A Georgia lawmaker led his Republican colleagues in praying for the death of gays, a condemnation that came before a majority of the GOP caucus in the U.S. House voted down an LGBT amendment to a spending bill.
Rep. Rick Allen, a first-term Republican from the 12th District in Augusta, delivered a prayer to open a GOP Caucus meeting on Thursday that included verses from Romans 1:27, according to Roll Call.
Passages in the verses refer to homosexuality and the penalty for homosexual behavior. “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet,” reads Romans 1:27, which Allen read, according to his office.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them,” read lines 28-32, which Allen also recited, according to his office.
The prayer led a handful of Republicans to walk out of the meeting, according to the Hill.
“It was f—ing ridiculous,” said one GOP lawmaker, who was in the room and supported the LGBT provision.
A GOP leadership aide offered a similar verdict.
“A lot of members were clearly uncomfortable and upset,” the aide said.
The comments from Allen “disturbed” other GOP lawmakers, according to the Huffington Post.
“Many members were visibly disturbed by the comments,” a GOP source in the room, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Huffington Post. “At least one walked out.”
Some were even “furious,” according to Politico.
Moderate Republicans were stunned by Allen's remarks, and some walked out of the meeting in protest, according to GOP lawmakers.
“A good number of members were furious,” said one Republican, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. “There was some Scripture that was read and the like. … Nothing good was going to happen to those that supported [the LGBT provision]. A good number of members were furious.”
Allen's prayer came as lawmakers considered an LGBT amendment to an energy and water spending measure that would bar federal contractors from discrimination against LGBT workers and codify an executive order from President Barack Obama. The amendment, sponsored by gay Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, was killed when the appropriations bill was voted down 305-112.
The Human Rights Campaign denounced Allen's remarks as “vile and dangerous.”
“House Speaker Paul Ryan and the other members of the House Republican Leadership have a responsibility to immediately condemn Representative Allen's vile and dangerous remarks this morning at an official meeting of the House Republican Conference, during which he said LGBT people are 'worthy of death.' At a time when LGBT people face staggering rates of discrimination, harassment and violence, Representative Allen's comments spread hate that does real harm. Representative Allen should apologize or be censured — and Republican leaders must make clear that they will not tolerate lawmakers who sow hatred and violence against LGBT people.”
Sadly, Allen joins a long list of Georgia's House member who spit out anti-gay rhetoric as they oppose LGBT issues. There's toxic troll Jody Hice – who's concerned that gay men will sodomize your sons – and marriage troll Barry Loudermilk. And let's not forget the retired Phil Gingrey, who warns of promoting gay teens and fluid gender roles, and Paul Broun, who was fixated on his boy penis.