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Anti-Gay Hate Group Chair Is Now Ron Paul's Iowa State Director

Posted by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 10:35 AM
  • 34 Replies

The former Chairman of the Board of a certified anti-​gay hate group has become the Iowa State Director of the Ron Paul presidential campaign. Mike Heath, who Chaired Americans For Truth About Homosexuality(AFTAH) from 2008 – 2010, a tiny organization that essentially consists of Peter LaBarberaAFTAH has also been home to J. Matt Barber, now at the Liberty Counsel.


Mike Heath, who became Ron Paul’s Iowa state director this fall, has spent his career on the Christian right. In Iowa, Heath has focused on outreach to the religious community in the state, where Paul has made an effort to target evangelical voters,” notes an article by Pema Levy and Benjy Sarlin at Talking Points Memo:

Heath spent 14 years running the Christian Civic League of Maine (which has since changed its name). As a prominent figure in Maine, Heath slowly alienated the Christian right in the state with his extreme tactics. In 2004, for example, he launched a witch hunt to out gay members of the Maine legislature, asking supporters, according to the Portland Press Herald, to “e-​mail us tips, rumors, speculation and facts” regarding the sexual orientation of the state’s political leaders, adding, “We are, of course, most interested in the leaders among us who want to overturn marriage, eliminate the mother/​father family as the ideal, etc.” The result was that his own organization suspended him for a month.

He’s a well-​known conspiracy theorist about the ‘gay agenda,’” says Travis Kennedy, chief of staff for the House Democratic Office in Maine, who says Heath was a big figure around the capital for many years. Heath made more enemies than friends, says Kennedy, whose “offensive and aggressive” tactics put off even his allies on the Christian right. In 2007, Heath played a big part in opposing a sexual orientation anti-​discrimination ballot measure which ultimately passed by a wide margin. On Heath’s new job in Iowa, Kennedy said, “I’m not surprised he’d be hired in a state far away from Maine. He has a pretty poor reputation around here.”

From 2008 – 2010, Heath served as chairman of the board of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. AFTAH is a fringe, anti-​gay organization and has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for promoting false information. For example, the organization and its founder, Peter LaBarbera, have published false reports about LGBT people, including allegations that they live shorter lives and that they are prone to pedophilia. LaBarbera disputes the SPLC’s label.

Peter LaBarbera is among the most fringe elements of the anti-​gay industry in America today,” Michael Cole-​Schwartz, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, wrote in an email to TPM. “You’d be hard pressed to find another group that is so singularly focused on telling lies about LGBT Americans.”

It’s unclear if Ron Paul ascribes to some of Heath’s anti-​gay beliefs. Paul’s newsletters do contain several quotes smearing gay Americans as well as the AIDS epidemic. Recently, a disenchanted former Paul aide described an instance when Paul refused to use the bathroom of a gay supporter. But whatever Paul’s beliefs, Heath’s work on his campaign is another strike against a candidate with a history of associating with fringe elements of the right.

by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 10:35 AM
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Replies (1-10):
katy_kay08
by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 10:38 AM
They will explain it away like they do all of Pauls other questionable connections. Some seem to believe if they deny it enough it will make them right. A lie retold doesn't become the truth.
silvercrow
by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 10:52 AM
1 mom liked this

Well further proof he is a Raciest, homophobic bigot that wont see the white house.. he needs to remove the anal beads from his ass and get with the program he doesn't have a leg to stand on

katy_kay08
by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 11:19 AM
1 mom liked this
Since Paul's supporters are also against being grouped with Republicans maybe they need their own party animal. I'm thinking the ostrich would work nicely.
cassnadrajones
by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM

OMG thank god finally people with see those homos are a bunch of crazies.

I kid, I kid, thats just f*ckin crazy. I mean really the "truth" about homosexuals. What truth? Oh on sorry its just so bad that they would like to date and  marry each other. I could have sworn they are people two? I guess they got a downgrade and their constitutional rights no longer apply. I wish Homosexuality could be considered a religion, at least that way the govt would have no right to persecute them (they still dont, but it would be much harder)

.Bubbles.
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2012 at 12:20 PM

This is the best idea I have heard in ages.

I can't wait to hear the excuses for this one. 

Quoting katy_kay08:

Since Paul's supporters are also against being grouped with Republicans maybe they need their own party animal. I'm thinking the ostrich would work nicely.


