A New Hampshire state lawmaker is standing behind his posting of a graphic on Facebook that critics say mocks sexually abused women.
State GOP Rep. Kyle Tasker recently posted the graphic, which features stick figures of a man and women apparently engaged in a sex act, on the Great Nashua (N.H.) Tea Party website.
On Thursday, he defended the move, telling a local TV station that the graphic was a T-shirt print and that he didn’t post it as a joke.
“I thought it was pretty ridiculous that someone would wear that around," Tasker told WMUR-9. He also told the Concord Monitor that he posted the graphic to come to the aid of fellow state GOP Rep. Mark Warden, who last year suggested that some people may like being in abusive relationships.
Tasker told the newspaper that the intent of his post was to show that Warden’s comments should not have offended people, considering others put out more offensive content, such as the graphic.
Warden and Tasker serve on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which votes on domestic violence bills.
Tasker could not be reached Sunday for comment.
Tasker, who reportedly once posted a Facebook comment about shooting police officers, has been roundly criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike, who have called for an apology.
"Representative Tasker's post was grossly offensive and has no place in public discourse,” state GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Horn told the station. “He should apologize immediately.”
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said state GOP leaders should "disavow” the embarrassing incidents caused by members of their party and that Tasker has shown a “disturbing lack of respect” for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, considering 50 percent of New Hampshire homicides are domestic-violence related.
"Put a stop to the juvenile, repugnant and offensive behavior,” he said.