West Compares Being Gay to Picking an Ice Cream Flavor
BY Lucas Grindley
August 10 2011 5:25 PM ET
Like picking a flavor of ice cream, gay people can change their “sexual behavior,” says Rep. Allen West, who has been in a fight with activists in his district about whether he's intolerant.
West made the comparison during an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The interviewer brought up the dispute between the congressman and local activists who threatened to boycott businesses that were part of an association where he was scheduled to speak. The association eventually bowed to pressure and uninvited the Tea Party favorite.
“Is the issue of gay civil rights the same as the civil rights movement for African-Americans?" the interviewer is quoted as asking in a transcript.
“You cannot compare me and my race to a behavior," West answered. “I can’t change my color. People can change their sexual behavior. And I’ve seen people do that.”
Despite his views on whether being gay is a choice, his opposition to gay marriage and repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," West said "everyone has the same basic rights." And he said gay people shouldn't be forced to change who they are — although his choice of metaphor seemed to imply again that being gay is merely a preference.
“I like chocolate chip ice cream and I will continue to like chocolate chip ice cream," he said. “So there’s no worry about me changing to vanilla.”
During the fight with local activists, West's wife came to his defense and pointed out in a web posting that West's “close relative is gay and married to his partner — we love and adore them both.”
West was asked about whether he recognizes the marriage of his brother-in-law, who he tells the Sun-Sentinel was given a license by California.
“I’m not a a judge,” he said. “I’m not the justice of the peace. So if they’re married, they’re married, OK? Nothing I can do about it.”
- WATCH: Mom Affirms Her Love in Son's Coming-Out Video
- Wives Want To Know If Their Husbands Are Gay
- Op-ed: We're Here, We're Queer, We're Not Part of a Pair
- Defending Anti-LGBT Laws, Putin Slams 'Genderless, Fruitless Tolerance'
- Buck Angel Shuts Down Transgender Surgery Fundraising Site
- Op-ed: Two and a Half Men Introduces Trans Character, Manages to Stay Respectful
- Women 17 Reasons to Swoon Over Androgynous Model Harmony Boucher December 12 2013 8:48 PM
- Travel WestJet Showers Fliers With Holiday Gifts December 12 2013 8:18 PM
- Television 5 Reasons to Plug In to Masters of Sex December 12 2013 7:22 PM
- Travel VIDEO: Travel Helps People Live Longer, Says Study December 12 2013 6:35 PM
- Music WATCH: Melissa Etheridge Debuts Song to Help Gay Russians December 12 2013 6:08 PM
- Religion WATCH: Lesbian Friend Might Convert Kids, Warns Robertson December 12 2013 6:03 PM
- Women 3 Gay Lady-Related Golden Globe Nominations that Make Us Happy! December 12 2013 4:20 PM