While Ron Paul’s personal beliefs about gays are hard to discern, his strategy in Iowa has been to make the most of anti-gay sentiment there. All last week, I pointed out the work of Mike Heath, Paul’s Iowa state director, to bring in Christian conservatives to the Paul fold. On Friday, I interviewed Brian Nolder, a pastor serving in Pella, IA who has endorsed Paul. Nolder noted that the Paul support among Christians has grown this election season but remains sharply divided between Christians looking for a candidate who will implement conservative positions on social issues from Washington and those who seek a weaker Federal government which will leave those decisions with the states.
With fine reporting, Talking Points Memo picked up on my posts last week about the Kayser endorsement and Mike Heath’s work there. This morning, TPM’s Benjy Sarlin explores Ron Paul’s support among Christian conservatives in Iowa. As I did last week, Sarlin found Christians there divided between those who want a perfect ideological candidate and those who want the Federal government to leave matters to the states.
Sarlin also highlights the work of Mike Heath who is selling Ron Paul as a conservative on gay marriage and abortion. The pro-life argument seems easier, but when it comes to gays, Heath has had a harder sell. In Iowa, Heath has worked to make Paul appealing to both ideological purists and state’s rights conservatives. In his TPM article, Sarlin points to Paul’s Defense of Marriage poster at events (see here) and various pastoral endorsements mentioning Paul’s opposition to gay marriage.
If anti-gay politics and Ron Paul have married in Iowa, then the matchmaker is clearly Heath. TPM reports that Heath had a “stint” as chair of the three-man board of the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality but that barely scratches the surface. While in Maine, Heath said it would be “prudent to reinstate Maine’s anti-sodomy law…” and called homosexuality “a sickness.” Heath opposed basic protections for gays including equal access in housing and employment.
Despite these appeals in Iowa to state’s rights, the prospects are slim that a Paul Presidency would rollback Federal civil rights protections very much. However, if Ron Paul is somehow successful and secures the nomination and then Presidency, he will have to fill an administration with people who think like him. One way to evaluate who a candidate would bring into his administration is to examine his campaign.
Do I need to say more?
- What Does Ron Paul Really Believe About Gays?
- What do Dan Savage and AFTAH’s Mike Heath have in common?
- Ron Paul touts endorsement of pastor who defends death penalty for gays, delinquent children & adultery.
- Why Ron Paul appeals to Christian Reconstructionists.
- Ron Paul removes Kayser endorsement from website