernie | May 21, 2012 8:52:14 PM

  5. This is a riot- I always love when the Mississippians come out of the wood work, and pretend that not only is their state superior but also their false religion.

    Mississippi has excessive poverty, excessive unemployment, state social services that can't serve all those who need it, and on top of that the worst, WORST ranked education system in the entire country. Stop obsessing over gay folk and worry a little more about your FAILED STATE.

    Posted by: Cecilfirefox | May 21, 2012 9:05:17 PM

  6. Actually, the article you cite refers to the proportion of same sex couples raising children, not the population. Since MS ranks 41st in the nation in the ratio of same sex to heterosexual couples (ie, relatively fewer gay couples there) the familiarity theory is still good to go.

    Posted by: Meg | May 21, 2012 9:16:14 PM

  7. In Mississippi familiarity breeds contempt. The races have been living, working, going to school and eating in restaurants together and it's still the most racist place on earth.

    And I say this as a native Mississippian.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 21, 2012 9:21:04 PM

  8. I guess the irony is lost on him that he quoted a verse that calls for the killing of gays from book which he believes to be true and literal and then complains that HE has received death threats.

    Of course, like evidence of the "best friends" (both black and gay) of bigots, there will be no evidence of the death threats either.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 21, 2012 9:23:59 PM

  9. That's odd because I could have sworn he posted gays should be killed. Byw, you gotta love how every single homophobe says they get death threats. Don't you think they would be broadcasting the evidence if such a threat existed.

    Posted by: Michael | May 21, 2012 9:25:36 PM

  10. Maybe a large part of those same-sex couples are African-American and so don't count in the eyes of those who supposedly do count.

    Posted by: kyle Michel Sullivan | May 21, 2012 9:26:36 PM

  11. As I've said before...fasten your seat belt because it's going to be a crazy summer. The Reich Wing is going to be full-on apeshit until the election. If they can't get Romney elected, Obama's progressive steps on gay rights won't have a chance to be rolled back for another four years. (Romney would sign DADT back into law, I'd bet my life and the life of all those dear to me. He might not say he will, but he's a pathological liar.) Hating gays is a keystone of evangelical recruitment and indoctrination. Most of them are too stupid to realize it anyway but subconsciously, but every time the polls in support of gay marriage inch upwards a little bit of their world crumbles apart. The longer we go with the military functioning perfectly normally as it has since Sept. 2011, the longer we go with some states having gay marriage and nothing noteworthy happening (except in the case of MA, having the lowest divorce rate among the states!) the longer a president honorably uses his position to equate gay rights with civil rights, the more terrified these people get that everyone else will realize what charlatans, snake-oil salesman, and hypocrites they are.

    Posted by: St. Theresa of Avila | May 21, 2012 9:33:02 PM

  12. What do you expect? He's from Mississippi, one of the most backward state right there with Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona and the Carolinas. The "God-fearing" people who don't have a pot to piss in because that is God's way. But I don't see these people voting for Romney, they dispise the cult of the Mormons.

    Posted by: Macmantoo | May 21, 2012 9:57:32 PM

  13. Vote the SOB out of office.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | May 21, 2012 9:58:05 PM

  14. "His suit needs to be resized or something."

    Male politicians (I'm not sure about women) are often advised to wear suits that are oversized so that they project better on camera. Many of them consequently look strange when they are seen in person with the same suit.

    Of course, the 50s hairstyle isn't helping either.

    "Maybe that familiarity theory of gay rights isn't quite right."

    Other things matter of course. Mississippi suffers from grinding generational poverty, and a general lack of diversity in education. It's also mired in 150-year old myths about its abhorrent past that it refuses to address.

    Posted by: Nat | May 21, 2012 9:59:49 PM

  15. Don't think there are a lot of closeted people in the evangelical churches?

    I would only do this because it does not show up in reverse image search. Nor do I want to incite hatred; we should feel sorry for these people and their corrosive self-hatred, not hate them. This is a picture I found of a pro-referendum volunteer worker in NC, and her husband. I think the picture speaks for itself. No, that's not Clay Aiken. I didn't have to discard other couples, they were the first I randomly selected from some facebook postings.

    Posted by: St. Theresa of Avila | May 21, 2012 10:08:52 PM

  16. Well, if you're promiscuous and sleazy, you do spread disease. It's a fact. However, it's got nothing to do with your orientationi but with your chosen behavior.

    Posted by: jason | May 21, 2012 10:45:51 PM

  17. First of all, Rep. Gipson's assertion that he wasn't (directly) advocating the murder of gays strains credulity. In the entire Bible, made up of literally thousands of verses, there are only 6 or 7 that homophobes can (mis)interpret to justify their position. The verse from Leviticus that Gipson quoted is the only one that mentions the death penalty. Why, given his choices, did Gipson select that particular verse? Being a Baptist minister, we can presume he's familiar with the Bible, and that he knows how to look up various verses on the same subject. He also knows the effect a particular verse can have on his audience.

    Secondly, I think the final line of the article, "Maybe that familiarity theory of gay rights isn't quite right," does disservice to the reality on the ground in Mississippi. In an intensely homophobic society like that, it is not reasonable to expect people--especially when they are caring for children--to put their lives at risk by being too open.

    Posted by: WalterPC | May 21, 2012 10:47:35 PM

  18. It's so funny, seeing a Mississippi Republican squirm once he was called out for his bigotry. Oh how far we've come.

    BTW, reporting the facts isn't anything "liberal", it's just reporting the facts. Just because you don't like the facts doesn't make them "liberal".

    Posted by: Matt | May 21, 2012 10:54:39 PM

  19. @Jason

    So basically all gay people are promiscuous and spread disease? If that's what you get out of his remark, then that's what you and he are saying.
    Gee, with "friends" like you, who needs enemies?

    Posted by: Matt | May 21, 2012 10:57:53 PM

  20. If Obama doesn't win in November we are all soooooooo screwed! Get your passports ready! Luckily I have dual French-American citizenship.

    Posted by: candide001 | May 21, 2012 11:06:16 PM

  21. Not trying to do the same thing he does but straight people pass disease - like crazy

    Posted by: Marky | May 21, 2012 11:15:14 PM

  22. "Any reasonable person who reads the actual post can see that both scripture were cited only for the proposition that same-sex marriage is morally objectionable — sin."

    I'm confused. Does he reject God's unerring, infallible, and eternal decree to execute gays?

    Posted by: JJ | May 21, 2012 11:16:01 PM

  23. Wow: Fundamentalism of any brand just does not make sense.... That said the code of leviticus does not apply. Or Apply it to all. Also calls for the stoning of bad kids and adulterers. There goes the population, driving on the freeway will be a breeze for the handful of celibate and life long married truly monogamous heterosexuals left... Oh and hope you have a lot of livestock... Lots of ritual animal sacrifice in leviticus..

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | May 22, 2012 12:09:56 AM

  24. See you in Hell, Gipson... Leviticus 19:27 reads "You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard." From your haircut in this picture you are detestable to God. You likely don't adhere to this because you pick and choose what to follow from the bible.

    Posted by: Annie | May 22, 2012 12:56:27 AM

  25. "the story soon went national and now Gipson claims he and his family are receiving death threats."

    hmmm...what comes around goes around? tit for tat? you reap what you sow? karma?

    Posted by: Oliver | May 22, 2012 1:14:39 AM

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