West Virginia GOP delegate who compared LGBT community to KKK urged to resign

The West Virginia Democratic Party (WVDP) is calling on a Republican delegate to resign over what it referred to as "hate-filled remarks and actions" regarding the LGBT community.

"First of all, Delegate [Eric] Porterfield needs to resign," WVDP Chairwoman Belinda Biafore said in a statement shared on Facebook last Friday. "West Virginia has no room for someone who expresses such hate. Let alone room for him to hold a public office where he is supposed to represent the people of West Virginia. His hate-filled remarks and actions speak volumes and so does the Republican Party's silence."

ADVERTISEMENT
"The Republican majority's leadership needs to condemn these actions," the statement continued. "Their silence is complicit and the people of West Virginia deserve better."

Porterfield used the slur "f----t" during a committee meeting last Wednesday as lawmakers discussed a proposed amendment related to anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, according to The West Virginia Gazette Mail.

He also reportedly said that “the LGBT is the most socialist group in this country" during the meeting. 

He then told the Gazette Mail in an interview on Friday that “the LGBTQ is a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan, without wearing hoods, with their antics of hate."

He also referred to the gay community as a "terrorist group" and added that he was being "persecuted" by the homosexual community because of the previous statements he made. 

West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R) said last week that he wanted to speak with Porterfield before commenting directly on his remarks. 

“I hope that no one would make those kind of statements,” he said. “That sounds like nothing I would certainly ever agree with, but I would want to talk to him before I comment on what he said.”

West Virginia GOP Chairwoman Melody Potter said in a statement on Monday that Porterfield's comments were "hateful" and "hurtful" and that they did "not reflect the values of our country, our state, and the Republican Party."

"These comments are unacceptable and we denounce them. They have no place in America," Potter said. 

Huffington Post reported that Porterfield stood by his comments on the LGBT community on Saturday in an appearance on Bluefield station WVVA.

His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.