Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul’s gay-friendly image is taking another hit with the revelation of his endorsement by a minister who advocates the death penalty for homosexuality.
Paul’s campaign chairman for Iowa, which has an early voice in the nominating process with next Tuesday’s caucus, put out a statement yesterday touting the endorsement of the Reverend Phillip Kayser, pastor of Dominion Covenant Church in Omaha, Neb., just across the border from Iowa. Talking Points Memo reports that a paper Kayser wrote a few years ago claims the Bible justifies capital punishment for gay people.
“Difficulty in implementing Biblical law does not make non-Biblical penology just,” he wrote. “But as we have seen, while many homosexuals would be executed, the threat of capital punishment can be restorative,” leading gays to “repent.”
TPM interviewed Kayser by phone, and he confirmed his support for biblical punishments for homosexuality, up to and including the death penalty. He noted that he has differences with the candidate on gay issues — Paul, a member of Congress, voted to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” — but he believes Paul, as president, would allow states leeway to enact laws based on the Bible. “Under a Ron Paul presidency, states would be freed up to not have political correctness imposed on them, but obviously some state would follow what’s politically correct,” Kayser said.
The Paul campaign website had posted a press release on Kayser’s endorsement, but by Wednesday evening it had been taken off the site. Paul and his staff have made no further public statement on the matter.
Paul’s libertarian-leaning image has been undermined in the past week, with various news outlets reporting on racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic statements (which he claims not to have made) in newsletters published under his name, and revelations of incidents indicating discomfort with gay people.
Since Iowa State has a thriving homosexual community, I asked how gays fit into Paul’s philosophy of freedom. The congressman cringed at the question and shook his head in frustration.
“You know I just, I don’t think of people in little groups like that. I don’t think of people as ‘gay’ here and ‘black people’ there, or ‘women’ over here…Everybody is an individual person and everybody has the same rights as anyone else. The government has no business in your private life, you know, so if one person is allowed to do something so should everyone else. The whole gay marriage issue is a private affair and the federal government has no say.”
With the recent death of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I suggested to Congressman Paul that the issue isn’t likely to go away any time soon, and asked how he would address gays in the military as president.
“Well, like I said, everybody has the same rights as everybody else, so homosexuals in the military isn’t a problem. It’s only if they’re doing things they shouldn’t be, if they’re disruptive. But there’s … men and women getting into trouble with each other too. And there’s a lot more heterosexuals in the military, so logically they’re causing more trouble than gays. So yes, you just have the same rules for everybody and treat them all the same.” Paul voted for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
This has got to be one of the mostunexpected endorsements of the season.
Grammy award-winning musician Barry Manilow told The Daily Caller that he agrees with “just about everything” 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul says, calling him a “solid” contender for the highest office in the land. “I like him. I like what he says, I do. I like what he says. I think he’s solid,” said Manilow, who confirmed to TheDC in an interview at the Capitol on Thursday that he contributed to Paul’s last campaign for president. “I agree with just about everything he says. What can I tell you?” Manilow added.
Manilow’s latest album debuted in Billboard’s top ten, peaking at #7 in June. He has never officially come out, but has supported HIV/AIDS charities.
Five GOP Candidates Would Reinstate “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”
– RICK SANTORUM: The military is “not for social experimentation.” Commanders should have a “system of discipline in place that punishes ‘bad behavior,’” he stressed.
– TIM PAWLENTY: Despite being the first presidential nominee to argue that he would bring back the policy and even go after the Congressional funding to implement repeal, Pawlenty stressed that he would listen to the commanders on the ground. “We’re in a nation in two wars. I think we need to pay deference to our military commanders, particularly our combatant commanders,” he said.
– MITT ROMNEY: “I believe it should have been kept in place until conflict was over.”
– NEWT GINGRICH: Even though the Pentagon’s comprehensive survey of the military attitudes found that 70 percent of service membersresponded they would be able to “work together to get the job done” with a gay service member in their immediate units, Gingrich managed to conclude that “the Army and the Marines overwhelmingly opposed changing [the policy].” He added that he would reinstate the policy, if asked to do so by the military.
– MICHELE BACHMANN: “I would keep the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy”.
Only Ron Paul and Hermain Cain argued that they would not overturn the repeal.
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