"I have tried to witness and preach the love of Christ to people that are homosexuals," says Porterfield, who is also a Baptist minister
West Virginia Republican state lawmaker Eric Porterfield is responding to outrage over comments he made calling the LGBTQ community a a "terrorist group" and likening them to the KKK, and he's not backing down.
In a nearly 20-minute interview with WVVA (partial clip below), Delegate Porterfield doubled-down on his attacks, calling LGBTQ people "bullies," "tyrants," and "oppressors."
"They're a political socialist group that really uses means like economic extortion about people's sexual orientation," Porterfield told WVVA's Rachel Anderson. "And when people disagree with them, instead of respectfully letting people respectfully disagree, they persecute, attack."
"It probably will not be long before they're burning rainbow flags in peoples' yards because they have no care for diversity of thought, and their message is simply hate. They are proving it with all of the things that they have done and they are the modern-day version of the KKK," Porterfield said again.
Del. Porterfield makes extravagant – and entirely unsubstantiated – accusations against LGBT people throughout the interview. For example, he does not explain what he's referring to when he says "all of the things that they have done."
"The LGBTQ is not seeking freedom," Porterfield continues. "The LGBTQ is suppressing the freedom of people that disagree with them and forcing their ideology – and if they do not get their way they cause chaos, apply pressure, intimidate, internet stalk."
Again, he offers no proof, no examples.
"I've never been a 'gay-basher,' I've never done anything physically-harmful to gays, in any way, shape, or form," says Porterfield, who is also the founder of Blind Faith Ministries.
"I have tried to witness and preach the love of Christ to people that are homosexuals, to people that are different than me of all stripes, on three different continents. But these people, as you have seen if you would look on my Facebook – hourly – are just relentlessly trying to oppress and attack freedom and democracy against people who are not like them."
Porterfield ran for office and won the first time, in November 2018.
"I'm wearing my MAGA hat today, even though I'm very much in fear of the terroristic activities that they engage in. I want to have courage and humility but still get my message across."
Porterfield did not offer any explanation to prove his charge of terroristic activities.
"They're the most evil-spreading and hate-filled group in this country," Porterfield says of gay people. "They're the closest thing to political terrorism in America. No question about it."
"If they do not get their way, they attack people, they attack their businesses, they make it hard on people – I'm a little wise to their tricks."
"They can extort people economically, they can prey on people because of maybe things that have happened in the past."
Porterfield might want to re-examine his claims that gay people "attack businesses," "intimidate, internet stalk," and use "means like economic extortion."
One of the reasons Porterfield ran for office was after he reportedly threatened an economic boycott of a pro-choice medical doctor, the doctor obtained a protective service order against him. The Gazette-Mail notes "sheriff’s deputies then confiscated guns owned by Porterfield and his wife, Jessica."
Another reason: he opposed a bill that would have banned conversion therapy, a practice that has been found to be dangerous, harmful, and can lead to suicide.
"They're just a blight on this country, and a blight in our communities, as a socialist organization. And that is not an anti-gay sentiment, it's an anti-LGBTQ sentiment. I want to make sure that those two things are clear," Porterfield says.
In that same interview Porterfield appeared to suggest he would let his children drown if they told him they were gay.
Well, I would dress my daughter first, as I would take her for a pedicure, I'd take her to get her nails done, and see if she could swim," Porterfield, who was elected to the West Virginia House in November, said as he smiled.
"If it was my son, I would probably take him hunting, I would take him fishing, then I'd see if he could swim," Porterfield, wearing a MAGA hat, replied without hesitation.
Watch this short clip from the full video of Del. Porterfield's remarks: