Garrett insists: I don’t have ‘malice’ for gay people
U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett — once again facing scrutiny over what critics describe as anti-gay views — said in a statement Friday he holds no "malice" for homosexuals.
"I've tried to stay above the fray by ignoring these salacious hit pieces, but it's obvious that the Washington establishment is trying to distract from my work to revive the economy and hold the government accountable by portraying me as something I'm not," Garrett said in the statement, as quoted by the New Jersey Herald.
The statement, issued to media after 5 p.m., was an apparent response to a piece this week by Bloomberg Politics — describing party tension caused by his opposition not only to same-sex marriage, but to gay candidates.
"At a private caucus meeting, he got into a heated dispute with his colleagues by declaring that he’d withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars in National Republican Congressional Committee dues to protest the party’s support for gay candidates. His outburst immediately caused a rift in the caucus," Bloomberg wrote.
Garrett has never denied reports of that meeting, which first made headlines last summer.
This week's Bloomberg article explored the conundrum facing possible Wall Street donors in Garrett's election campaign — as business interests favor his anti-regulation views, but Wall Street's been among the leading progressive voices in matters of LGBT rights.
"My colleagues and my constituents know that I am a devout man of faith, and therefore I support traditional marriage," Garrett said in his statement. "Calling me names or implying that I have malice in my heart for any person or group of people is false and completely disingenuous."
"Like all Americans who exercise their right of free speech and religion, I make contributions to people and organizations who share my beliefs on important issues, in this case traditional marriage," Garrett wrote. "Since then, I've continued my support of the Republican Party and the ideals we represent on behalf of our country and every American."