New Hampshire state Rep. Mark Warden (R) apologized to anyone who was offended by his argument that some people might "like being in abusive relationships," the Concord Monitor reported Thursday.
"It was never my intention to minimize the trauma of domestic abuse or in any way demean the victims. I find violence abhorrent,” Warden said, according to the Monitor. "How the state gets involved in people's personal lives is a topic that requires thoughtful debate and should not be reduced to sound bites. To those whom may have been offended, I offer my sincere apology."
Warden's original remarks came during a committee debate over a bill that would shift the penalty for simple assault from a misdemeanor crime to a violation-level offense in certain cases. The committee voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the full House shoot down the bill, but Warden was one of four representatives to vote in favor of the legislation. Some people relish being in abusive relationships, Warden argued, and those people are always free to leave.
"Some people could make the argument that a lot of people like being in abusive relationships," Warden said during the committee meeting. "It's a love-hate relationship. It's very, very common for people to stick around with somebody they love who also abuses him or her."
"Is the solution to those kind of dysfunctional relationships going to be more government, another law?" Warden continued. "I tend to say no. People are always free to leave."
His remarks were captured on video by the liberal advocacy group Granite State Progress.