The LGBTQ community deserves respect

Photo by Austin Hronich

Photo by Austin Hronich

by Belle Ward, Features Editor

West Virginia Republican House Delegate Eric Porterfield called the LGBTQ community “the modern day KKK”  during an interview on WVVA, a local West Virginia news outlet.

WVVA reporter Rachel Anderson asked him if he believed that the Ku Klux Klan’s mission is to target and attack one group, and Porterfield agreed.

He believes that the LGBTQ community seeks to harm those who do not hold accepting views, and are “political terrorists.”

Clearly, Potterfield does not know the definition of LGBTQ, as he states that his comments are not toward gay individuals, but to the LGBTQ community. Does he know that the “G” stands for gay?

In the interview, he referenced his young son and daughter. Anderson asked him what he would do if his son or daughter came out as gay.

“Well, I will address my daughter first, as I would take her for a pedicure, take her to get her nails done, and see if she could swim,” Porterfield said.

He does not pause before giving a similar hypothetical situation about his son.  

“I would probably take him hunting, I would take him fishing, and I’d see if he could swim,” he said.

Pressed for an explanation, he only repeated his statement.

Porterfield claims that members from the LGBTQ community have attacked him for his stance.

“The LGBTQ community is terrorizing and intimidating me just like the Ku Klux Klan did,” he said. “And it will probably not be long before they’re burning rainbow flags in people’s yards.”

According to WVVA, the West Virginia GOP does not support his anti-LGBTQ views.

The West Virginia GOP Chairwoman, Melody Potter said: “These comments are unacceptable and we denounce them. They have no place in America.”

According to a recent USA Today article, his inflammatory comments began a call for his resignation.

His perspective may not be the common belief, but he is an elected official who stands against an unchangeable part of an individual.

Porterfield sees the LGBTQ community as a political force, not a group of a variety of sexualities and gender identities.

I am of the belief that people can believe in what they wish, as long as it is not harming others. The only harm Porterfield faces is from those who do not stand for homophobia and transphobia.

His views are not conducive toward an accepting and equal country, and it is baffling that these kinds of statements are still being said in 2019.

LGBTQ individuals deserve the ability to live their lives without fear of violence and discrimination.

If you viewed these clips recently and feared for the current political climate, know that there are others who will support you for who you are.

My sexuality is not a political statement.

An individual’s gender identity does not make them inherently political. Striving for equality is not an attack on non-LGBTQ individuals, it is a hope for a better future.