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Republican congressman Steve Pearce stands by ‘AIDS marriage’ comments

Nick Duffy March 20, 2018
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Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) speaks during an event at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian to challenge the sale of American Indian artifacts and remains in France May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.

A Republican congressman will not be apologising after tapes revealed he claimed that gay equality would lead to fraudulent “AIDS marriages”.

Tapes emerged this week of Republican congressman from New Mexico, Rep. Steve Pearce, speaking to voters in 2008.

The recording, flagged by Huffington Post, features the congressman rallying against same-sex weddings, claiming they will lead to fraudulent marriages to allow “people with AIDS” to get healthcare benefits.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

He said: “I think that marriage is between a man and a woman. People who are describing that there’s no difference between men and women, they don’t know much about life.

“What’s going on with gay marriage is… the redefining of a social institution, and the redefinition has serious downside results.

“We don’t often talk about it in Washington, but the next step then is polymorphism, where one marries many.

“You would say ‘that’s not possible’, but where this is headed is access to benefits… you can imagine that one person would say, all these people in California don’t have access to AIDS treatment, I’m going to marry everybody with AIDS, and suddenly they’ll be able to access the benefit programme.

“There’s some serious downstream effects when we begin to redefine what marriage is. Major social disturbances are waiting downstream.”

He also claimed that some parents of gay couples are “getting together to sue their parents, saying, how dare you run social experiments on our lives”.

Rep. Pearce is the only Republican candidate in the upcoming election to elect a Governor of New Mexico.

A spokesperson for the Republican lawmaker did not distance him from the remarks.

Speaking to Huffington Post, they said: “Congressman Pearce believes the government should not be involved in redefining marriage. He personally believes marriage is between a man and a woman. The issue, however, is settled law.”

A spokesperson for the Democratic Governors Association said: “These offensive comments only further confirm that Steve Pearce is too extreme for New Mexico.

“The state’s next governor will have their work cut out for them to turn New Mexico around from Governor Martinez’ mismanagement, and that can only happen with leadership that values making an inclusive economy that works for every New Mexican, not pushing an extreme social agenda.”

When a New Mexico court ruled in favour of equal marriage in 2013, Representative Steve Pearce described it as “reckless”.

He said: “The reckless actions of this judge acting on personal opinion and ignoring legislative procedure threatens serious confusion, frustration, and pain for those who are being led to believe that the law has changed.”

The law did indeed change.

More: equal marriage, Gay, LGBT, Republican, same sex marriage, US

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