WASHINGTON – Another hypocrite bites the dust.
Rep. Mark Souder, R-Indiana, an outspoken “family values” politician who has consistently voted against LGBT issues, has resigned his seat a week after winning his Republican primary seeking re-election.
After callers began bombarding his office with accusations that he was having an affair with a staffer, Souder admitted that he was unfaithful to his wife and announced his “retirement.”
Souder, 59, held a hasty news conference in Fort Wayne, Ind., today to make his tearful confession. He noted that he has “sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff.”
The eight-term congressman said he will leave office on Friday and will not seek re-election.
During his primary campaign, Souder stressed to voters his 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee and his top marks from the National Rifle Association.
"As I leave public office, my plans are focused upon repairing my marriage, earning back the trust of my family and my community, and renewing my walk with my Lord," he said.
Michael Cole, a spokesman with the Human Rights Campaign, noted how Souder was anti-gay.
“Rep. Souder proves once again that it’s not LGBT people who are the threat to ‘family values.’ The good citizens of Indiana would be well served to elect a successor who in both word and deed more closely mirror their own values of equality and respect for all people.”
Cole said Souder has the distinction of scoring a zero on every single Human Rights Campaign scorecard since entering Congress in 1995. He has consistently voted against equal employment protections, common-sense hate crimes laws, increases in HIV/AIDS funding and providing any measure of equality to same-sex couples.
Joe Sudbay of AMERICAblog also blasted Souder.
"Souder has long been a crusader in the House against same-sex marriage. This year, he signed an amicus brief in a case against D.C.'s new marriage law,” Sudbay wrote.
“He also stated, 'I'm a Christian first, a conservative second and a Republican third,'" he wrote.
Souder is now a member of the exclusive congressional sex scandal club, which includes Sen. Larry Craig, Sen. John Ensign, Sen. David Vitter, Rep. Eric Massa and Rep. Mark Foley.