Update: As expected, Hardy Billington won the Republican primary for Missouri House of Representatives 152 on Tuesday. He earned all 3,990 votes cast in the race.
Billington will face Democrat Robert Smith in the November general election. He is widely expected to win.
Hardy Billington has some more to say.
The Missouri Republican made national headlines last week when old comments resurfaced in which he claimed the “gay lifestyle” is more deadly than smoking. In a Facebook post advocating for a 2012 law preventing teachers from discussing LGBTQ topics in the classroom, Billington said homosexuality “can take anywhere from 10, 20, to 30 years off of someone’s lifespan.”
But in addition to those comments — as well as a series of anti-LGBTQ ads run in local newspapers — the candidate for Missouri’s State House addressed same-sex marriage in his 2006 book, The Election by Faith in ‘04.
In a 200-page retelling of Billington’s attempts to get former President George W. Bush to give a speech in the small town of Poplar Bluff, the conservative called the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s November 2003 decision legalizing marriage equality “vile and disgusting.” He further referred to LGBTQ people as “perverted.”
“To say that I was upset upon hearing this would certainly be an understatement,” Billington claimed in a copy of the book obtained by INTO, arguing the court was “breaking the law” by wading into the “legislative arena.”
“The ripple effect of this action then spread across our nation with almost lightning speed, as various jurisdictions seemed anxious to not be left behind,” he continued. “We were subject to this vile and disgusting display of absolute defiance of God’s commands for weeks on end, as these alleged ‘couples’ sought ‘marriage’ across the nation. Sadly, there was no shortage of ‘clergy’ willing to defy God’s Scriptures in order to gain favor with this perverted crowd!”
Billington also referred to LGBTQ people as “sodomites.”
“Sodomy—not the contrived label, ‘gay’—is repeatedly condemned in no uncertain terms by the Scripture, even to the point of being an abomination to God!” he claimed. “It was as a result of my Christian training and my acceptance of the Word of God always being true that caused this wrongful act on the part of these judges to be so abhorrent to me. Not only had they overstepped their legal bounds, but they had done so on one of the most unsupportable issues to be found in our society.”
At this point, the retired businessman noted that readers might wonder why he’s so opposed to “this particular kind of sin, when there are so many others that might seem to be just as bad or worse.”
“Basically, there are some distinctions concerning the sodomites that set them apart and make the label of ‘abominable’ appropriate,” Billington wrote.
Among these distinctions, the conservative argued that what makes homosexuality so much worse than other kinds of “sin” is that LGBTQ people “cannot reproduce—they have to recruit.” According to Billington, that means that same-sex couples cannot follow God’s commandment in Genesis 9:1 to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”
In addition, Billington said claims on the part of LGBTQ individuals that “God made me this way!” indicate their “total ignorance” of the Christian Bible. “Acceptance of the Holy Scripture will take care of the issue of God ‘making’ perverts,” he argued.
Billington subsequently lamented that if “counterfeit marriage” becomes the “accepted norm,” his grandchildren could “possibly think it was alright.”
If that weren’t enough, Billington then suggested that what makes homosexuality even worse than crimes committed between individuals—say, adultery and murder—is that it harms the entire community. He cited the example of Sodom and Gomorrah, in which the “sin of sodomy… produced some national consequences.”
“This usually came about after warnings from God to those involved and resulted in extreme penalties; even to the total extinction of cities and removal of entire governments,” Billington claimed. “I am fearful that if our nation continues to tolerate and, in some cases, embrace this disgusting and abominable ‘life-style,’ we will be prime candidates for the national punishment that God has visited upon historical cultures of the past.”
Billington is currently running unopposed in the GOP primaries for the Missouri House of Representatives 152, which will be held on Tuesday. Democrat Robert Smith is set to oppose him in November.
In an editorial published after his comments initially went viral, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch warned Billington would be a shoo-in should the candidate be permitted to advance to the general election. Rural Butler County went 79 percent for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race.
“In places like these, if a truly repugnant candidate of the dominant party doesn’t get stopped in the primary, he’s not getting stopped,” the publication claimed.
The Post-Dispatch noted Billington hasn’t changed since his anti-LGBTQ opinions were published 12 years ago. When asked about the candidate’s prior statements saying gays need “tough love” to help overcome their “self-destructive behaviors,” his campaign did not walk back the decade-old remarks.
“He’s not afraid to let anybody know that that’s his position, his personal conviction,” Billington’s Treasurer Thomas W. Graham Jr. told the newspaper.
His team did not respond to request for comment prior to publication time.
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