Mainstream Press Reports on Ron Paul’s Anti-Gay Screeds
Linked to Christian Reconstructionists (people who want to toss law as we know it and replace it with Old Testament-based codes of justice) and various conspiracy theorists, and the supposed author of newsletters that have insulted blacks, Jews, and others, evidence of 2008 hopeful Ron Paul’s anti-gay bias is coming to light in the press.
In an article published Jan. 8. The New Republic (www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=e2f15397-a3c7-4720-ac15-4532a7da84ca) examined an archive of newsletters seemingly published under Paul’s auspices, and though many articles do not bear a by-line (and the article said that Paul had distanced himself from some of the content of the newsletters), the question remains as to whether Paul knew much of what was being written in the newsletters.
The New Republic article states that the newsletters have been published under a variety of titles, more or less monthly since two years after Paul was initially elected to Congress in 1976, but most, if not all, of the titles have featured Ron Paul’s name, from the folksy Ron Paul’s Freedom Report to the frankly alarmist-sounding Ron Paul Survival Report.
The article offers a wealth of detail about the offhanded insults (and sometimes shocking vitriol) that the newsletters have dished out to minorities of various sorts over the years, and includes a section dedicated to what Paul’s newsletter had to say about gays.
The newsletter articles cited, and praised, Rep. William Dannemeyer, who had advocated quarantining people living with AIDS, saying of Dannemeyer that he had spoken "out fearlessly despite the organized power of the gay lobby."
Other articles attributed to Paul’s newsletters mocked the ACT-UP motto "Silence = Death," asking, "Shouldn’t it be ’Sodomy = Death’?" according to the new Republic, while another article claimed that gays had intentionally set out to "poison the blood supply" by tainting it with HIV.
While many conservatives and Christians see AIDS and homosexuality in terms of some sort of chosen "lifestyle," Paul’s newsletters evidently took this one step further and depicted AIDS as part of the gay life plan. The New Republic article included the following excerpt in its expose: "[Gay] men don’t really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners."
According to the New Republic, an article entitled "The Pink House?" lamented President Bush (senior, not junior) signing into law a hate crimes measure and then allowing "the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony," with "I miss the closet" appearing afterwards.
The New Republic quoted further from "The Pink House?," unearthing this gem: "Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities."
As retrograde as Paul’s newsletters might have been about such matters, it did allow that gays might be able to serve in uniform... under certain conditions, that is: "Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals," the New Republic quoted one article as saying.
The New Republic noted that Paul has commanded attention for being a "straight talker," which, in light of the quotations from Paul’s newsletters, brings a new sense of meaning to the word "straight."
However, as the New Republic article summed up in its final paragraphs, "Ron Paul is not going to be president. But, as his campaign has gathered steam, he has found himself increasingly permitted inside the boundaries of respectable debate."
Continued The New Republic, "From his newsletters, however, a different picture of Paul emerges--that of someone who is either himself deeply embittered or, for a long time, allowed others to write bitterly on his behalf."
Concluded the New Republic article, "Maybe such outbursts mean Ron Paul really is a straight-talker. Or maybe they just mean he is a man filled with hate."
Gay conservative columnist and writer Andrew Sullivan came to Paul’s defense in his Atlantic.com column The Daily Dish (andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/01/ron-paul-expose.html ), saying, "Paul needs to say not only that he did not pen these excrescences, he needs to explain how his name was on them and disown them completely."
Continued Sullivan, "I’ve supported Paul for what I believe are honorable reasons: his brave resistance to the enforced uniformity of opinion on the Iraq war, his defense of limited constitutional government, his libertarianism, his sincerity."
Added Sullivan, "If there is some other agenda lurking beneath all this, we deserve to know. It’s up to Ron Paul now to clearly explain and disown these ugly, vile, despicable tracts from the past."
As part of his defense of Paul, Sullivan zeroed in on a passage from the New Republic article in which doubt was cast on how much of Paul’s own thinking went into the newsletter articles. A spokesperson for Paul was quoted as saying that Ron Paul had expressed "various levels of approval" to the articles in his newsletters. In some instances, the spokesman said, that meant "no approval," whereas in other cases, Paul "Actually wrote it himself."
As to what the spokesperson called "the incendiary stuff," the claim was that "A lot of [the articles appearing in the newsletters] he did not see."