South Dakota State Representative makes bizarre gay sex metaphors

David Hickey is a Pastor and South Dakota State Representative (R-9). Hickey is in the news because of a really weird letter to the editor he attempted to have published.  When that didn’t work, he wrote the letter as a Facebook note, and made national news.  The topic of the note?  Homosexual intercourse…and garbage trucks.

Hickey wrote a letter to the Argus Leader, which the paper declined to publish.  Instead, Hickey published the note on Facebook.  The title of the letter was A One Way Alley for the Garbage Truck, and it discusses the biology of homosexual intercourse.  One section of the letter:

Certainly there are board-certified doctors in our state who will attest to what seems self-evident to so many: gay sex is not good for the body or mind. Pardon a crude comparison but regarding men with men, we are talking about a one-way alley meant only for the garbage truck to go down. Frankly, I’d question the judgment of doctor who says it’s all fine.

South Dakota docs, it’s time for you to come out of the closet and give your professional opinion on this matter like you capably and responsibly do on all the others.

Hickey goes on to state that homosexuality “has been a notable marker of the downfall of past civilizations, not their rise” and encourages doctors to condemn homosexual behavior as harmful.  He then ties homosexual behavior to suicidal tendencies, and concludes the letter by calling on doctors and psychiatrists to “weigh in publicly and timely on the matter of homosexuality and the human body, psyche and family, particular kids.”

Hickey’s letter was inspired by a likely lawsuit against South Dakota’s 2006 gay marriage ban.  Dr. Kevin Weiland, a Demcorat running for Congress in South Dakota, responded to the note with a column of his own, blasting Hickey’s letter as inappropriately tying homosexuality to mental health disorders while noting that the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality as a mental health disorder in 1973.

Hickey had previously introduced legislation that would have “provide[d] protection to certain businesses or persons that decline to provide certain wedding services or goods due to the free exercise of religion.” In an interview with the managing editor with the Argus Leader, Representative Hickey also made this bizarre comparison:

Here’s what I’d like to ask Dr. Weiland. Do you tell your patients to wash their hands before they eat? Why? Because you touch a doorknob, and you don’t want to get it inside your body. I hesitate to get crude again, but, Dr. Weiland, is it OK for, you know, eight of your friends that you’re in love with to take a dump in your bed and then you can sleep in it all year long?

Hickey has not backed down from his note.  He has said that he has received threats for his letter and that he wrote it because he believes that, “people are tired of hearing the religious argument against homosexuality and wants medical professionals to come forward to explain the health risks of homosexual activity.”

Full disclosure: I am totally supportive of LGBT and marriage equality and find Representative Hickey’s remarks to be ignorant and abhorrent.  That being said, looking at this issue as objectively as I can, surely there are better way to make points against LGBT rights than by comparing homosexual sex to a bowel movement?  Such descriptions are bound to do nothing but gross people out and turn them off to arguments against marriage equality.  By going so low in the gutter, Representative Hickey is doing himself, and his side, no favors.  There are always ways to use social media to make points more elegantly than this.

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