Congressman compares being gay to picking ice cream flavor

There’s been a flap in Wilton Manors, where gay activists didn’t want you to speak. Is the issue of gay civil rights the same as the civil rights movement for African-Americans?

“You cannot compare me and my race to a behavior. Sexuality is a behavior. And so yeah, I said I can’t change my color. People can change their sexual behavior. And I’ve seen people do that. I grew up in Atlanta, Ga., so I’ve seen a very different perspective on human behaviors. So that’s where I’m coming from on that.

“Now everyone has the same basic rights, and no one is telling people in the gay community that they don’t have the same basic rights that any American has. But when you tell me that I cannot have a perspective on a position and you’re going to preclude, like I said a sitting United States congressman from talking to business owners, I can see if you attack me, but why would you say you’re going to boycott and attack businesses that want to talk to a congressman? To me that’s unconscionable.

Should gay people change their behavior and not be gay?

“No. I like chocolate chip ice cream and I will continue to like chocolate chip ice cream. So there’s no worry about me changing to vanilla. I like to, you know, ride my motorcycle. What do you want me to do? You want me to change my behavior and ride a scooter? I’m not into that.

“There are people out there who don’t like me just because I wake up in the morning. I’m not going to make them happy, no matter what I do. But know one thing, I will gain their respect.”

West said he opposes gay marriage but civil unions for gay couples are fine. He said all adoptions need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis and he doesn’t object to gay couples adopting children.

Do you consider your wife’s brother, whom she describes as “married” to his gay partner, as “married?”

“California gave them a marriage license? Guess what?” he said. “I’m not a a judge I’m not the justice of the peace. So if they’re married, they’re married, OK? Nothing I can do about it.”

Do you have any regrets about the flap with Wasserman Schultz, the Weston congresswoman who also is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee?

“I have turned the other cheek as a Christian man so often I’ve got a crick in my neck. I will not be disrespected. There comes a time when you’ve got to stand up for yourself and you’ve got to fire that shot across the bow. And the DNC chair needs to rethink how she has her interpersonal skills related to me. So no regrets, no apologize, just move on.”

West said the two haven’t spoken since last fall’s election.

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