While many right-wing politicians have tried to underplay their antigay ideology in this election cycle, preferring to emphasize economic issues, there are still plenty of candidates who oppose basic rights for LGBT citizens. To them, allowing gay people to marry their partners or serve openly in the military will do more damage to civilization than, well, anything else they can think of.
Here we present 10 of the most extreme antigay candidates seeking election or reelection to Congress, either the House or the Senate, in 2012. All but one, Mark Clayton of Tennessee, are Republicans.
The title of queen (so to speak) of the antigay congressional candidates has to go to Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Having failed in her presidential bid, she is seeking her fourth term in the House, representing a district in the suburbs of Minneapolis–St. Paul. She has described being gay as “bondage” and “part of Satan,” and her husband Marcus’s counseling clinics offer so-called reparative therapy, a widely discredited practice aimed at turning gay people straight (the Bachmanns have denied the clinics provide this type of therapy, but undercover investigations indicate they do). And as Minnesotans vote this November on whether to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, remember it was Michele who first proposed the idea, as a member of the state legislature in 2004. Without the amendment, she said at the time, “sex curriculum would essentially be taught by the gay community” and “little K-12 children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural, and perhaps they should try it.” She has even claimed that the high rate of suicide among gay teens is due simply to being gay, not to bullying or discrimination. All this despite having a lesbian stepsister.