Metro Weekly

Republican Congressman: Same-sex marriage will allow gay people to marry “everybody in California with AIDS”

Rep. Steve Pearce said in 2008 that same-sex marriage would lead to widespread insurance fraud and polygamy

Rep. Steve Pearce — Photo: US House Office of Photography

Republican Congressman Steve Pearce once said that same-sex marriage would lead to people marrying “everybody in California with AIDS” to obtain health insurance benefits for them.

Pearce, who also thought marriage equality would lead to “polymorphism,” made the comments in 2008, but they were recently uncovered by Huffington Post.

After saying he would “not have the government tell anybody how to live their life,” Pearce then launched into a tirade about why the government should refuse to allow same-sex people to marry.

“What’s going on with gay marriage is…the redefining of a social institution. And the redefinition has serious downside results,” Pearce said at an event in Carrizozo, New Mexico. “The next step then is polymorphism, where one marries many.” (We presume Pearce meant polygamy.)

Pearce also believed that same-sex marriage would lead to insurance fraud, with healthy single gay people marrying others to pass on their insurance benefits.

“You can imagine that a person would say, ‘Oh all these people in California don’t have access to AIDS treatments.’ … They might say this to themselves: ‘I’m gonna marry everybody in California with AIDS,’ and suddenly they’ve got access to the, maybe the benefit program, the health insurance that a single person has,” Pearce said.

The real kicker? HuffPo reached out to Pearce’s spokeswoman, Keeley Christensen, who not only confirmed that he still doesn’t like same-sex marriage, but also didn’t distance Pearce from his belief that marriage would lead to insurance fraud.

“Congressman Pearce believes the government should not be involved in redefining marriage. He personally believes marriage is between a man and a woman,” Christensen told Huffington Post. “The issue, however, is settled law.”

Watch Pearce’s comments below:

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at

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