By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com December 29 2011 12:10 AM ET
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul’s gay-friendly image is taking another hit with the revelation of his endorsement by a minister who advocates the death penalty for homosexuality.
Paul’s campaign chairman for Iowa, which has an early voice in the nominating process with next Tuesday’s caucus, put out a statement yesterday touting the endorsement of the Reverend Phillip Kayser, pastor of Dominion Covenant Church in Omaha, Neb., just across the border from Iowa. Talking Points Memo reports that a paper Kayser wrote a few years ago claims the Bible justifies capital punishment for gay people.
“Difficulty in implementing Biblical law does not make non-Biblical penology just,” he wrote. “But as we have seen, while many homosexuals would be executed, the threat of capital punishment can be restorative,” leading gays to “repent.”
TPM interviewed Kayser by phone, and he confirmed his support for biblical punishments for homosexuality, up to and including the death penalty. He noted that he has differences with the candidate on gay issues — Paul, a member of Congress, voted to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” — but he believes Paul, as president, would allow states leeway to enact laws based on the Bible. “Under a Ron Paul presidency, states would be freed up to not have political correctness imposed on them, but obviously some state would follow what’s politically correct,” Kayser said.
The Paul campaign website had posted a press release on Kayser’s endorsement, but by Wednesday evening it had been taken off the site. Paul and his staff have made no further public statement on the matter.
Paul’s libertarian-leaning image has been undermined in the past week, with various news outlets reporting on racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic statements (which he claims not to have made) in newsletters published under his name, and revelations of incidents indicating discomfort with gay people.