Rep. McMillin asked whether being gay is a choice at town hall - New York News

Rep. McMillin asked whether being gay is a choice at town hall

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Rep. Tom McMillin (Photo provided by Rep. McMillin's office) Rep. Tom McMillin (Photo provided by Rep. McMillin's office)
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) -

State Representative Tom McMillin held a town hall meeting Monday night. It was only attended by a few people, but one person in the crowd asked the politician his views on being gay and his response was caught on tape.

"Do you still believe that being gay is like smoking? It's a choice?" McMillin was asked.

"I think that the thousands of people that have been in that lifestyle and have come out would say that it was their choice when they were in it and came out of the lifestyle," he responded.

"Do you think that some people are born gay?"

"I don't know."

"But you do think that it's a choice?"

"I think for some it is. I mean, it sounds like it."

"I couldn't believe it. I just was amazed that someone that lives in 2012 in the United States of America thinks that being gay is a choice," said Bruce Fealk.

He is a longtime resident of Rochester Hills and a Democrat. He believes McMillin's views are pretty outrageous, so he pulled out his video camera and headed to the town hall meeting to get the politician's views on the record. He said McMillin knew he was being recorded at the time.

"I think it's important for people to know who Tom McMillin is and what he stands for."

Craig Covey is openly gay and a longtime local politician. We showed him the video, which was posted on a blogging site. He told us he wasn't surprised at McMillin's comments, but said the level of intolerance against those in the gay community is changing for the better.

"Americans are becoming more and more accepting of gay people. The science says that it is not a choice, but I'll tell you what is a choice. Being a prejudice person, being a bigot, being anti-gay, that is a choice and it's a choice that Tom McMillin has made."

McMillin declined to do an interview with us, but his office released the following statement.

"A few liberals clearly want to take the focus off what we've been accomplishing. I have had numerous office hours across my community and overwhelmingly the issues I hear from constituents at these events are things we've accomplished in the Legislature - reforming education, improving the economy and making Michigan a better place to have a job. There is more work to be done and I'm committed to moving Michigan forward."

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