Idaho state Rep. Paul Shepherd (R) reportedly compared gay people to slave owners by noting that both were “good people” who made terrible decisions, Idaho Reports, a program of Idaho Public television, reported on Friday.
Shepherd’s comments were made to a reporter from Idaho Reports who met with the congressman after his website was commandeered by a gay rights activist and turned into a hub for LGBT youth when Shepherd neglected to renew the site’s domain.
“Slave owners were very good Christians and good people,” Shepherd told the reporter, before noting that he was not not a fan of slavery. “I totally disagree with that.”
Shepherd allegedly noted that the fight surrounding gay marriage was an example of how “good people” can be led astray by poor moral convictions.
“They (slave owners) weren’t terrible rotten horrible people,” Shepherd reportedly said. Shepherd added that they were simply people who made bad choices, before clarifying that “that’s how I see gay people.”
Shepherd has supported a resolution asking Congress to impeach federal judges who violate the U.S. Constitution by overturning same-sex marriage bans, the Associated Press reported.
According to Idaho Reports, Shepherd also said that despite the stress this fight over marriage equality has caused for him and his family, it’s necessary to prevent a “civil war.”
Dylan Hailey, the 21-year-old college student who took over the domain, told Shepherd he could get back his website if he made a donation to an LGBT advocacy group. Thus far, the website remains under Hailey’s control.