Republican Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), one of the staunchest social conservatives in Congress who vehemently opposes LGBT equality, has abruptly resigned from Congress, according to two Arizona Republicans with knowledge of the decision.
According to The Hill, one source said Franks “would resign in the face of what the source described as forthcoming claims of inappropriate behavior.”
One Arizona Republican told Roll Call that the 8th District congressman had apparently been making plans to run for Senate in 2012, but abruptly canceled those plans.
“There’s been rumors swirling around him for years, at least in 2012,” the anonymous Republican said. “And if this turns out to be true, there won’t be that many people who are surprised.”
“I’ll let the statement speak for itself,” Franks, a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, told a mob of reporters as he left the House floor on Thursday evening.
The Hill adds:
As the news of his resignation broke, fellow Republicans approached Franks on the House floor, all stone-faced. Several fellow conservatives sat with Franks, bent their heads, and prayed.
Franks previously sponsored House-passed legislation to make it a crime for any person to perform an abortion if the age of the fetus is 20 weeks or more.
In 2011, Franks called marriage equality “a threat to the nation’s survival.”
“We understand that when we’re granting the rights of marriage, that that’s a special right Tony, that’s something we have suggested is clearly the best possible way to see children raised through the best possible environment to launch the next generation, we believe that with all of our hearts as a society, I think most people understand that,” Franks said at the time. “So we’ve set aside this special area of the law that says we’re going to respect traditional marriage of a man and a woman because that is the launching pad of the next generation. Let’s face it; we have made a special exception in the law that gives special consideration and recognition to that.”