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Karen Handel Laughed at Idea of Supporting Same-Sex Marriage, Gay Parents

Karen Handel

A video of the newly elected Republican politician scoffing at LGBT rights has resurfaced.


LGBT rights are a laughing matter for Karen Handel.

The Republican winner of the hotly contested congressional special election in Georgia sniggered when asked by WXIA, Atlanta's NBC affiliate, about supporting same-sex marriage in 2010, when she was seeking the state's Republican gubernatorial nomination.

"Why is marriage between one man and one woman? Are you serious?" Handel said, laughing at the question from reporter Doug Richards. Just beforehand, the conservative politician affirmed that she was "absolutely" against same-sex marriage as well as civil unions.

"I don't want to see any taxpaper funding going towards ... a couple that is not married. And in our state and for me, marriage is between one man and one woman," she said.

The topic then turned to the adoption of children by same-sex couples, which Handel said she would "absolutely" consider outlawing.

"I think that for a child to be in a household ... with a situation where the parents are not married, as in being one man and one woman, is not the best household for a child," said Handel.

"I guess I want to know why you think gay parents are not as legitimate as heterosexual parents," Richards responded.

"Because I don't," Handel shot back.

A video of this interview, originally published on Think Progress, has gained renewed interest via progressive outlets like The New Civil Rights Movement since Handel's recent political victory. Handel bested Democratic candidate John Ossoff Tuesday in the Georgia Sixth Congressional District special election, dealing a blow to Democrats, who had hoped to move the seat into their column.

Handel has a deeply anti-LGBT history and conservative stances on most other issues. As a member of the Fulton County Commission in the early 2000s, she took some LGBT-friendly positions, but soon she became a steadfast opponent of LGBT equality. She took anti-LGBT positions in 2006, when she ran successfully for Georgia secretary of state.

And last week, approached in a restaurant by a mother who expressed hope that her lesbian daughter will be able to have a family, Handel told the woman, "My faith calls me to a different place on the issue." The exchange can be seen in a video posted by The New Civil Rights Movement.

Watch Handel laughing at same-sex marriage below.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.