Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Braxton) went on Facebook Friday to say that although he has been receiving emails and calls from around the country about his citation of Leviticus 20:13, as well as Romans 1:26-28, in a May 10 Facebook post on President Barack Obama's endorsement of gay marriage, he will not say he's sorry. The emails have come in response to a petition calling on the lawmaker to issue an apology and to meet with LGBT groups in Mississippi.
"To be clear, I want the world to know that I do not, cannot, and will not apologize for the inspired truth of God's Word. It is one thing that will never 'change,'" Gipson wrote. "Anyone who knows me knows I also believe that all people are created in God's image, and that all people are loved by God, so much so that He gave us the truth of His Word which convicts us of the reality and guilt of our sin, and He gave us His Son Jesus who paid the full penalty for all our sins, by His grace through our faith in Him as we repent of our sin. John 3:16. It is this message that I preach every Sunday. I sincerely pray God will reach someone through this message."
Gipson is a Baptist minister and a business lawyer when not serving in the Legislature. He notes in his official state biography that his family are "of the Christian faith, and are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention."
The passage from Leviticus that Gipson first cited reads: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
On Facebook at least, Gipson has received overwhelming support for his original comments and his refusal to apologize. Eighty-three people have "liked" his post, and he's received dozens of supportive comments, including praise for supporting God and sticking to his original message.
"I stand with you my friend. ... GOD is in control ... no place for Gays," Ted W. Cole wrote.
Gipson, 35, has served in the Mississippi Legislature since 2008. He chairs a judiciary committee.