Longtime NJ republican congressman Chris Smith was at Colts Neck High School recently for an assembly when he was asked by a student about his stance on gay couples having the right to adopt children.

In the exchange (which you can listen to above), senior Hannah Valdes asked Smith if he thought that her sister, who is gay, would be a less legitimate parent than someone in a heterosexual relationship. Chris Smith has been vocally anti-LGBTQ for a very long time, including voting in favor of banning gay adoptions in 1999. But hey, everyone is capable of change, right? His response to the question was, “the issue, legally, is moot at this point especially with the Supreme Court decision.”

Wait... is that New Jersey congressman Chris Smith deflecting a question? Here is my surprised face.

Hannah asked her question again, only to be met with another deflection. So maybe the third time would finally be the charm? Nope. He decided to pivot to orphanages as an option for children. As would be expected, many people took that as Smith endorsing orphanages as a better place for a child than a gay household, but audio of the assembly provided by the Chris Smith campaign and uploaded by Carly Baldwin of the New Jersey Patch seems to leave it open to interpretation. The question actually came up twice, once at the 41:00 minute mark and again at the 48:00 minute mark. When asked if he thought orphanages were better options the first time, he seems to respond, “No, Lord, no.” The second time (the clip going viral), a moderator quickly changes the subject when Smith inexplicably started bringing up orphanages again. You can listen below.

Why bring up orphanages at all in this context? Your guess is as good as mine. Still, this does not change anything as far as his harmful views on LGBTQ rights are concerned. Again, in the audio the Chris Smith campaign provided, you can hear him talk about his firm beliefs that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Still.

I wonder if he thinks that having gay parents would lead to the child growing up to be gay. Since, you know, if two heterosexual parents raise a child, it will no doubt grow up to be strai... oh wait. All jokes aside, it's disgusting that someone with these beliefs has represented this state since 1981. I have been critical of him for a long time, and whenever it comes up, I am met with responses from people who say he does a lot of good for veterans and the elderly. I don't doubt that, mainly because he has to be doing something positive for someone to keep getting voted in. However the world has drastically changed during his time in office and it just doesn't seem like he's willing to grow and adjust to the world in its current form.

If you need another recent example of Chris Smith bestowing his bigotry upon not only the US, but the world, here is a quote from him regarding human rights in 2015 while serving on the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee:

"I am a strong believer in traditional marriage and do not construe homosexual rights as human rights."

Gay people: Subhuman in Chris Smith's book. Yeah, maybe it's time for this guy to ride off into the sunset.

Thankfully we have the right to vote, and if you live in NJ's 4th congressional district, you can vote Chris Smith out of office this Election Day. Democrat Josh Welle is his main opponent.

— Joe Votruba

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