10/08/2012 01:27 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Tom McMillin, Michigan State Representative, Implies That Being Gay Is A Choice

A Michigan-based Republican lawmaker has come under fire after implying that he believed homosexuality was a choice
during a town meeting.

As Fox 2 Detroit reports, Michigan State Rep. Tom McMillin previously came under fire in 2003 after saying that gay people "needed help" and that homosexuality was akin to smoking cigarettes. Last month, longtime Rochester Hills resident Tim Maurer says he decided to take McMillin to task over those earlier anti-gay comments.

"Well, I think that the thousands of people that have been in that lifestyle and come out would say that it was their choice when they were in and came out of the lifestyle," McMillin noted. When Maurer pressed him, McMillin said he "didn't know" if being gay was a choice, but then clarified, "I think for some, it is. I mean, it sounds like it."

Of his decision to record the politician's response, Maurer told The Macomb Daily, "It makes us look like a city you hear about in the headlines, when you hear about the city, you relate it to discrimination. I don’t want to be associated with that kind of hate.”

In 2003, McMillin expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage Michigan. When asked why he supported a constitutional amendment opposing marriage for same-sex couples in the state, he is quoted by The Rochester Citizen as saying, "I think that the people who are caught up in the homosexual lifestyle need help. We encourage people to stop smoking. This resolution is the same sort of thing."

A number of local media outlets report that McMillin declined to comment on the story, but did issue a statement that read in part, “A few liberals clearly want to take the focus off what we’ve been accomplishing.”



Horrific Anti-Gay Statements