Craddock Comments Elicit Both Outrage, Denials

Centre View
October 27, 2005
By Bonnie Hobbs

At the center of a firestorm this week is Chris Craddock, the Republican candidate running for state delegate in the 67th District, after comments made last week to a Westfield High AP government class about both gays and sex in Africa.

Some students were so incensed by what they heard that they contacted Centre View because, although they’re too young to vote, they wanted the general public to know how they felt.

Teacher Cynthia Szwajkowski’s class is doing a project on the 2005 Virginia election, and Craddock, 27, was invited to address her students, Oct. 14. They then questioned him about his stance on topics including abortion and sex education.

“When we asked him about gay marriage, he said he believes nobody’s born gay – they turn gay,” said senior Natalie McLarty, 17. “He said, in his experience, from the gay males he’s known, there are three ways to become gay: You don’t have a father figure in your life, you have an abusive father figure or you have no loving support in your family.”

“I was extremely offended because one of my relatives is gay, so that’s an assumption he’s making about my family,” she said. “I don’t know where he’s getting his statistics, but I know a ton of people who are gay, and they have father figures and love and support in their family. He’s young, and I don’t know where he’s getting these old-fashioned concepts.”

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