A Republican lawmaker in Maine has said he regrets decades of abusive and ignorant comments that were highlighted this week, including the claim that allowing a man to rape a woman was morally equivalent to granting women access to abortion.
State representative Lawrence Lockman’s comments were complied by liberal blogger Mike Tipping. He found a slew of comments Lockman made down the years, such as the completely false claim that HIV/AIDS can be spread through bed sheets, and that the virus had been spread by a progressive movement that promoted the idea that “the practice of sodomy is a legitimate alternative lifestyle, rather than a perverted and depraved crime against humanity.”
Tipping also found a comment Lockman made in 1995 when he was a member of the Pro-Life Education Association in which he suggested that a rapist pursuing “sexual freedom” was no different morally to abortion:
“If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”
Ben Grant, the chairman of the state Democratic Party, denounced the comments as “hateful, vicious and offensive” and called Lockman a “disturbed individual” who held “some of the most abhorrent beliefs ever heard” from a politician in the state of Maine.
Lockman has not denied making any of the statements, and he released a statement on Wednesday claiming that he regretted the comments but that they had not and would not inform his performance as a lawmaker for the state of Maine:
“I have always been passionate about my beliefs, and years ago I said things that I regret. I hold no animosity toward anyone by virtue of their gender or sexual orientation, and today I am focused on ensuring freedom and economic prosperity for all Mainers.”
Despite this, the House Minority Leader in the Maine state legislature, Kenneth Fredette, also publicly chastised Lockman for his views, saying he would never condone any comments that attacked someone on the basis of their race, gender or sexual orientation.
It remains to be seen whether Lockman will resign following these revelations. However this is not the first time he has been questioned about his conduct in office. rawstory.com claims that Lockman has been known to make baseless allegations against other house members concerning alleged conflict of interest, and to make outlandish, bizarre statements during floor debates in the state legislature.