Apparently LGBT people shouldn’t get wet, be exposed to bright light, or eat after midnight — after all, we’re gremlins, at least in the opinion of a South Carolina congressional candidate.
For those not familiar with the 1984 movie Gremlins, those are the factors that turned cuddly little creatures into destructive monsters, and Republican candidate Anthony Culler made a reference to the film in an antigay Facebook diatribe he posted last week and followed up with a Facebook video yesterday, in a strategy that has proved off-putting even to the state's Republican Party.
“If you believe in traditional families and that marriage is defined as an institution between one man and one woman then I ask that you start acting like it and START VOTING like it!” Culler said in the original post October 14. “Do not buy the ‘cuteness’ and ‘What will it hurt?’ arguments whispered in your ears and marketed to our children. Same-sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are NOT cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life.”
Culler, who also called same-sex marriage “a pestilence,” is challenging gay-friendly, pro-marriage equality incumbent Jim Clyburn, the only Democrat in the South Carolina congressional delegation, for the House seat from the Sixth District, which includes the state capital, Columbia. Culler narrowly won the Republican primary to become the party’s nominee.
In the video, which was posted Monday but now appears to be inaccessible (see post below), Culler returned to the Gremlins metaphor, saying the nation is having “the worst gremlin outbreak we’ve seen in 30 years.” He continued, “I made a comment that same-sex couples that want to destroy traditional marriage and our way of life, they’re gremlins. They’re these creatures that are so destructive.”
He noted that some people refer to the heavily African-American Sixth District as “the black district,” but said, “I’ve got another description for this district, it’s a Christian district. … No matter how many gremlins there are across this country, we here in the Sixth District will stand against it.” In another Facebook post, Culler says he was called by God to the district a year ago.
The South Carolina Republican Party has not been aiding Culler’s congressional bid because limited funds forced it to focus on just a few races, and now he has no chance of getting active support from the party, party chairman Matt Moore told Columbia newspaper The State in a story published today.
“Most people learned in kindergarten not to call other people names,” Moore said. “Our party believes in the conservative definition of marriage, but we also believe in loving our neighbors and treating them with respect. Mr. Culler’s desperate attention seeking in no way represents the good, decent South Carolinians across our state.”