A Republican Congressional candidate has defended voting against a ban on gay ‘cure’ therapy.
New Hampshire state lawmaker Steve Negron is the GOP candidate for the US House of Representatives in the state’s Second Congressional District.
Negron picked up the Republican nomination in a narrow primary vote on Tuesday, just weeks after he publicly defended voting against cross-party legislation to ban gay ‘cure’ therapy.
The candidate was among Republicans to oppose the state’s recently-introduced law that bans the provision of conversion therapy to minors.
He was challenged over his vote in an interview with local TV station WMUR, as noted by Talking Points Memo.
In the interview, which took place last month, Negron was challenged about his vote on gay ‘cure’ therapy and appeared to defend the practise.
Negron said: “I did not vote for that [bill].
“I believe that’s something that, when you look at these young children that are trying to make a decision, and I remember when I was 15, 16 I was confused, I had a lot of options in my life.
“I think we need to be able to help them understand what it is, give them the right information, and let them get the treatment that they need to understand what the situation is.
“I think the parents have a huge role in that as well, and that’s why I think we should be able to help them.”
He also reaffirmed his personal opposition to same-sex marriage, though he claimed gay couples in relationships should have “the same rights” as straight couples.
Negron said: “A union between two people is really not a federal issue for me. I have my own beliefs because I am a Catholic.
“For me, as a Catholic, marriage is very succinct at what it is, but for people that are in a relationship, they should have all the rights and privileges as anybody else.”
The New Hampshire Democratic Party said: “The Republican nominee in the Second Congressional District, Steve Negron, fought through the primary to appear more supportive of President Trump and his administration’s policy objectives than his opponents.
“His views, whether it’s about repealing the Affordable Care Act, building a border wall, or engaging in trade wars with our nation’s and our state’s closest allies, are morally reprehensible. He is wrong choice for New Hampshire.”
The district has been held by Democratic Rep. Ann Kuster since 2012.
Kuster, who held the seat by a four-point margin in 2016, is standing for re-election.