When Politico asked on Wednesday if Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a staunch anti-LGBT Republican, had changed his views on same sex marriage in light of increasing support nationwide, he responded, “I’m not gay. So I’m not going to marry one.”
The quote was featured along with several other Republican senators’ take on same sex marriage in the wake of Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) coming out in favor of equality, much to the dismay of many conservatives.
The response Chambliss gave to Politico doesn’t shed much light on how deep his views run, but he did support a proposed constitutional amendment in 2008 to forever ban LGBT people from getting married, and he voted against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” LGBT advocacy group The Human Rights Campaign has also consistently given his voting record a zero percent rating.
The Georgia Republican was especially criticized by equality activists in 2010 when a post to the LGBT-friendly website Joe My God reading “All fags must die” was traced back to his office. Chambliss confirmed in a statement that the comment was posted by someone in his office, but was not sure who.
The longtime member of Congress and Senator since 2003 said earlier this year that he will be retiring in 2014. It’s not clear who the frontrunners are to replace him, but speculation is swirling around possible runs by former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) or Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), among others.