One of the Republicans seeking to replace Georgia congressman Paul Broun has asserted that gay people have “a secret plot to recruit and sodomize children” and has equated same-sex relationships with bestiality and incest, Mother Jones reports.
The candidate, minister and talk-radio host Jody Hice, made statements to that effect in his 2012 book It’s Now or Never: A Call to Reclaim America. In Tuesday’s Georgia primary, Hice and trucking company executive Michael Collins virtually tied with about one-third of the votes each in the race for the Republican nomination in the 10th Congressional District, meaning there will be a runoff July 22.
“With his book, Hice checks virtually every box of the social conservative job application,” notes Mother Jones. Among his statements: He says police arresting antigay demonstrators are “Gestapo-like”; he claims homosexuality causes depression and shortens life spans; he contends that love is not a sufficient basis for marriage (at least same-sex marriages); and he says antigay Christians are persecuted.
The topper, though, is that Hice quotes liberally from a 1987 essay by a gay writer named Michael Swift, including this passage: “We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.”
Hice comments, “These shocking words by Michael Swift have been considered part of the ‘gay manifesto’ by many, and reveal the radical agenda that is currently threatening our nation.” The candidate, however, apparently does not realize the entire piece was satirical. Swift originally published it in Gay Community News with this disclaimer: “This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.”
In his book Hice also asserts that Islam “does not deserve First Amendment protection” and that legal abortion is worse than the Nazi Holocaust.
Hice first ran for Congress in another Georgia district in 2010, losing in a runoff. In that campaign he advertised with billboards asking, “Had Enough of Obama’s Change?” with the C in Change depicted as a hammer and sickle, the symbol of the Soviet Union. “I believe that we're in trouble as a nation,” he told the Athens Banner-Herald at the time. “We’re facing a president and policies that endanger our future, endanger our America. There’s no question it’s socialist at the base.”
The winner of the runoff between Hice and Collins (the latter described by local media as a more soft-spoken, establishment Republican) will face Democrat Ken Dious, an attorney from Athens, in November. The district is heavily Republican, so whoever wins the runoff will likely be the next representative. Broun, himself an ultraconservative Republican, vacated the seat to run for U.S. Senate but lost his primary Tuesday.