He's a state lawmaker and a Baptist preacher, but what's causing ears to perk up wasn't said at the state capitol or from the pulpit. Instead, it was on Facebook from representative Andy Gipson who some say is calling for homosexuals to be put to death.
"You're always going to have people who have opinions like this and you can't let it get to you," said Zach Magee of GetEQUAL.
On the heels of President Obama's approval of same sex marriage, Gipson, a republican from Braxton, took to his Facebook page on May 10th affirming his disapproval.
He wrote "The only opinion that counts is God's... Anyway you slice it, it is sin. Not to mention horrific social policy." In the same post he referenced Leviticus 20:13 which reads "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
Gipson is getting support from Facebook followers, but setting off a fire storm of controversy on both the state and national stage.
"He's kind of ostracizing a certain percentage of the people that he's suppose to be representing," said Magee.
Magee says Gipson's views are disturbing. An online petition is now demanding Gipson apologize for his comments and for him to meet with Mississippi LGBT organizations. Gipson took to Facebook again, saying he would not apologize for what he called the "inspired truth of God's Word."
Gipson also wrote he rejects the accusation that he suggested homosexuals be put to death. Gipson declined an on camera interview but released a statement saying "I have never publicly or privately called for the killing of any people. I believe all people are created in the image of God and I stand firmly for the sanctity of all human life."
"If that's not what he meant then why did he quote the scripture," said Magee.
Gipson says the scriptures were cited only to show that same sex marriage is a sin which he stands behind. Gipson says he has received threats as well as at least one death threat to his family. He says all of the threats are from outside of the state, but he does take them seriously and will handle them through a more private venue.
His Facebook page meanwhile, was taken offline Monday afternoon.
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