A state senator who sparked controversy last week with his remarks about homosexuality is seeking a sort of cease-fire.
Senator Dennis Guth, a Republican from Klemme, compared the health risks of homosexuality to the health risks of second-hand smoke during a speech in the Iowa Senate last Wednesday. Late this afternoon during brief remarks on the senate floor, Guth returned to the subject.
“Last week I arose to encourage a dialogue…with our youth,” Guth said.
“What I got was name-calling and character assassination over information anybody can access from the Center of Disease Control. I had hoped that we could have an honest discussion on the senate floor without each side trying to score some political points.”
Guth said last week there are “numerous” health and mental problems associated with homosexuality and that “there are health risks that my family incurs because of the increase of sexually transmitted infections that this lifestyle invites.” Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines who is gay, called the remarks “ignorant” and he demanded an apology. Guth did not offer one.
“Rather than escalate, I suggest an alternative,” Guth said today. “Senator McCoy, let’s do lunch together sometime and get to know each other. Maybe we can talk about something other than politics.”
AUDIO of Guth’s remarks today (run about a min.)
McCoy told Radio Iowa it would be “boorish” to refuse Guth’s invitation, but McCoy added that he would like to introduce Guth “to some of the gays and lesbians who live and work in Des Moines.”