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Are Democrats Gay-Baiting in Virginia?

Are Democrats Gay-Baiting in Virginia?

A gay Republican candidate in Virginia is accusing his Democrat opponent of ‘gay baiting.’

Just before the November Virginia elections, a campaign mailer has been distributed in Fairfax County calling Republican Senate candidate Patrick Forrest “openly homosexual,” says the Washington Post, and saying that he’s endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

“A liberal Republican like Patrick Forrest is a greater threat to the conservative agenda than a Democrat will ever be,’’ it said.

Previously, Forrest has accused supporters of Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) of using his open homosexuality to recuit conservatives.

In October, the Washington Blade obtained audio of a drunk Howell volunteer saying, “Why would you want to vote for someone who’s a homosexual and is going to push his agenda in your schools?”

“I’ve been approached by several people … very, very conservative — and had basically said to me, ‘You know, we heard you’re a homosexual,’” Forrest said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’m gay. I’ve always been openly gay.’ Well, we were actually told by … volunteers from the Democrats that you would be promoting the homosexual agenda in our schools.’”

Forrest’s assertion is supported by a recording of a conversation a Forrest field director, and a Howell precinct captain.

The precinct captain is asked about rumors that the campaign is approaching Republican voters and highlighting Forrest’s sexual orientation in order to dissuade them from supporting him. She confirms that they are and attempts to justify the tactic throughout the recording by alleging that Republican voters are racist and homophobic and would want to know Forrest is gay.

Howell — who has been strongly pro-gay in the Virginia General Assembly — has insisted that the tactics aren’t coming from her campaign, saying on Saturday:

“It’s disgusting and despicable. It’s not the way campaigns should be run.”

But Forrest claims he also spoke to two members of the Virginia Legislature — State Sen. Mark Obenshain and Del. Barbara Comstock — who asserted Howell informed them of his sexual orientation. Forrest said the lawmakers told him Howell said “this guy is a homosexual” and “you should not be supporting him.”

Obenshain told the Washington Blade that Howell said Republicans were “running a RINO” (Republican-In-Name-Only) in the district.

“I was frankly shocked that a liberal member of the Virginia State Senate who is so powerful and on the Budget Committee would resort to these types of tactics, but she has, and that’s what she’s chosen to do,” Forrest said.

“I’m deeply offended that Patrick Forrest would lie like this,” Howell said.

The last minute mailers are from Our Heritage USA in Lynchburg, but no such group exists at the address given.

Offical Democrat mailers accused Forrest of ‘standing with the tea party, not our kids’ for wanting to cut education funding.

If Forrest wins, he’ll be the only openly gay Republican state legislator in America. He supports banning employment discrimination for Virginia state employees, marriage equality and repealing the state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Related stories:

Virginia Board of Juvenile Justice Bans Anti-Gay Discrimination

New Group to “Save Babies” Really Just To Elect Republicans In Virginia

First GOP in ‘It Gets Better’ Video

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Photos Senator Janet Howell, Forrest for Senate

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26 comments

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12:24AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

If all politicians would embrace Equality for All, then it wouldn't matter who one's opponent is, and what that opponent does in the bedroom. And there's never been a greater need for gently educating pre-schoolers on up that it's okay to have two mommies or two daddies who love their children, just as a mom and dad love their own, and that not all children are born to be heterosexual. Children are exposed to so many more things, now, and at much earlier ages. Just as we need to explain delicately that some children worship differently and have a different culture, we also need to defuse the fear of knowing another child is different, or has a different kind of parenting system at home.

8:59PM PST on Nov 8, 2011

Leave it to a Republican !!! Don't blame being gay on your inabilities .. geez!

