Clovis at GOP Victory Party

Siouxlander Sam Clovis on Thursday withdrew his nomination to a key post in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Jim Lee, Sioux City Journal file

A comment by Sam Clovis, a former talk show host for KSCJ-AM radio and Morningside College professor in Sioux City, has been aired from a few years ago, when he said, "as far as we know, LGBT behavior is a choice."

CNN undertook a substantial task to work back through statements by Clovis when he was on the radio and as a candidate in 2013-2014 for a U.S. Senate seat and the Iowa treasurer position. CNN published the piece Monday morning, as Clovis awaits confirmation to a post in the U.S Department of Agriculture.

The YouTube video of a campaign stop shows Clovis at a table with a mug of Casey's Bakery, a Sioux Center, Iowa, business, but it is not clear if it is in Sioux Center. However, conservative Jacob Hall, who lives in Sioux Center, is sitting next to Clovis, who responded to Hall's question.

Clovis was addressing the topic of groups of people who have constitutional protections, and he discussed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Said Clovis, "Someone who engages in LGBT behavior, sometimes -- you know, and I don't know what the science is on this, I think it's still out -- but as far as I, that we know, that is a choice they make, right. So we're being asked to provide constitutional protections for behavior, a choice in behavior as opposed to a primary characteristic."

He continued, "If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? Are we going to protect polyamorous marriage relationships? Are we going to protect people who have fetishes? I mean, what's the logical extension of this?"

Those comments came up after Clovis discussed traditional marriage and "the assault" on religion.

A call to Clovis was not immediately returned Monday.

Clovis, who currently serves as senior White House advisor to the USDA, was nominated in July as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics.

The U.S. Senate must confirm Clovis before he takes the new post. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue supports Clovis' nomination.

Before resigning last fall, Clovis was a tenured business administration professor at Morningside College.

Clovis also came under scrutiny in the first week of August for a years-old blog from his former radio show. in which he labeled progressives "liars, race traders and race traitors." He also referred to former President Barack Obama as a "socialist" who "hates the greatness of this nation."

That also came from a CNN piece, completed from archived blog posts from 2011 and 2012, which were originally posted on KSCJ's website as part of Clovis' now-defunct program “Impact with Sam Clovis." Other national news organizations later picked up the story.


County and education reporter

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