Republican Eric Porterfield denies he’d drown gay son, would disown him instead
West Virginia Republican Eric Porterfield has denied that he would literally drown his kids for being gay.
Porterfield, who sits in the Republican-controlled West Virginia House of Delegates, ignited fury in February when he appeared to joke about his drowning his children.
Asked how he would react if one of his children came out as gay in a TV interview, Porterfield said: “Well, my daughter… I would take her for a pedicure, I’d take her to get her nails done… and see if she could swim.
“If it was my son, I would probably take him hunting, I would take him fishing… then I’d see if he could swim.”
Although Porterfield declined to elaborate at the time about the meaning of “see if he could swim,” the lawmaker now claims he was actually referencing a Mel Gibson movie and not actually alluding to drowning his children.
Republican Eric Porterfield: This has nothing to do with drowning my children
In an email to The Advocate on Thursday (March 21), he claimed: “This was a reference to the movie Maverick with Mel Gibson. This had nothing to do with drowning my children.
“Cheating on the boat meant you could no longer be on the boat and the last thing that was asked was ‘Do you swim?’ as a courtesy.
“Amazing how liberal media assumes and tries to make facts in these type of situations for self-benefit.”
The Republican lawmaker, who is blind, said that he “had people threaten my safety” over the comments.
Eric Porterfield compared LGBT+ people to KKK
The drowning comments are far from Porterfield only anti-LGBT beliefs, and were made in an interview where he also defended comparing LGBT+ people to the KKK.
Porterfield claimed of LGBT+ activists: “It will not be long before they’re burning rainbow flags in people’s yards… they are the modern-day version of the KKK without hoods.
“The KKK suppressed a particular group of people, and that’s exactly what the LGBTQ does. Their socialist agenda is to attack people who disagree with them.”
“It’s not an anti-gay sentiment, it’s an anti-LGBTQ sentiment.”
The Republican added: “I wear my MAGA hat today, even though I’m very much in fear of the terroristic activities they engage in.”
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The official insists he is not homophobic, however, adding: “It’s not an anti-gay sentiment, it’s an anti-LGBTQ sentiment.”
The West Virginia Republican Party condemned Porterfield’s comments, though he remains a member of the party in the state legislature.
Porterfield was elected to the House of Delegates for a two-year term in November 2018, meaning he will next be eligible for a challenge in 2020.
West Virginia Democrats chair Belinda Biafore said: “West Virginia has no room for someone who expresses such hate, let alone room for him to hold a public office where he is supposed to represent the people of West Virginia.
“His hate-filled remarks and actions speak volumes.”