The party of hate has reached a new low.
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While the entire Republican agenda — particularly since the GOP was hijacked by Donald Trump and his team of deplorables — has been based on fear, hatred, and the ostracization of anyone who doesn’t belong to the wealthy white male club, one West Virginia Republican politician has managed to lower the bar for acceptable behavior within the confines of the party to include the advocacy of filicide.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, filicide is defined as the deliberate act of a parent killing his or her own child, which is exactly what West Virginia delegate Eric Porterfield (R) suggested he would do if he found out that one of his children was gay.
Porterfield was being interviewed on the NBC affiliate WVVA about comments he made last week when the West Virginia legislature was debating a measure that would have stripped local governments of the power to pass anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people, similar to laws already passed in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas.
During the debate, the West Virginia legislator described anti-discrimination laws as “bigoted,” “intolerant,” “discriminatory… nonsense” and “a travesty… against people who have either religious convictions or who don’t want to run their business the way a socialist-left agenda wants us to run it,” according to an article at LGBTQ Nation.
Porterfield also described members of the LGBTQ community as “a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan” during his comments in the state capitol.
During his subsequent TV interview, Porterfield dug himself into an even deeper hole when his interviewer asked him how he’d react if one of his children told him that they were gay.
“Well, I would dress my daughter first, as I would take her for a pedicure, I’d take her to get her nails done, and see if she could swim,” Porterfield said while grinning broadly..
“If it was my son, I would probably take him hunting, I would take him fishing, then I’d see if he could swim,” the Republican politician continued, his smile still plastered on his face.
The incredulous reporter — not certain if she was actually hearing Porterfield, an ordained minister, suggest that he would drown his own children if they ever came out as homosexual — twice asked the right-wing extremist legislator to clarify exactly what he meant.
“I just want to make sure they could swim,” he repeated in his initial clarification, continuing to grin while wearing his MAGA hat to ensure that there was no mistaking the source of his antipathy.
His response to the second query over the exact meaning of his remarks was a cagey answer meant to obscure the implications of the colloquial dog-whistle of bigotry that his intention to drop his children in the deep end of the pool without a life preserver clearly represented.
“That’s it. I’d take them out to do activities,” Porterfield shot back with a self-satisfied smile that disclosed the joy with which he’d commit filicide if his children admitted to a sexual orientation of which he did approve.
Luckily for the people of West Virginia and for the nation, the bill prohibiting localities in the state from passing anti-discimination laws benefiting LGBTQ people was defeated in the legislature.
Even the leadership of the West Virginia GOP was forced to condemn his wildly inappropriate comments that encouraged clearly criminal behavior. They said his comments were “hateful, hurtful, and do not reflect the values of our country.”
They do, however, perfectly reflect the values of the MAGA hat that Porterfield wore during his interview. President Trump would likely be proud of this acolyte of bigotry. He and his ilk need to be removed from office at the earliest opportunity.
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Original reporting by Alex Bollinger at LGBTQ Nation.