Gary Glenn, president of the Michigan chapter of the antigay American Family Association, is seeking the Republican nomination to run against Democratic U.S. senator Debbie Stabenow in 2012.
Glenn made his announcement Tuesday, noting that under federal election law, he had to formally declare his candidacy because he has raised more than $5,000 and launched a campaign website.
He has a long history of antigay stances, having called homosexuality a disorder with "severe medical consequences" and fought policies designed to protect students from antigay bullying. He coauthored Michigan's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, has characterized the AFA as a hate group because of its antigay activism.
Glenn will likely have an uphill battle to win the Senate nomination; the favorite in the race is well-known former congressman Pete Hoekstra. Although Hoekstra is a conservative Republican, the press release announcing Glenn's candidacy denounces the former House member as a Washington big spender. Meanwhile, Glenn says that Stabenow and President Obama are out to "rob our children of their birthright of freedom and turn our country into the United Socialist States of America."
Stabenow, who is in her second term as a senator from Michigan after two terms in the House, received a 92% favorable rating from the Human Rights Campaign in its most recent congressional scorecard.
A visit to Glenn's campaign website turned up a bit of a twist this morning; a feature encouraging supporters to "like" Glenn on Facebook included a screen shot of his Facebook page, on which had been posted an article from liberal site ThinkProgress.org headlined "Anti-Gay Extremist Will Pursue Michigan Senate Seat." Apparently Glenn takes this as a compliment -- the Facebook comments indicate that Glenn or his staff, not an opponent, posted the story. A comment by Glenn calls ThinkProgress.org "a hard left website" and says, "Sometimes, it helps people know who you are if they know who's against you."