Indiana politician likens gays to murderers, child molesters

Sat. January 30, 2016 9:44 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Indianapolis, Indiana - An Indiana lawmaker said this week that he's opposed to LGBT protections because "being gay is a behavior" like being a "psychopathic killer."

"You can't control it sometimes. I understand that," State Rep. Woody Burton, a Republican, said Saturday during a town hall meeting in his hometown of Whiteland. "If someone's a psychopathic killer, it's a behavior thing. They can't help it. Okay? Somebody's a homosexual, maybe it's a genetic thing. Maybe it's not. They can't help it. But it's still a behavioral thing."

"This thing with Subway and Jared is a classic example of what's the next step," he continued, referring to former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, who last year pleaded guilty to crossing state lines to have sex with a minor. "And you say, 'Oh, that will never happen.' I've got article on my computer at home from the English newspapers saying that those people can't help it and they ought to be protected in England."

"If I pass a law that says transgenders and homosexuals are covered under the civil rights laws, then does it say anywhere that fat white people are covered?" he rhetorically asked.

Burton's comments came before a Senate committee approved an LGBT protections bill opposed by LGBT rights advocates for excluding transgender people and providing broad exemptions.

(Related: LGBT groups oppose protections bill that cleared Indiana Senate panel.)

Peter Hanscom, interim director for Indiana Competes, criticized Burton in comments to The Indianapolis Star.

"Rep. Burton's comments display a lack of overall education and understanding of the legal discrimination that LGBT Hoosier face daily," Hanscom said. "False comparisons that suggest sexual orientation and gender identity are 'behaviors' identical to obesity or child molestation are categorically false and have no place in this conversation."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine