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2020 Democratic Candidates Distance Themselves From Homophobic Pastor


All officials responded to The Advocate when asked to about their connections to the pastor. 

UPDATE (Aug. 7th, 2019): A spokesperson for Sen. Kamala Harris responded to requests from The Advocate about her meeting with Rev. Robert E. Fowler Sr., stating: "She does not share his views."

"Senator Harris' support and advocacy for LGBTQ equality has been unwavering throughout her career and will continue when elected President."

A campaign statement from Sen. Bernie Sanders' team also distances the candidate from the pastor.

"Senator Sanders has the longest history of any candidate fighting for LGBTQ+ equality and equal rights for all. Senator Sanders believes we must end discrimination in all forms and does not share these views."


Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker distanced himself from the anti-LGBTQ preaching of a church where he attended a service.

The move comes after the New Jersey senator attended a service at Las Vegas' Victory Missionary Baptist Church, led by Rev. Robert E. Fowler Sr., who has said homosexual acts were "enough to send you to hell."

"Cory does not share these views," reads a campaign statement provided to The Advocate.

"Throughout his career, Cory has been a consistent fighter for the rights of LGBTQ people and even refused to officiate weddings as Newark mayor until same-sex couples were granted the same rights as everyone."

"He'll keep fighting to end discrimination as president," he continued.

The Mercury Newson Monday reported Booker attended services at the church this weekend, as did fellow candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris. Earlier this month, candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also held a town hall at the church.

Fowler has preached for years that homosexuality is a sin, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which ran a column in 2017 criticizing local Democratic pols for worshiping with the pastor.

And in a 2013 interview with Nevada Public Radio, Fowler said, "whether you commit adultery, whether you commit fornication, whether you're a child molester, you gossip, you lie, you cheat on your taxes, you don't pay your tithes, things of that nature -- all of that is wrapped together as sin, along with homosexuality."

"And so at our church, we don't believe that there's any one sin that's greater than anything else," he continued.

Neither Harris not Sanders have yet responded to requests from The Advocate about Fowler's controversial statements. However, all candidates have long-standing histories supporting LGBTQ people in their policies.

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