Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is one of Congress’s most vocal opponents of marriage equality, and he hasn’t backed off since the Supreme Court ended the debate with its June decision in the Obergefell case. He’s proposed a resolution to have Congress reject the ruling because it “perverts the definition of marriage” and assert that states and businesses can refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. This week, he added some colorful rhetoric to punctuate his point.
As reported by journalist Matt Taibbi, while introducing Mike Huckabee at a campaign event on Thursday, King claimed that according to the Supreme Court’s ruling, “You can marry my lawnmower.”
This, however, was not even the first time King had contemplated lawnmower marriage. He’s actually been making the remark since just after the ruling came down. In late June, he was quoted as saying. “Their ruling really says anybody can marry anybody — and eventually it will be in any combination. I had a strong, Christian lawyer tell me yesterday that, under this decision that he has read, what it brings about is: It only requires one human being in this relationship — that you could marry your lawnmower with this decision. I think he’s right.”
King has a long history of making incendiary remarks about the LGBT community. He opposes nondiscrimination protections because he believes people pretend to be gay in order to file suits; he called such protections “special rights for self-professed behavior.” If people are afraid of discrimination, he believes they should just hide their identities in the workplace so that nobody knows they’re gay in the first place. He thinks same-sex couples who want to marry are just friends, and he doesn’t expect to see any gay people in heaven.
Incidentally, Sen. Chuck Grassley, fellow Republican from Iowa and fellow opponent of same-sex marriage, was tweeting pictures Friday of a rig he set up to mow his lawn with three lawnmowers at the same time. His decision to highlight his marriage of three lawnmowers the day after King’s latest remarks may have just been a coincidence.