GOP lawmaker once used laws against rape to argue against gay marriage

Greg Nash

Old comments that Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.) made on his radio show are again getting scrutiny — this time because of remarks he made that compared laws preventing gay people from marrying to laws against rape.

The remarks from the “Jason Lewis Show” in 2013 were reported by BuzzFeed News, which said they had been first disclosed by American Bridge, a Democratic opposition research firm.

During the June 26, 2013, show, Lewis, who is in a tight reelection race this year, argued that if same-sex couples were granted the right to marry, that it would be like giving protections to other types of criminals. 

{mosads}”Speeders, when you’re flying down the highway 10 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,” Lewis said, raising the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. “The guy next to me is not getting a ticket but I am just because I’m a speeder.” 

He added that “when we pass a law against rape, you’re not treating a rapist equal. 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.”

Lewis argued that gay marriage was neither discrimination nor unconstitutional. 

“The law discriminates all the time. It discriminates against behavior,” he said. 

This isn’t the first time Lewis has come under scrutiny for comments on his radio show. It comes less than a month after a report that Lewis complained on his radio show about it not being socially acceptable to call a woman a “slut.” 

“It used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard. We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can’t call her a slut?” Lewis asked in 2012, according to CNN.

Lewis became a freshman congressman after winning an election for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District in 2016. The Democratic challenger, Angie Craig, he beat in 2016 is running against him again this year. 

The Cook Political Report rates the race as a toss-up.

Lewis’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

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