House Republican reads ‘death to gays’ Bible verse before vote on LGBT rights

© Molly Riley
A GOP congressman has called on the Bible for help with a verse condemning homosexuality – right ahead of the vote on a Democrat-proposed amendment that would prohibit work discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Shortly before voting started on Thursday on the Energy-Water appropriations bill, a freshman member had read a verse that essentially calls for death to homosexuals.

READ MORE: House Republicans vote down LGBT rights measure

Rick W. Allen, the Georgia Republican with the Bible, went straight for the jugular with Romans 1:18-32 and Revelations 22:18-19, which greatly antagonized gay activists who called for him to be censured.

“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet,” the verse goes.

“Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them,” some of the other colorful bits went that Allen read.

Allen’s aide told journalists he hadn’t said any of this in reference to the gay discrimination amendment, but senior vice president with the Human Rights Campaign, Jo Dee Winterhof, decided to take aim at Allen for the remarks, which she says could have serious repercussions, whether he intended them to or not.

"At a time when LGBT people face staggering rates of discrimination, harassment and violence, Representative Allen's comments spread hate that does real harm," she said in a statement.

The actual bill had nothing to do with homosexuality and contained a lot of other provisions on water and energy; the LGBT rights amendment went as one of the attachments.

The amendment passed by a vote of 223-195. But the spending bill was ultimately defeated by 305-112. The GOP constituted the bulk of the ‘no’ votes.

Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the first openly gay congressman, who introduced the proposal, heard of Allen’s reading after the fact, saying the Republicans “are starting to show their true colors” if they think it’s ok to threaten “eternal damnation” on those who protect people from being fired for who they are.