7:49PM PST on Nov 8, 2011

A class in RESPECT AND RESPONSIBILITY should be taught from Grade one to graduation, children should be taught that anything is permissible as long as it does not hurt themselves or anybody else. Common sense would dictate that if children are taught at a very early age that every child has their own strengths and weaknesses and that they should use their strengths to help not tease or bully others.
Later on Sex Education should be taught from Contraceptives, Masturbation,LGBT and all forms of sex. Let us face it whether we like it or not children are curious and are having sex earlier and earlier. They should be taught the joys and the consequences of having sex ( Pregnancy,STD, AIDS ) But you say when will this be taught. Cut out Geography or History early on then put it back in and remove Geometry and Algebra. They can learn this in college if need be. I believe this is a solution. Nipping it in the Bud so that Bullying, Sexual Assault, and many others will be greatly diminished if not eradicated. It is my belief that when children graduate with these principals where they are taught RESPECT for themselves and others and to take RESPONSIBILITY for their actions. Within a few generations this world would be a much better place to live in.

3:10PM PST on Nov 8, 2011

Just goes to show the party is not necessarily indicative of moral fiber.

10:42AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

This comes as no surprise. Democrats, Republicans, no difference. They are both corporate owned, corporate operated, pro- free market capitalism, pro-war, pro-globalization, pro-industrialization, pro-exploitation, pro-consumerism, pro- fossil fuel consumption, etc., etc. Their economic and political policies are killing this planet and will be the death of our species. In fact, they are so much alike that one wonders why we bother focusing so much on how they differ. The sad reality is that the two party system is a sham pulled over the American people's eyes.

10:33AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

This comes as no surprise. Democrats, Republicans, no difference. They are both corporate owned, corporate operated, pro- free market capitalism, pro-war, pro-globalization, pro-industrialization, pro-exploitation, pro-consumerism, pro- fossil fuel consumption, etc., etc. Their economic and political policies are killing this planet and will be the death of our species. In fact, they are so much alike that one wonders why we bother focusing so much on how they differ. The sad reality is that the two party system is a sham pulled over the American people's eyes.

10:16AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

Glen H, how can the gentleman be stirring the pot? He didn't make false acusations, he simply informed the electorate of democratic invective and oh how I hate that the dems said what they said and are dems. I really do. It sounds like Howell should be a tea partyer and Forrest should be a democrat.

10:03AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

Would be interesting to know his stand on other social and economic issues. It may be that his views interfere with the traditional democratic stand on issues like these and they feel so threatened by his canidacy they resorts to these tactics? BTW, I haven't had an agenda since I threw out my filofax!

9:50AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

This is where accountability in the election and political realm needs to have some ground rules that need to be administered and enforced comes into play. Candidates and elected officials who knowingly provide untrue or substantially misleading information must be chastised and/or removed from the election or from their office. The problem exists in both political parties and is one of the main reasons for the low approval rates of elected officials. Attack ads funded by unknown contributors need to be outlawed - period. If you want to denigrate a candidate or issue - you need to tell the public who is finding this campaign.

I'm hoping that the OWS incorporates some of these needed campaign reforms into their agenda as the plight of the "Middle Class" in America and the country we think we have hangs in the balance.

9:15AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

To any politicians reading this, remember these criteria most people in this country who aren't extremists or die-hard straight-ticket voters look for in their candidates:

1. Honorable, meaning the one that tells the most truths and does the least amount of mud-slinging.

2. Sticks with the issues, and not the ones you want us to pay attention to, but the ones we're sending you to Washington to pay attention to. Like this year, less abortion focusing and more job creation focusing.

3. Voting record, how you've been voting on the things that matter if you've been in office before.

4. How truthful you are about voting record, if you want to claim you're for gay rights and voted against the repeal of DADT, or for DOMA, voters will know with a simple internet search.

5. Extremism, or really, a lack thereof. People are tired of the divisiveness, this us vs them crap, of you calling half the country unAmerican simply because we don't think like you do. We are all Americans, no matter our beliefs, we are all going to sink like the friggin' Titanic if you don't grow up and learn to work together.

6. Who's holding your strings, if you have a C4PAC, you're obviously hiding something, like getting contributions from Focus on the Family or Wall St, and I personally, don't want to vote for someone that feels they have something to hide.

Remember these things. It'll help you in the long run.

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