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Backlash Over Hickey Facebook Comments

May 2, 2014, 5:55 PM by Perry Groten

Backlash Over Hickey Facebook Comments

State Representative Steve Hickey admits he made a crude comparison in equating gay sex with a garbage truck, but he's standing by his comments.

Hickey says he posted the comments on Facebook because he opposes efforts to legalize gay marriage in South Dakota.   The one statement that stands out has been picked up by political websites across the country.    Hickey wrote: "regarding men with men, we are talking about a one-way alley meant only for the garbage truck to go down."

A Sioux Falls gay rights advocate says Hickey's comments are insensitive.

Hickey says he expected a strong backlash against his homosexual views stated on Facebook and he got it.  He says angry emailers have been threatening him with violence.

"It's the reason people don't say what they want to say about this is because you get an onslaught of very vicious hate mail.  It's hate," Hickey said.

Hickey calls his posting an open letter to South Dakota's medical and psychological community stating that gay sex is not good for the mind or body.

"If it serves to have a medical conversation about whether this is healthy psychologically or medically, I hope that succeeds" Hickey said.

Thomas Christiansen of the Center for Equality says while he's frustrated by Hickey's statements, he'll doubt they'll do much to sway public opinion.

"I don't know if his comments will necessarily harm because it seems apparent that he's receiving a lot of backlash from his comments," Christiansen said.

Christiansen says he welcomes a scientific debate about homosexuality.

"The American Psychological Association, American Medical Association have all come out and supported same-sex marriage," Christiansen said.

Both Christiansen and Hickey agree that history will determine which viewpoint is correct.

"Everybody says, 'Oh, get on the right side of history, Hickey.'  I feel like I really am," Hickey said.

"There's a lot of support for marriage equality nationally that's growing so I would vote to say that he's not on the right side of history," Christiansen said.

The South Dakota Democratic Party is also condemning Hickey's comments.  The party's executive director calls the remarks reprehensive and says they do not represent South Dakota values.

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