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Indiana GOP Candidate Will Date Us But Won't Vote to Protect Us

Indiana GOP Candidate Will Date Us But Won't Vote to Protect Us


A Goshen City Council candidate says he has done a 'little experimentation' on a gay dating site but still opposes adding LGBT protections to municipal law.

UPDATE: Brent Randall lost to his democratic opponent, Adam Scharf, 66 percent to 34 percent.

A Republican running for City Council in Goshen, Ind., has confirmed a report that he has a profile on and used it to connect with gay men -- but he opposes LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination protections just the same.

"I don't know why they feel they need special protections when there are other categories that might need protections, Brent Randall, 53, told The Goshen News. My little experimentation over the last six years hasn't changed my view on that."

The city of 32,000 this year turned back an attempt to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the municipal nondiscrimination ordinance, and at a recent candidates' forum, Randall and other Republicans said they felt such an amendment wasn't needed. Randall contends LGBT people are already protected from discrimination.

Randall is well-known locally, as he is the head coach of Goshen High's golf team and the radio voice of the high school football and basketball teams. He also works at a local Ford dealership.

In a development that may surprise many, Randall's opponent and the candidate's his fellow Republicans are brushing aside the report as a nonissue.

"He is the same person today as he was yesterday and is the right person to serve on City Council representing District 5," Goshen Republican mayoral candidate Mary Cripe told the News.She continued:

"We are deeply saddened to see someone's private personal life be exposed, by no choice of his own, for what can only appear to be political motivations. His entire life is turned upside down. Our only hope is that this is not some type of political tactic by the opposing party, as we all signed the Fair Campaign Pledge."

Democrat Adam Scarf, Randall's opponent, who supports LGBT protections, also cited the pledge in his comments to the News. He told the paper more important issues must come first. "I and Brent both signed a campaign pledge that committed us to keeping the discussion in the public realm of relevant issues to the City Council, and both of us have done that and will continue to do that," said Scarf.

Randall had been married to a woman 22 years until 2009, the News notes. "My life has changed a lot over the last six years since my divorce," Randall said. "I don't even know if I consider myself bisexual or not. I just experimented a little since I was single again."

As to why he'd run for office knowing his dating profile might be discovered, Randall said:

"I really didn't think it would come out. ... It's a bridge I really didn't want to cross. The other side of that is I've been dating women too. It's just something I've opened myself up for."

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