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Republican state senator says homophobia a 'consequence' of LGBTQ people's 'choices'

Theresa Manzella also told a meeting: "My right to live a righteous lifestyle based on my sincerely held beliefs does not end where their choice to live a perverse lifestyle begins."

2021-11-23

Words: Alastair James; picture: Montana Stae Legislature

An American lawmaker has said that homophobia and discrimination are "normal consequences" for LGBTQ people for the "choices" they’ve made to live a "perverse lifestyle".

Montana’s Republican State Senator, Theresa Manzella, was speaking at an event on Wednesday 17 November in support of pastor Brandon Huber, who claimed that a church handing out LGBT fliers in packed lunches was going against "biblical doctrine".

According to a transcript published by KTVH, Manzella said: “Now, they (gay people) like to play the protected class card and they’re the minority and they’re discriminated against, and they’re scared to walk down the street hand in hand. I’ve got to tell you, I think those are normal consequences associated with the choices they made. We can’t prevent them from doing that.”

After complaints about his comments, Huber, a real estate agent, is going through a hearing with the Missoula Organization of Realtors that could see him excluded from the real estate group and fined $5,000.

"Those are normal consequences"

Huber has also filed a lawsuit against the organisation. Speaking in defence of Huber, Manzella said the real estate agent had the right to hold his views, which she agreed with, according to the TV station KPVI via the Advocate.

"My right to live a righteous lifestyle based on my sincerely held beliefs does not end where their choice to live a perverse lifestyle begins," she said.

She also made the claim that LGBTQ people are trying to recruit young people and that if LGBTQ people held hands in public (as a for instance) they shouldn’t be surprised if they are then homophobically attacked, saying: "I think those are normal consequences associated with the choices they made."

Following the meeting, Manzella told MTN News her comments were taken out of context and she hadn’t said anything about violence.

When shown a transcript of her comments regarding LGBTQ people expecting violence, Manzella said she had been referring to people choosing to be scared.

A recent survey of more than 2,500 people by the LGBTQ media organisation, GLAAD, 59 percent of LGBTQ people reported discrimination, up from 46 percent in 2020.

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