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12/27/2011

Ron Paul and SPLC-designated hate group: One degree of separation

by Jeremy Hooper

The rabidly anti-gay quips from Ron Paul's old newsletter are getting lots of attention, even more than they did back in 2008. But one aspect of the anti-LGBT Paul story that's getting less play involves his eye-opening choice for State Director in Iowa.

Warren Thockmorton fills us in:

Given the fact that Paul recently reversed himself and voted to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, one might wonder if his views on gays have changed. However, the Paul campaign’s current [Iowa] State Director is Mike Heath. Heath is also the chairman of the board of the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality and once worked to oppose state initiatives such as the one condemned by Paul in the 1989 newsletter.
...
AFTAH describes itself as “a group dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda.” Last year, the organization was listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center due to frequent misrepresentations and vilification of gays in public statements and literature. Just recently, AFTAH used the Penn State child abuse scandal as a platform to link sex crimes of pedophiles with homosexuality.

Apparently, Heath’s work is having some effect in Iowa with at least one endorsement touted on Paul’s website. According to the news release announcing the endorsement, Heath has been to “295 houses of worship” in Iowa. On the matter of gays and gay rights, I wonder what position is being articulated in those houses of worship.
FULL: What does Ron Paul really believe about gays? [Throckmorton]

Regular G-A-Y readers know the name Mike Heath all too well. He's the guy who used to routinely blame gays for causing things like bad weather, local graffiti, and national economic crises. In fact, Heath was so loose-lipped that the 2009 "Yes on One" campaign that overturned marriage equality in the state actively worked to keep him out of the loop, even though he, as the longtime leader of the Christian Civic League of Maine, had been the state's face of anti-LGBT politics for years. He and his more outspoken pals were considered a liability (something since confirmed to me by "pro-family" types in the know).

So yeah: Paul's LGBT supporters have some explaining to do. Or, more accurately: They should have some great questions of their own.

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