At a public event Tuesday, Utah senator Orrin Hatch said gays and
lesbians have replaced religion with politics.
"Gays and lesbians don't pay tithing; their religion is politics," the Republican senator said to a crowd of 300 at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. He added that his those in his party should also organize more like gay rights activists, union members, environmentalists, and personal injury lawyers do for the Democrats.
Harry Knox, the religion and faith program director at the Human Rights Campaign, condemned Hatch's words.
"Senator Hatch is certainly right that many of his fellow Republicans could learn a lot from LGBT people's dedication to equality," he said in a statement Thursday. "But there is no denying that there are millions of LGBT Americans who every day give their time, talent, and money to local churches, synagogues, and temples all over the country. LGBT religious leaders are often the very ones revitalizing moribund churches and institutions. These committed religious leaders are working to provide a loving alternative to the hopeless hatred people like Senator Hatch call sound doctrine."