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West Virginia GOP chairwoman endorses anti-LGBTQ op-ed

June 24, 2019

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The leader of West Virginia’s Republican party applauded a state senator’s call for intolerance against members of the LGBTQ community.

Republican state Sen. Mike Azinger wrote an opinion article Sunday titled “The Shame of LGBTQ Pride” in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel after the paper covered a gay pride picnic. State GOP chairwoman Melody Potter then wrote on Facebook that Azinger’s article was “right on.”

Azinger wrote that “sexual deviancy is going mainstream” and he said the solution “is not political correctness and tolerance.”

“The LGBQT movement is not about happiness and tolerance, but about indoctrination and a forced acceptance of a perverted and non-biblical view of sexuality,” he wrote.

In an interview, Azinger said he’s taking a biblical position after seeing the picnic.

“It came to my hometown so I feel like somebody has to speak up against it, being a senator or not, as a Christian I believe that it’s my duty to do so,” he said. He batted down a question about intolerance, saying “this isn’t about hate, this is about a theological and philosophical disagreement of where we’re taking our culture.”

Potter praised the article on Facebook, saying it is “right on and is biblically based.”

“Thank you Senator for having the boldness to stand for what is right,” she wrote. “More people should do the same. Thank you!”

Potter did not return a call to her office.

Andrew Schneider, executive director of the advocacy group Fairness West Virginia, issued a statement linking the situation to anti-gay comments made earlier this year by state Del. Eric Porterfield, arguing the two lawmakers want to “dehumanize a whole segment of the population.

“This all runs counter to the universal religious principle of the Golden Rule, which says that we must love one another as we love ourselves,” Schneider said. “Potter, Azinger and Porterfield seem to forget their scripture when it comes to loving others.”

Porterfield in February told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that “the LGBTQ is a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan.” He did not return a voicemail and email seeking comment.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down state bans on gay marriage four years ago.

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