By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com May 18 2010 11:50 AM ET
Congressman Mark Souder of Indiana, who had a staunch antigay voting record, resigned Tuesday morning after he acknowledged an extramarital affair with a female aide.
The Republican representative’s positions against gay rights had earned him a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign.
Souder said he would relinquish the seat immediately, according to Politico.com, because “I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff.”
The conservative congressman’s platform included the support of “traditional marriage,” which he defined as the union of one man and one woman.
"I believe that Congress must fight to uphold the traditional values that undergird the strength of our nation," Souder said in a quote printed on his official website. "The family plays a fundamental role in our society. Studies consistently demonstrate that it is best for a child to have a mother and father, and I am committed to preserving traditional marriage, the union of one man and one woman."
HRC spokesman Michael Cole said Souder's record has been consistent since entering Congress in 1995, as he voted against equal employment protections, hate crimes laws, increases in HIV/AIDS funding, and same-sex couple recognition.
“Rep. Souder proves once again that it’s not LGBT people who are the threat to ‘family values.’ The good citizens of Indiana would be well served to elect a successor who in both word and deed more closely mirror their own values of equality and respect for all people.”