More campaign gay-baiting…

Another update: Hat tip to Blueweeds for coining a new term to describe this behavior, characteristic of those stuck in a by-gone era in which it was still effective: gay-boating.

Update: Washington Blade coverage here.

This time, from Senator Jay O’Brien in Fairfax. This pathetic behavior follows on the heels of an earlier “round of dubious campaigning” covered here and in the Washington Blade. Shameful.

Read O’Brien’s mail piece.
He actually describes support for age-appropriate Family Life Education, which is already mandated by the Virginia code, as “forcing public schools to teach alternative lifestyles in the classroom,” and “teach[ing] Virginia students about the ‘GLBT’ lifestyle [sic] during school hours.” And I guess somebody needs to explain to the Senator that allowing students to have Gay/Straight Alliances isn’t optional either. That’s mandated by federal law. This piece would be funny, if…well, if lying to voters was ever funny.

From Equality Virginia PAC:

O’Brien Yields to Temptation to Go Anti-Gay

Mail Piece Distorts Quotes from Candidate George Barker to Attack Tolerance Education

Under pressure in a race that appears “too close to call,” Senate incumbent Jay O’Brien (R-Clifton) this week succumbed to the temptation of using gay-bashing as a political tactic.

O’Brien sent voters in his district mail that distorts comments made by challenger George Barker at a candidate forum hosted by Equality Fairfax and sponsored by Equality Virginia.

O’Brien’s literature, which was paid for by the Republican Party of Virginia, claims that Barker wants to “teach children to accept the Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Lifestyle,” and that he wants to “force public schools” to teach “alternative lifestyles” over the objections of parents.

In fact, Barker’s comments were supportive of age appropriate family life education (from which any parent may opt his/her children out), high school clubs that support equal treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth and Virginia’s participation in a nationwide Center for Disease Control survey that seeks to document risky behavior by teens.

“It’s unfortunate that Senator O’Brien and the Republican Party of Virginia are seeking to gain political advantage by misleading voters and demonizing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Virginians, and particularly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth who are at increased risk of intimidation, violence, feelings of isolation and even suicide,” said Dyana Mason, Equality Virginia Executive Director. “Since Senator O’Brien chose not to attend the candidate forum in question, this mail piece only underscores that the Senator is not interested in representing all of his constituents equally.”

Earlier this campaign season, Equality Virginia PAC, joined by the Virginia Partisans Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club and the Log Cabin Republican Club of Virginia, sent a letter to all candidates for the House of Delegates urging them to avoid using anti-gay rhetoric in their campaigns this year. Such conduct is considered unethical by the American Association of Political Consultants, and has backfired against other candidates including House of Delegates candidate Lynn Chapman who used a gay-baiting question during a “push poll” over the summer.

“We were hoping that candidates would get the message from our letter, and, more importantly, from the defeat of Dick Black and Brad Marrs in 2005, that using anti-gay campaign tactics polarizes and divides voters and is not a successful path to victory on election night,” said David Lampo, EV PAC Chair and Log Cabin Republican Vice-President. “We call on Senator O’Brien and the Republican Party of Virginia to denounce such tactics and this mail piece as offensive, inaccurate and misleading, and we encourage all Virginians to become educated on the real records and positions of both Sen. O’Brien and his challenger, George Barker and to vote on November 6th.”

Paid for and Authorized by Equality Virginia PAC, Inc.

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