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BuzzFeed News: Republican Congressman Seeking Reelection Once Compared Gay People To “Rapists” And Other Criminals


By Dominic Holden


Rep. Jason Lewis, who is running for reelection in Minnesota's 2nd District, has offered the Republican Party’s go-to line on opposing same-sex marriage since he was elected to Congress in 2016 — that the decision should be left to states.


But before then, Lewis promoted extreme opinions about gays and lesbians on his radio show, comparing them to rapists, criminals, and polygamists. He contended that gay rights activists were “shredding the Constitution” and that same-sex parents “could harm the kid.”


On the “Jason Lewis Show” in 2013, he argued it was acceptable to single out gay couples with discriminatory marriage bans, just as rapists and speeding drivers could be targeted by criminal laws. But if a court ruled the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause granted same-sex couples the right to marry, he said, that would be equivalent to providing constitutional protections to a wide variety of lawbreakers.


Lewis said a court ruling based on the Equal Protection Clause in favor of gay couples “would undo the entire state criminal code because we’re all treated unequally. Speeders, when you’re flying down the highway ten miles an hour over the speed limit, next time a cop pulls you over, say ‘I’m going to file a Supreme Court challenge to this ticket. I am being treated unequally. The guy next to me is not getting a ticket but I am just because I’m a speeder. The law has a disparate impact on speeders.’”


“When we pass a law against rape, you’re not treating a rapist equal,” he went on in the program. “The law, the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, simply means this: that people who find themselves in similar circumstances must be treated in a similar way … you must discriminate against all smokers, you must discriminate against all rapists.”


“So if the law says that we’re not going to allow three people to marry, then you’ve got to treat everybody the same way,” he said, extending the argument to bans on polygamy.


“No three people can marry. Same is true for gay marriage. It’s not discrimination. It’s not unconstitutional. The law discriminates all the time. It discriminates against behavior.”