Conservative Congressman Steve King (R-IA) identifies as Roman Catholic, which prompted The Jefferson Herald to ask him about the mixed messages coming from the Vatican’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family about how welcoming the Church should be of homosexuality. King told the Herald that he had only “picked up little pieces in the news” about the Synod, but indicated that his own beliefs about the family were unfazed.
The Herald initially asked King whether he thought divorce or cohabitation are sins. “I think that I’ll not comment on that part,” he replied, choosing to focus his remarks entirely on homosexuality. “I’ll just say that what was a sin 2,000 years ago is a sin today, and people that were condemned to hell 2,000 years ago, I don’t expect to meet them should I make it to heaven. So let’s stick with that principle.”
Though King never specified he was referring to people with a same-sex orientation, his follow-up response clarifying who he believes falls into the “condemned” category indicated a particular “chosen lifestyle.” “Let me say it isn’t to me to pass that judgment,” he said, “and those who choose a lifestyle that I’ll say is not one that’s annointed and favored by my faith — or their faith, for that matter — that’s between them and God.”
King has previously described homosexuality as “self-professed behavior” and compared same-sex couples wanting to marry to two people asking for a license “to begin a new friendship.” In 2012, he told ThinkProgress that LGBT people did not need employment nondiscrimination protections so long as they maintained a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” approach in the workplace by not making their sexuality “public.”