Rhode Island state Representative Dan
Gordon has defended his comments against the formation of a
gay-straight alliance for Tiverton High School students.
The Republican said he objected to what
he called “sexual meet-up groups” where students get “sexed-up”
in the comments
section of an online story about the group's formation.
He defended his posts during a Thursday
morning interview on AM radio station 630 WPRO, the
“Anything of a sexual nature should
not be taking place at a taxpayer-funded facility,” Gordon said.
“The purpose of a school is to get an education.”
Gordon repeatedly denied he's
homophobic. “I'm not anti-gay. I have a gay cousin who I enjoy
spending time with.” And he later added: “I have gay friends.
I have gay family. I'm a United States Marines service veteran …
There were gay individuals that we served with.”
When numerous callers pointed out that
one of the purposes of the group was to offer gay students a safe
haven from bullying, Gordon responded: “Perhaps if they weren't
flaunting their sexuality or advertising it, there might be less of
Rhode Island Democratic Party Chairman
Ed Pacheco called in to support the group.
“The purpose of this group is the
promotion of diversity, tolerance and education,” said Pacheco, who
called Gordon's comments “appalling.”
“I just want to clear up some of the
hyperbole that's being thrown about by the liberal agenda,” Gordon
said after nearly two hours of debate. “Their comments border on
lunacy, or they have a reading comprehension problem … I am not
anti-gay … I think most taxpayers would agree, especially in my
region, that they wouldn't want their tax dollars used to support a
group that is sexually centered.”