Florida Rep. Allen West will be the featured speaker at the Minnesota Republican Party’s Lincoln Reagan Dinner in March, according to a press release by the MN GOP. West has a history of inflammatory remarks about LGBT people including advocating that they change and that marriage equality is an “oxymoron.”

“His commitment to our conservative principles and dedication to getting to work in Washington, not to mention his distinguished military service, have earned him the admiration and respect of Republicans throughout our country. We are pleased to announce that Congressman West will join us in March to speak at our annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner, and we are anxious to hear from him,” said MNGOP Chairman Pat Shortridge in a statement on Tuesday.

One of West’s conservative principles is opposition to LGBT people.

On Dan’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, West said:

WEST: Let me put it very simple, the U.S. military exists to win the nation’s wars. When you join the military, it takes individual behavior that conforms into the military. Now, if we start to have a perspective and belief in this nation that the military conforms to individual behavior, then we have lost the understanding of what it means to be in the U.S. military. The rules are very clear in the U.S. military. If you don’t want to abide by the rules of the U.S. military, then don’t join.

But the U.S. military is not there as a social experiment and for those who will sit up there and say, Congressman, you should understand because you’re black. Unless I’m Michael Jackson, I can’t change my color. But people can change behavior. And you do not base being a part of the military on adjusting to individual behavior. That’s my concern. And when you look at what our young men and women have to contend with, we’re talking about men and women fifth and sixth tours in combat zones. Now is not the time to appease a very small special interest group and I’ll leave it at that.

On gay people “changing”:

“I like chocolate chip ice cream, and I will continue to like chocolate chip ice cream,” he said. “So there’s no worry about me changing to vanilla. I like to, you know, ride my motorcycle. What do you want me to do? You want me to change my behavior and ride a scooter? I’m not into that.”

West made another strange comment about “sexual behavior,” implying that he’s seen people from Atlanta who have easily overcome the wretched gayness.

“People can change their sexual behavior,” West said. “And I’ve seen people do that. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, so I’ve seen a very different perspective on human behaviors. So that’s where I’m coming from on that.”

That gay marriage is an oxymoron:

“The term ‘gay marriage’ is an oxymoron. Because marriage is a union and a bond between a man and a woman to do one single thing: the furtherance of society by procreation, through creating new life. Have you ever read the book America Alone by Mark Steyn? It’s about demographics. And if we continue with a cycle of debt and punishing our unborn then it just becomes a matter of time before you don’t have society.”

West fired an intern last year for retweeting a pro-LGBT message.

It should come as no surprise that the MN GOP would bring in a political figure opposed to LGBT people. The party was the one to put an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot in November.

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.