Antigay Watch List: Why Do Voters Love Our Villains?
Michele Bachmann, U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota, 6th District
Michele Bachmann yet again eked out a win in her Minnesota district and returns to Congress with severely antigay views. With 100% of districts reporting, Bachmann had 50.6% of the vote in the sixth district, compared to 49.4% for Democratic challenger Jim Graves. Only 4,207 votes separated them.
The title of queen (so to speak) of the country's antigay congressional candidates had to go to Bachmann. The failed presidential candidate had 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. (Read More About The Race)
Steve King, U.S. House of Representatives, Iowa, 4th District
Ultraconservative and antigay Iowa congressman Steve King has been elected to a sixth term in the U.S. House, beating back a tough challenge from Christie Vilsack, the wife of former Iowa governor and current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. King faced a difficult reelection campaign after redistricting, but emerged the winner nonetheless.
King is one of the National Organization for Marriage's closest allies. He said he feared his state would become a “gay marriage mecca” after a 2009 state Supreme Court decision struck down barriers to legal marriage by same-sex couples. And yes, that's him with Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin, who he worked with in Congress to try and ban same-sex marriages on all military bases. More on Akin later. (Read More About The Race)
Janice Daniels, Mayor of Troy, Michigan
The mayor of Troy, who first landed in hot water for antigay comments made on Facebook, has been ousted by voters who were sick of her bumbling.
Before Janice Daniels was elected mayor, she made headlines by responding to New York State enacting marriage equality in June by saying on Facebook, "I think I'm going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there." Then once in office, during a discussion at Troy High School about establishing a bullying and suicide prevention forum, Mayor Daniels said she wanted to invite "a panel of psychologists who would testify that homosexuality is a mental disease," according to one of the leaders of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance that was organizing the event.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the recall passed by 52% to 48% — and that Daniels blames the media for her defeat.
Allen West, U.S. House of Representatives, Florida, 18th District
RESULTS: Too Close To Call
It's still not for certain that Tea Party favorite Allen West has been voted out of office, but his LGBT-supportive opponent is claiming victory. With 100% of precincts reporting, Patrick Murphy leads West, 50.4% to 49.6%. Separating them are only 2,456 votes. West is demanding a recount.
West is running for a second term and is known for his outlandish statements. He once said that people don’t get fired for being gay, so antidiscrimination laws are unnecessary. (Read More About The Race)
Virginia Foxx, U.S. House of Representatives, North Carolina, 5th District
Antigay Republican Virginia Foxx has won a fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina, defeating Democrat Elisabeth Motsinger.
Most of America met Virginia Foxx in 2009 during the debate over the expansion of the federal hate-crimes law. “The hate-crimes bill that’s called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. … It’s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.” The bill passed despite her unfortunate statement, expanding the federal definition of hate crimes to cover those based on sexual orientation or gender identity, allowing greater resources for investigation, prosecution, and prevention of such crimes.
Marsha Blackburn, U.S. House of Representatives, Tennessee, 7th District
Antigay congresswoman Marsha Blackburn has been reelected from Tennessee's seventh district, defeating two challengers, Scott Beasley and Pat Riley.
Blackburn, a Republican, was one of 39 members of Congress who attempted to overturn marriage equality in Washington, D.C. And Blackburn cochaired the committee that drafted this year’s national Republican platform, considered the most antigay in history. (Read More About The Race)
Todd Akin, U.S. Senate, Missouri
Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill has defeated antigay Republican Todd Akin for U.S. Senate from Missouri. Akin, a U.S. House member seeking to move up to the Senate, became infamous this year with his remark about women’s bodies being able to prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape,” but his antigay rhetoric is just as mind-boggling. He said expansion of the federal hate-crimes law would actually “increase hatred,” and he referred to repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” as “an eclipse of reason.” (Read More About The Race)
Tom McClintock, U.S. House of Representatives, California, 4th District
Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008, Tom McClintock was reelected Tuesday. His returns one of the more antigay politicians to Congress. He still takes an interest in California legislation; on his campaign website he has promoted the effort to repeal a California law mandating the inclusion of LGBT people and accomplishments in public school curricula. The law, he said, represents “a gross overreach by the state Legislature to usurp the parental rights of Californians” and “exposes young children to curriculums and textbooks promoting objectionable lifestyles.” (Read More About The Race)
Linda Lingle, U.S. Senate, Hawaii
Mazie Hirono, an LGBT-friendly U.S. representative from Hawaii, will move up to the Senate with her victory over Linda Lingle, who as the state's governor had vetoed civil unions legislation. In a recent debate, Democrat Hirono took Republican Lingle to task for her veto, which she made in front of LGBT activists she had called to witness it. They had expected her to sign it. (Read More About The Race)
George Allen, U.S. Senate, Virginia
Former Virginia governor Tim Kaine, a Democrat, has defeated Republican George Allen in the race for a U.S. Senate seat from the state. Allen, who was a former senator from the state, lost his reelection bid in 2006 after being caught on tape using a derogatory racial term. He has a record of opposing marriage equality and, in a flip-flop, LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes laws. His website also noted that he “does not support same-sex couples adopting children” and thinks the Defense of Marriage Act “does not fully protect the institution of marriage,” so he supported an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to keep gay couples out.
Mark Clayton, U.S. Senate, Tennessee
Republican Bob Corker, as expected, easily defeated antigay gadfly Democrat Mark Clayton in the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee. While Corker, an incumbent, is no friend to LGBTs, with a 0 rating from the Human Rights Campaign, Clayton, who was disowned by his party after a surprise primary win, was perhaps even worse on our issues.
The party declined to support Clayton because of his volunteer work with Public Advocate, an antigay organization designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And The Washington Post, which had dubbed Clayton “2012’s Worst Candidate,” notes that his “policy ideas set him apart from many other Democrats: He is unusual in opposing abortion rights and same-sex marriage, but he’s downright exceptional in saying that the Transportation Security Administration ‘mandates [transsexuals] and homosexuals grabbing children in their stranger-danger zones.’”
Roy Moore, Alabama Chief Justice
After being fired in 2003, Roy Moore handily won reelection on Tuesday as Alabama's most powerful judge. Moore bested two other opponents and received more than 50% of the vote. Since he was removed from his position nine years ago after refusing federal orders to take down his a monument to the Ten Commandments, Moore hasn't had a change of heart about the separation of church and state. His victory party on Tuesday featured a cake shaped like the tablets of the Ten Commandments, the Los Angeles Times reports. Moore also has no qualms about airing his biases of LGBT people. While campaigning earlier this month, he told a crowd of Tea Party supporters that "same-sex marriage will lead to the ultimate destruction of our country." (Read More About The Race)