LovemyQ
by Bronze Member on Jan. 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM
1 mom liked this

Ugh, no excuses from me. I am woman enough to realize I may need to rethink where my support lies.


silvercrow
by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM
1 mom liked this

I mean come on people He has a Racist on his team a group of Gay bashers on his team and a bunch of woman haters on his team how in the hell is this man not for a rich white Man run America? Ron Paul is stuck in the 50's and if he has his way will take us back to to 50's.. in my opinion people who support him are nothing more then Proud Card Carrying Racist, homophobic anti women ignorant fools...

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Jan. 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM

 Someone sure is making a mountain out of a mole-hill.  Just because someone believes that homosexuality is wrong does not make them a "hater" or a group that speaks out against homosexuality as the "norm" a "hate-group."  Any idea what some of Heath's other political ideals are?  Does anyone know whether or not he has a lot of good political ideals, and that THIS is why he's on Ron Paul's campaign now?  No... of course not.... it MUST be because Ron Paul hates gays... even though he thinks they should have the right to the same legal union as heteros... nobody even bothers to remember that, conveinently enough.  I might add he is the ONLY candidate who has stood up in support of a gay's right to marriage.

Aren't some of you on here the ones saying that you don't agree with everything Obama has stood for, but he's the best candidate?  Are you moms the only ones allowed to support a candidate you don't believe in 100%?

katy_kay08
by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 2:01 PM
Quoting kailu1835:

 Someone sure is making a mountain out of a mole-hill.  Just because someone believes that homosexuality is wrong does not make them a "hater" or a group that speaks out against homosexuality as the "norm" a "hate-group."  Any idea what some of Heath's other political ideals are?  Does anyone know whether or not he has a lot of good political ideals, and that THIS is why he's on Ron Paul's campaign now?  No... of course not.... it MUST be because Ron Paul hates gays... even though he thinks they should have the right to the same legal union as heteros... nobody even bothers to remember that, conveinently enough.  I might add he is the ONLY candidate who has stood up in support of a gay's right to marriage.


Aren't some of you on here the ones saying that you don't agree with everything Obama has stood for, but he's the best candidate?  Are you moms the only ones allowed to support a candidate you don't believe in 100%?




I would not be making excuses for a candidate with Paul's history, regardless of his ideas.
katy_kay08
by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM
From the southern poverty center's website.

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/the-hard-liners

*Americans for Truth About Homosexuality

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) was formed as a part-time venture in 1996 by long-time gay-basher Peter LaBarbera, who reorganized it in 2006 as a much more serious and influential, if often vicious, operation.

A one-time reporter for the conservative Washington Times, LaBarbera has been an energetic campaigner against “the radical homosexual agenda” since at least 1993, when he launched The Lambda Report, which claimed to do first-hand reporting to expose its gay enemies. Over the years, he has been an official with Accuracy in Media, Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council and the Illinois Family Institute (see below for the last three). He left the Illinois Family Institute, where he’d been executive director, in 2006.

AFTAH is notable for its posting of the utterly discredited work of Paul Cameron (of the Family Research Institute; see below), who has claimed that gays and lesbians live vastly shorter lives than heterosexuals. Among the Cameron propaganda published by AFTAH are 2007 claims that gays and lesbians in Norway and Denmark live 24 fewer years than heterosexuals. Reviewing that claim, Danish epidemiologist Morten Frisch found that it had no scientific basis. LaBarbera himself, in 2002, compared the alleged dangers of homosexuality to those of “smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.” Similarly, AFTAH’s website carries essays describing homosexuality as a “lethal behavior addiction,” a “dangerous” practice that is “neither normal nor benign.”

In 2007, LaBarbera claimed there was “a disproportionate incidence of pedophilia” among gay men — yet another false assertion. The same year, he posted an open letter to the Lithuanian people from long-time gay-basher Scott Lively (see Abiding Truth Ministries, above), who has made a series of false claims about gays running the German Nazi Party. In the piece posted to the AFTAH website, Lively said homosexuals are trying to take away free speech from all opponents of gays and to silence all religious opinions on the matter.

The AFTAH site repeats bogus claims like the idea that a proposed bill in California would “promote cross-dressing, sex-change operations, bisexuality and homosexuality” to kindergartners and other children. And it ran an essay that falsely asserted that hate crime laws would “restrict our speech."
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