Specter Challenger Peg Luksik Compares Gay Rights To Incest

Peg Luksik is running for Specter's Senate seat.

Peg Luksik is running for Specter's Senate seat.

Late last month, during a forum for candidates challenging Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) at Cheyney University, Pam Luksik, a lesser known Republican contender compared gay rights to incest. Pushing back against the notion that marriage equality is a fundamental right, “Luksik said there’s a difference between where and how people live and giving them a marriage license” and suggested that if two gays or lesbians can marry, then she should be allowed to wed her family members:

If a marriage license is a fundamental human right then anybody should be allowed to have a marriage license with anybody. So I can have one with my sister, my brother, you can one with your parent, because if it’s a fundamental right for anybody to marry anybody, then it’s a fundamental right for anybody to marry anybody.

On Top Magazine suggests that Luksik’s remarks have brought gay rights to the forefront of the campaign and crated a problem for Specter, who has amassed a decidedly anti-LGBT record. While neither Specter or Democratic challenger Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) attended the debate, the Sestak campaign used Luksik’s remarks to highlight Specter’s past positions. “As the longtime Republican senator carries on his attempt to run away from his 30-year Republican record, this time on his vote to support the Defense of Marriage Act, he should be honest about his votes to oppose equal rights for LGBT Americans. He actually voted with Republican Senator Rick Santorum to deny equal benefits to legally married LGBT Americans in the first place,” Sestak said.

Specter has changed his position on a number of LGBT issues, however. He co-sponsored hate crimes legislation that expanded federal protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (after initially voting against the measure), and supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). He also wants to repeal DOMA an Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.