Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) accused President Obama of "reducing or lowering American values" after he called Jason Collins, the first openly gay active athlete in the four major American professional sports, to offer his support.
Instead, King said, Obama should praise athletes like former New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, who openly acknowledges his religion on the field.
"We’ve got Tim Tebow who will kneel and pray to God on the football field. Meanwhile we have a professional athlete that decides he’s going to announce his sexuality, and he gets a personal call from the president of the United States to highlight the sexuality of a professional ballplayer," King said in a floor speech, first reported by liberal blog ThinkProgress
The Iowa Republican argued the president's decision to publicly praise Collins and ignore Tebow would lead to culture being "undermined" and "divided." "The people over on this side take their followership from that kind of leadership. One notch at a time, American civilization, American culture, western civilization, western Judeo-Christiandom are eroded," King said.