After apologizing for saying he
believes AIDS is a punishment from God for being gay, Iowa GOP
candidate Jeremy Walters backpedals a bit to say he's not sure.
Walters is hoping to unseat incumbent
state Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Democrat from Des Moines, in
The Republican apologized for comments
he made on his Facebook wall after a stiff rebuke from One Iowa, the
state's largest gay rights advocate, which called the comments
“offensive,” and state GOP leaders, who first repudiated his
comments and later rescinded an invitation for Walters to volunteer
at the GOP Iowa State Fair booth.
“homosexual 'GAY' is not of God!!!!”
“The Holy Bible says if your 'GAY'
homosexual they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be
upon them. This tells me a lot so should we kill them NO. They Need
to ask God to forgive them of their sins and mean it turn away from
it. They also need to know that when it says that their blood shall
be upon them that tells me it is AIDS. That how I feel.”
Walters initially defended his
statements: “It's offensive to them because they know it's the
truth. Truth does hurt.”
In an email to the Iowa Independent
after the GOP rebuke,
Walters appeared to have a change of heart, saying he's “not
against people having a gay lifestyle” and “the statements made
on Facebook have been taken the wrong way.”
“The statement regarding gay
homosexuality was not meant to be offensive and I deeply apologize,”
a brief interview published Wednesday on Think Progress, Walters
said he's still uncertain about AIDS.
“[D]o you still believe that AIDS is
the result of the sin of homosexuality?” Igor Volsky asked.
“Well, I don't want to say that I
don't,” Walters, who has since taken down his comments, answered.
“I just, like I said, had an experience of friends dying.”
Volsky offered a second chance at
redemption, asking: “OK, so just to be clear, you are denouncing
what you said? So you no longer believe that AIDS is God's way of
getting back at the sin of homosexuality?”
“Well, you know, I want to say I've
been seeing a lot of people that are in that lifestyle become with
HIV and AIDS, but like I said, you can also get it through dirty
needles and things so. … I would have to say that I removed it
because it was not right to post it on there and I shouldn't be
picking on their lives, because they're not picking on my life. I
should be an understanding person and not a hater.”