Hey GOP! It’s Time to Stop Pandering to Anti-LGBT Extremists

Two conservative anti-gay pundits this week agreed that the violence Russia’s gay population is currently facing is “the natural way people react to homosexuality.” So why isn’t the GOP speaking out about this kind of rhetoric?

Brian Camenker of the designated hate group MassResistance sat down with Mission America’s notoriously anti-gay Linda Harvey to discuss Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law and gay rights groups’ plans to demonstrate at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Harvey, at first seeming keen to engage in a bit of denial, asked Camenker whether gays were just making up stories about violence Russia’s LGBT population is currently facing. Camenker didn’t take that bait. Instead, he had something worse in store. Gay people, he contends, are instead provoking these attacks.

Via Right Wing Watch, emphasis mine:

Harvey: They’re maintaining that people that are homosexual, who in anyway display that they are homosexual in Russia are beat up by gangs, do you have any documentation that that is actually happening or that it is actually happening and is not being punished as it ought to be or is just hype by them?

Camenker: Well, it’s hard to say. I would say that a lot of it is probably true. The natural way people react to homosexuality — outside of all the diversity training —  is a certain amount of revulsion. So if two men start kissing in the public street, you can expect a certain reaction from people.

Harvey: From certain levels of people, thugs and the people inclined to violence anyway, right?


Camenker: And the other thing is, and it even is true here, if you’re going to do something that most of the population considers bad or immoral or disgusting in public, you’re going to get a certain reaction. I think that they push that as far as they can and sometimes you just can’t do it.

Harvey: Right. There’s some provocation going on. Not justifying violence in any way for all of these people listening and wanting to spin this the way they will want to do.

In the interests of not wanting to have appeared to “spin” this, the above is verbatim but it is truncated to exclude Camenker’s waffle regarding gay people in the United States. Right Wing Watch has more excerpts from the show, which are just brimming with idiocy, for instance that you don’t get many gay athletes because of the mental state homosexuals are in, and more bleating about how the Russian propaganda law is a “good” law that “protects” kids.

We might consider Harvey and Camenker to be on the fringe of anti-LGBT religious conservative extremism, but when the Republican Party is readily mining for support among the likes of Harvey’s listenres, we quickly see that opinions like these aren’t being given the short shrift they deserve.

While at the recent ultra conservative Value Voters summit, for instance, very few active politicians attending, including Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), mentioned LGBT rights, but they did amp up the Christian persecution myth which directly feeds this kind of rhetoric while also sharing the stage with former politicians and media personalities who are blatant about shaping Republican and, in particular, Tea Party politics with disgusting victim blaming and outright lies about LGBTs.

For instance, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee decried California’s groundbreaking trans student rights law, implying it would be used by male students to ogle female students in the school showers. Former Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), now of the noted anti-gay Heritage Foundation, opined that no one has the right to “redefine” marriage while adding that the issue should be decided by the people and the church — apparently, he didn’t see the irony.

All this was positively tame compared to some though, including Fox News contributor Sandy Rios claiming that being gay shortens a man’s lifespan (it doesn’t) and that children are now being exposed to “an absolute ocean of propaganda on the homosexual issue.”

Regrettably, even that pales to recent comments made by Todd Kincannon, a former South Carolina GOP executive, who recently took to Twitter to say “There are people who respect transgender rights. And there are people who think you should all be put in a camp. That’s me.”

He didn’t stop there. Over the course of several dozen tweets, he used incredibly offensive slurs: “I have plenty of compassion for trannies. They should all be locked up in mental institutions and their care paid for by the state,” and worse, calling trans women “dickchicks.”

The GOP as a whole has remained silent about these comments despite Kincannon still being enormously influential among Republican ranks. While he might have a right to say whatever he wants, the GOP can still decry such blatantly offensive and dehumanizing sentiments. But it won’t, and that’s a massive problem.

