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Antigay Rep. Steve King Questions Science's Positive Findings on LGBT Parents

Steve King
Congressman Steve King

King made the statement while saying Donald Trump's child-care plan should promote "natural" families -- that is, those headed by heterosexual couples.

U.S. Rep. Steve King, one of the most antigay members of Congress, can't be bothered with the facts when it comes to LGBT parents.

King, an Iowa Republican, today voiced support for the plan for assistance with child care put forth by his party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump, because it will encourage more people to have children. But King made clear who he thinks should be having kids.

When Chris Cuomo asked on CNN's New Day if King would be comfortable with the aid going to all families, including those with LGBT parents, the congressman responded, "I want to respect all people, but I want to promote the natural family, Chris, and I think that's the most wholesome thing that we can do." Cuomo then pressed him to define the "natural family," and King said, "The natural family is a man and woman joined together hopefully in holy matrimony blessed by God with children."

Cuomo noted there is a large body of scientific research providing evidence that children raised by same-sex couples or LGBT individuals do just as well in life as those brought up by heterosexual couples. "I think I'd need to look a little further into some of that research," said King. He likened it to research offering evidence that climate change is a genuine phenomenon and is caused by human activity. "There's another side to that equation too," he said.

Not so: The vast majority of reputable scientific studies indicate that LGBT parents do just as good a job as straight ones -- just as the bulk of research on climate change indicates it's really happening and that humans' energy consumption habits have a lot to do with it.

King endorsed Trump's presidential bid last month, after having supported U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the primary season. The Iowa congressman is well-known for his far-right stances, including staunch opposition to LGBT equality. He made further waves recently by saying of white people, "Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?" He is in his seventh term in Congress and is running for reelection this year. Democrat Kim Weaver is challenging him, but his district is heavily Republican.

Trump's child care plan, which he announced Tuesday, would make child-care expenses tax-deductible for all but the wealthiest Americans, but critics have pointed out that many of those most in need of assistance are so poor that they pay no federal taxes. The plan also calls for six weeks of paid maternity leave. His Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has proposed 12, and uses the more inclusive, gender-neutral term "family and medical leave" -- the time could be used to care for a new child or an ill family member, or during the beneficiary's own serious illness.

And on his campaign website, it says the benefits under his plan would be available to same-sex couples "in the same way that the IRS currently recognizes same-sex couples: if the marriage is recognized under state law, then it is recognized under federal law."

Keep in mind, though, that Trump has pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn last year's marriage equality ruling if they get a chance. Steve King undoubtedly approves.

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