As Indiana continues to debate legislation that would ban same-sex marriage in the Hoosier state, one speaker made a claim on Monday that caused the House chamber to erupt into laughter.
Jim Bopp, formerly a notoriously conservative Indiana lawmaker, told attendees of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing that those in favor of marriage equality who find the nature of the debate damaging are "intolerant." After several minutes of cringe-worthy, anti-gay rhetoric, Bopp stated:
Even more troubling though was an argument made by one who said that the simple debate on the marriage amendment will do the damage. Well, what does that tell you? That there are some people that are so intolerant of other people’s views that a simple debate...
Many in attendance immediately burst into laughter (skip to 10:15 on the above video to hear the reaction).
Clearly the irony of the statement is lost on Bopp, who was reportedly forced to rescind his seat on the Republican National Committee in 2012. The lawmaker's track record also includes pushing for a “Republican litmus test," requiring candidates to meet "core conservative principles" (even Ronald Reagan wouldn't pass), and advocating changing the name of the Democratic Party to the "Democrat Socialist Party."
This isn't the first time the state has attempted to pass a gay marriage ban. In 2005, similar legislation passed both the House and Senate, but eventually failed when Democrats took control of the State House in 2006.
The marriage ban would amend the state constitutional definition of marriage exclusively to one man and one woman and add that "a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized." Legislators are continuing to debate the issue.
Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to Bopp as a lawmaker. He does not currently hold a legislative position.