If nothing else, this election season has proved that there is no limit to the number of times that candidates can publicly embarrass themselves. Ken Buck, the Republican candidate for Colorado’s Senate seat, is in the news again after the revelation that, as district attorney for Weld County, he told a rape victim that she had “buyer’s remorse.” This time, during a debate with Democratic opponent Michael Bennet, Buck told Meet the Press host David Gregory that being gay was a lifestyle choice – and that sometimes, as with alcoholism, those poor gay people have something of a genetic predisposition that can ultimately be overcome.
“You can choose who your partner is. I think birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice,” Buck said.
The really troubling part is that Buck stood by his words a day later, although he tried, somewhat clumsily, to modify his responses in the question-and-answer session after the debate. “What I’m saying is, is a gay lifestyle a choice? I said I thought there was some element of predisposition and I thought there was some element of choice there. I’m not a biologist, and I haven’t studied the issue, but that’s my feeling on the issue,” he explained – in other words, yes, he thinks being gay is a choice, but he also has a vague inkling that maybe that isn’t a super politically correct thing to say? Just maybe?
He then went on to clarify that being gay is not a disease, but that it doesn’t really matter, because Colorado voters are not interested in whether being gay is a “choice or whatever.” As always, his eloquence is breathtaking.
Buck supports the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, yet another strike against his roster of problematic campaign platforms. Most public surveys show that Buck is leading Bennet by a single digit, so you know what this means, Colorado residents – make sure you get out on election day and vote.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.