Virginia House Republican lawmaker, Del. Robert G. Marshall, told a Tea Party audience on Thursday that being gay “cuts your life by about 20 years,” which absolutely is a false statement. Marshall, who has a long history of attacks on gay and women’s rights, told CNN just last week that “[s]odomy is not a civil right,” offering that false statement as his defense for blocking the judicial nomination of an openly-gay veteran, Tracy Thorne-Begland. Sodomy was made legal by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003.
Marshall is currently battling former Virginia Governor George “Macaca” Allen for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, to run against Tim Kaine.
Reiterating his attacks, Marshall said:
“If sodomy is a civil right, do we have to protect it? Do we have to fund it? Do we have to teach it? Do we have to encourage it? Do we have to facilitate it?” Marshall said in an interview Thursday after an appearance at a meeting of the Jefferson Area Tea Party. “… It is not a civil right.”
Del. Marshall also twists the truth to defend his obvious anti-gay animus.
“Did you ever see water fountains in Virginia that say heterosexuals only? I didn’t. Did you ever see statements that all the homosexuals are going to ride on one bus and heterosexuals on the other? No …,” Marshall said, according to a report by Inside NoVA:
“It is an insult to suggest that the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks are in any way parallel to the efforts to do things that have been criminal for most of this nation’s history.”
Marshall also was asked whether he believes consensual gay sex is protected by the U.S. Constitution.
“The court says it is in certain limited circumstances. But you know what that behavior does? It cuts your life by about 20 years,” Marshall answered. “It causes increased health problems. It doesn’t serve the common good to promote this.”
For decades, Marshall has taken extreme positions on gay rights and women’s rights.
Following Congress’ repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in December 2010, Marshall proposed a bill to “ban gays from openly serving in the Virginia National Guard because he is worried about service members catching sexually transmitted diseases from gay troops.” According to the Washington Post, Marshall justified the legislation by saying: “If I needed a blood transfusion and the guy next to me had committed sodomy 14 times in the last month, I’d be worried,” and “It’s a distraction when I’m on the battlefield and have to concentrate on the enemy 600 yards away and I’m worried about this guy who’s got eyes on me.”
Marshall sponsored the Marshall-Newman Amendment to the state constitution that prohibited same-sex marriage as well as civil unions, domestic partnerships, and “other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.” It also prohibits the recognition of other states’ such legal arrangements. It was approved in a 2006 referendum by 57% to 43%.
In 1989, when Marshall was working as the research director of the American Life League, he told the Boston Globe that he opposes all forms of abortion and birth control that take effect after conception. “We’re against the IUD and pills, too. They don’t prevent ovulation and conception, they prevent implantation, which is abortion.”
According to the Globe, Marshall also “railed” against Norplant, a contraceptive not-yet-marketed at the time that is implanted under the skin and works for up to five years. “It’s a real tribute to women’s intelligence,” Marshall told the reporter. “They feel so irresponsible they can’t do something once a day?” Norplant was eventually removed from the U.S. market for “business reasons”. Because of health concerns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that women consider other forms of birth control.
When asked about abortion in the case of incest, Marshall replied that sometimes incest is voluntary. In response to abortions in the case of rape, Marshall said, “Your origins should not be held against you [referring to the victim's unborn child]. The woman becomes a sin-bearer of the crime, because the right of a child predominates over the embarrassment of the woman.”
Marshall was the subject of controversy in February 2010, when he made a statement regarding disabled children at a press conference to oppose state funding of Planned Parenthood:
The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children… In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.
Image: Del. Marshall with Ronald Reagan’s former Attorney General Edwin Meese, who resigned amid the WedTech scandal of the 1980s.
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