Porterfield: Voters should hold delegate accountable

Del. Eric Porterfield, R-Mercer, told another newspaper he believes the backlash against his hateful remarks last week will increase his chances of getting re-elected. If he has been led to believe that is the case, it is truly a shame.

Porterfield unapologetically said he thinks “the LGBTQ is a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan;” he called the gay community “a terrorist group;” he referred to LGBTQ groups as “socialists” and “discriminatory bigots.” Those remarks came after controversy erupted over his comments in a House Government Organization Committee session in which he defended a proposal by Del. Tom Bibby, R- Berkeley, that would have prevented cities from enacting employment and housing non-discrimination acts.

Porterfield said West Virginians should have the freedom to fire or deny housing to someone based on sexual orientation. The proposed amendment failed.

But that did not stop Porterfield, who lost his sight in a fight several years ago, but now says he is a born-again independent Baptist missionary, and founded Blind Faith Ministries. He has doubled down.

He told a television reporter who asked how he would react if either of his children told him they were gay that he would take them out and “see if they could swim.” He refused to elaborate on what he meant by that, just smiling and repeating “see if they could swim.”

Porterfield believes not just that his remarks are appropriate, but that he has plenty of support.

He is wrong.

State GOP chairwoman Melody Potter said Porterfield’s comments were “hateful, hurtful and do not reflect the values of our country, our state, and the Republican Party,” and that “intolerant and hateful views hold us back, divide us and hurt our state.”

Del. Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, said of Porterfield’s comments “He’s wrong, very wrong. There’s just no excuse though for some of the things that he said.”

Again, something has led Porterfield to believe his words are HELPING him remain in an elected position. Voters in Mercer County are surely taking note of what he thinks of them and awaiting their opportunity to prove him wrong.