Republican who compared same-sex marriage to rape wants to be senator

A Republican who once likened equal marriage to rape has announced plans to challenge a senate seat in Minnesota.

Former radio host Jason Lewis revealed his intentions to run as the state’s Republican nominee for the US Senate in the 2020 presidential elections, reports the Minnesota Star Tribune.

If selected, he would be challenging democrat Tina Smith, who has held the seat since 2018 when she replaced Al Franken following his resignation over sexual misconduct allegations.

Republican Jason Lewis lost to out lesbian in midterm elections last year.

Angie Craig

Democrat Angie Craig, who defeated Lewis in the midterm elections last year. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Lewis, who revealed his plans at the Minnesota State Fair earlier this week, previously lost to democrat Angie Craig, an out lesbian, in last year’s midterm elections for a seat in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District.

The 63-year-old politician came under fire last summer after BuzzFeed News revealed that he had equated equal marriage to rape on his radio show back in 2013.

Lewis likens equal marriage to criminal laws used to prosecute rapists.

Speaking on his John Lewis Show, the Republican, who has also made derogatory remarks about women, reportedly argued that law-makers should be allowed to single out same-sex couples with discriminatory marriage bans in the same way that rapists and speeding drivers could be prosecuted by criminal legislation.

“When we pass a law against rape, you’re not treating a rapist equal,” he said at the time.

“The law, the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, simply means this: that people who find themselves in similar circumstances must be treated in a similar way. You must discriminate against all smokers, you must discriminate against all rapists.”

When we pass a law against rape, you’re not treating a rapist equal.

Lewis continued: “So if the law says that we’re not going to allow three people to marry, then you’ve got to treat everybody the same way.

“No three people can marry. Same is true for gay marriage. It’s not discrimination. It’s not unconstitutional.

“The law discriminates all the time. It discriminates against behaviour.”

At the time, the Human Rights Campaign denounced Lewis’ remarks as “shameful and disgusting” on Twitter.

Announcing his plans to challenge the Minnesota senate seat, Lewis said he would have a “hard time disagreeing” with much of US president Donald Trump’s policies on the economy and immigration.