Examples of Tea Party extremism are abundant, not just on gay rights but women’s rights and immigration, and yet lawmakers like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio appear willfully blind to how damaging this rhetoric is and will regularly share a stage, a talk-show couch or a radio microphone with said extremists.

What is needed is for Republicans to firmly renounce this kind of rhetoric because, as the lines blur further between true political differences and extremism, silence is no longer an option and the longer this is allowed to continue the more difficult it will be to clear this hateful infestation of public discourse.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.


Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se4 years ago


Lauren Berrizbeitia

Well if I had to watch Camenker and Harvey making out in public I might feel disgusted but I promise not to beat them up, harass them, or yell insulting slurs at them. I just will look away. Get over it!

Margaret Goodman
Margaret Goodman4 years ago

The Constitution of the United States is wonderful for an 18th century document, but it has some gaps. It seems to me that the Constitution does not guarantee equal rights for women and does not guarantee the right to vote. Is that why the Tea Party seems to be anti-woman and pro-voter suppression?

What is Civic Responsibility? Does this include shouting down opponents at public meetings? Does it mean promoting the general welfare?

Reducing government sounds fine, but the more people you have, the more complex the society, the more government you need. You don't need the FDA if you personally know who produces your food and how.

Believe in the People also sounds good, but how come the Tea Party can not accept that the People elected Obama twice?

What are the Pitfalls of Politics? I think they are the corporations and the rich buying the government.

Margaret Goodman
Margaret Goodman4 years ago

Freddy R. gave the platform of the Tea Party, and it does sound reasonable.

1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes
2. Eliminate the National Debt
3. Eliminate Deficit Spending
4. Protect Free Markets
5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States
6. Promote Civic Responsibility
7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government
8. Believe in the People
9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics

What are excess taxes? Is there such a thing as inadequate taxes, say for the rich people and corporations?

What is the best way to eliminate deficits and the national debt? Is it by eliminating government services to the needy or by cutting the military budget or ...?

How are free markets protected? Is it by eliminating all constrants on capitalism or by ensuring a level honest playing field?

to be continued

Margaret Goodman
Margaret Goodman4 years ago

It's been my experience that children hate the idea of their parents being sexual beings. So, if the parents show more affection towards each other than the children find acceptable, then is it understandable that the children get violent or murderous toward their parents?


Karen Chestney
Karen Chestney4 years ago

Thanks.......After reading this article the only thing I can think of to say is ...We need to Vote them out of office. The teabaggers & GOP---RWNJs need to go. Vote....&...VOTE DEM.

Adam Costello
.4 years ago

@ Freddy R - Really! That's the Tea Party's Platform because from all the way over here in Australia I could have sworn their platform was
1. Persecute women
2. Persecute LGBT's
3. Persecute immigrant's
4. Persecute non-christians
5. Persecute science(while still hypocritically living with the benefits like the science of medicine)
6. Throw tantrum and shut down government if we don't get our way

Admittedly as a non-American not living in America there might be some subtle aspect about them that I have missed but I can only judge them on what they have done and are currently doing - propaganda rhetoric doesn't work when you are not even trying to do what you claim you're about

Ben B.
Ben B4 years ago

Harvey: "Right. There’s some provocation going on."

Oh, so going quietly about your business, not hurting anyone else, and showing the slightest form of affection like holding hands in public, is a provocation....? So its LGBT people's fault that they are bashed, like its a woman's fault for being raped? So just shift the blame for a crime from the perpetrator to the victim?

Why is the GOP listening to such clowns and allowing themselves to be influenced by them when they formulate their policies on LGBT rights?

Ah yes, I forgot, such "pundits" shape public opinion and the public are potential voters....

Ken W.
Ken W4 years ago

The GOP is working against America it is EVIL it works for the 1% and are Koch Whores !!!

Carla van der Meer

When will the GOP stand up to their extremist factions? I've seen so many interviews lately where they complain loudly, but no one does anything. The tea party had got to go. They are obnoxious and they are dangerous.