Eric Porterfield

A West Virginia lawmaker is facing pressure to resign after making a series of homophobic comments, including comparing the LGBT+ community to the Ku Klux Klan.

Eric Porterfield, a Republican member of the state’s House of Delegates, recently told the Charleston Gazette-Mail, “The LGBTQ is a modern-day version of the Ku Klux Klan, without wearing hoods with their antics of hate.”

In addition to the KKK comparison, Porterfield used an anti-gay slur during a committee meeting over a proposed amendment to limit anti-discrimination protections for individuals who identify as LGBT+.

Democrats in West Virginia called on Porterfield to resign after he made those remarks. Responding to the backlash over his anti-gay comments, Porterfield appeared on local TV station WVVA wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat giving an odd answer when asked what he would do if he had a son or daughter who was gay.

“Well, I will address my daughter first. I would take her for a pedicure, I’d take her to get her nails done, and see if she could swim,” Porterfield said while smiling. “If it was my son, I would probably take him hunting, I would take him fishing, then I’d see if he could swim.”

Several of West Virginia’s Republican leaders have criticized his statements.

“These comments are unacceptable and we denounce them,” West Virginia Republican Party Chairwoman Melody Potter said in a statement. “They have no place in America.”

“As a Commissioner within Mercer County, I do not condone, nor accept this behavior of anyone, let alone an elected official,” Mercer County Commissioner Greg Puckett, a Republican, wrote in a Facebook post. “Likewise, this form of antics in representation of my county is not inclusive to the people within.”