Rep. Tim Huelskamp and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi traded barbs over same-sex marriage after Pelosi cited the western Kansas representative as an example of what she considers Donald Trump-style Republican intolerance.
Pelosi, D-California, fired the opening salvo Wednesday with a post on her leadership blog called “House Republicans in Their Own Words.”
In the post, Pelosi said Republican representatives are “desperately trying to distance themselves” from Trump, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, “when all along House Republicans have employed the same extremist rhetoric and legislative proposals.”
Since when have the House Republicans been so concerned about intolerant statements and discriminatory ideas?
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California
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“Since when have the House Republicans been so concerned about intolerant statements and discriminatory ideas?” Pelosi asked in the blog.
As part of a lengthy list of examples, she cited a statement Huelskamp made to the Washington Times newspaper in 2013.
“President Obama and I have very different notions of what a family is,” the quote read. “For liberals, the family can apparently be everything from ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ to ‘Daddy’s Roommate’ to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ‘It Takes a Village.’ ”
Huelskamp was and remains a supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that defined marriage for federal purposes as a relationship between one man and one woman, denying marriage benefits to same-sex couples. The law was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2013, clearing the way for same-sex marriage across the country.
Though not always possible, kids deserve a mom and dad – not these liberal elites who want to destroy our traditional values.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas
On Thursday, Huelskamp fired back at Pelosi’s dig with a dig of his own on his congressional Facebook page, noting that she had been speaker before Republicans took control of the House majority after the 2010 election.
“Yesterday ex-Speaker Pelosi attacked me for my support of natural marriage and family,” Huelskamp wrote. “Though not always possible, kids deserve a mom and dad – not these liberal elites who want to destroy our traditional values.”
He posted a meme of Pelosi with his congressional web page address and an invitation to “Share if you believe in one man, one woman.”
As a member of the state Senate, Huelskamp wrote the Kansas ban on same-sex marriage that voters approved as a state constitutional amendment in 2005. Several times, he has sponsored the Marriage Protection Amendment in Congress, which would restore the legal definition of marriage to one man, one woman.
This week isn’t the first time Huelskamp and Pelosi have tangled over gay marriage.
In 2012, Huelskamp succeeded in amending an appropriations bill to bar the Justice Department from spending any money to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
The amendment passed the same day that President Obama became the first U.S. president to publicly support gay marriage.
That prompted Pelosi’s office to issue a statement criticizing Huelskamp.
“On an historic day and in the dark of night, House Republicans have voted to tie the hands of the Obama Administration with respect to their efforts to end discrimination against America’s families,” the statement said. “House Republicans continue to plant their feet firmly on the wrong side of history.”
Huelskamp represents the sprawling 1st District in western Kansas. He faces a Republican primary challenge from Roger Marshall, a Great Bend obstetrician and member of the Kansas Commission on Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.