What does Ron Paul really believe about gays?

Currently, with one week remaining until Iowa’s Presidential Caucus, Ron Paul is in the hot seat. The Texas GOP hopeful denies writing racist columns for a newsletter bearing his name during the 1990s. Examining Paul’s denials, the Washington Post’s Josh Hicks gave Paul three Pinocchios which according to the Post means that Paul’s statements are misleading and use “legalistic language that means little to ordinary people.”

Paul’s views on gays are also open to question. One newsletter citation, frequently noted in the press, relates to his views on gays and HIV. Reportedly Paul said that gays “enjoy the attention” of that illness. In another 1989 newsletter, he criticizes the Massachusetts legislature for passing a gay rights laws, and implies that gays wanted to promote pedophilia:

Given the fact that Paul recently reversed himself and voted to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, one might wonder if his views on gays have changed. However, the Paul campaign’s current State Director is Mike Heath. Heath is also the chairman of the board of the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality and once worked to oppose state initiatives such as the one condemned by Paul in the 1989 newsletter. A 2010 article on the AFTAH website describes Heath as

…the former executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine and the new executive director of American Family Association of New England. (Heath will also retain the title of AFA of Maine.) He is also the only pro-family leader in American history to direct (as part of a pro-family coalition in Maine) the defeat of two statewide homosexual “special rights” laws, 1998 and 2001. In this interview, Heath, the Board Chairman of AFTAH, touches on the new evangelical politics surrounding anti-”gay marriage” initiatives — in which principled advocates against homosexuality like Heath are ostracized in the name of building coalitions more palatable to “moderate” voters.

AFTAH describes itself as “a group dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda.” Last year, the organization was listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center due to frequent misrepresentations and vilification of gays in public statements and literature. Just recently, AFTAH used the Penn State child abuse scandal as a platform to link sex crimes of pedophiles with homosexuality.

Apparently, Heath’s work is having some effect in Iowa with at least one endorsement touted on Paul’s website. According to the news release announcing the endorsement, Heath has been to “295 houses of worship” in Iowa. On the matter of gays and gay rights, I wonder what position is being articulated in those houses of worship.

Given his prior newsletters and his current staff, it is fair to ask what Ron Paul really believes. Despite Paul’s denials, his views in 2012 may be about what they were in 1989.

UPDATE: Here is more on Ron Paul’s views from a former staffer. According to Eric Dondero, Paul is uncomfortable around gays but believes they should be free to do whatever they please in their private lives. The Paul campaign is taking this seriously, responding to CBS News over the matter.

If Paul had any chances to catch on with the mainstream, they are pretty much gone now. He claims he didn’t write the racist and bigoted newsletters but he has yet to name who did. He says he does not know but he has not, as far as I can read, given even a theory about who did or how he could recommend the newsletter without knowing what was in it.


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  • StraightGrandmother

    Well I think we know what Ron Paul believes in now, don’t we? He hired as his Iowa Campaign Director not just a member of, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality AFTAH, he hired the *Chairman of the Board*! I read this on another website, GOP = Gay Oppression Party.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Warren, your story made it into http://www.GoodAsYou.org This is a very good reputable website. I am a regular reader over there.

  • Lynn David

    Warren, look at their pictures. I don’t think the Heaths are the same man.

    • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

      Lynn David – Follow the link for Michael Heath in the post. He notes that he is Ron Paul’s State Director and was head of the Christian Civil League of Maine.

  • Lynn David

    Well, ok, I guess it is the same guy. But the one sure looks older.

    . . .

  • Lynn David

    Time for a draft Mitch Daniels petition?

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Lynn David – I think that ship has already sailed. I would sign it in a heartbeat but he has made himself pretty clear. It is now Romney’s to lose it appears.

  • StraightGrandmother
  • Mary

    It really is time to throw away the old and begin with new representatives for our leadership in this country. No incumbent gets my vote next time around. There is too much under the bridge and too many backroom deals to really know what is being said and acted upon and by whom. Whether it is Ron Paul, Gingrich, Romney etc…. too much professional politicking without representation of the populace.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Well ary you could always vote for Obama.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Err make that “Well Mary”… above

  • Mary

    Did not vote for him the first time. We need something better.

  • Teresa

    A side note: we get the leaders we deserve. Sort of the karma thing, or what goes around, comes around. If we want better leaders, we need to be better people.

  • Mary

    T – I agree.

  • Carol A Ranney

    Three Pinocchios means “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.” Just one step above a Whopper.

  • C. Wendt

    So long as we’re on the subject of campaign officials, it should be noted that (among others) Ron Paul’s friend and 2008 campaign manager Kent Snyder was himself openly gay; citing the views of one employee of Ron Paul’s campaign is hardly a fair representation. Ron Paul was one of under 10% of all Republican congressmen to vote in favor of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He has also twice voted against proposed constitutional marriage amendments which would have installed a “one-man, one-woman” definition, and says that he believes the institution of marriage should be taken out of the hands of government altogether. Nearly all of the other Republican candidates are for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and for a federal marriage amendment; based on his record, Ron Paul is by far the most pro-gay Republican in the running.

    Regarding the newsletters, it appears you have been reading many attack articles and neglecting rebuttals (which admittedly are not nearly so well-publicized in mainstream outlets). It isn’t true that Ron Paul has not “even given a theory” about who wrote the newsletters; he did indicate in one CNN interview that he knows the offensive quotes must have been written by one or more of a group of about 6-8 people who were involved in ghostwriting for his newsletters at the time.

    With regards to Ron Paul “recommending the newsletters,” many media outlets have been selectively sloppy in reporting some important distinctions, here. There were several newsletters going out in association with the company “Ron Paul & Associates” during the ’80s through early ’90s; the one which featured some offensive content was known as the “Ron Paul Political Report”/”Ron Paul Survival Report.” Certain journalists have gotten hold of footage of Ron Paul endorsing a different newsletter- the “Ron Paul Investment Letter,” a financial advice newsletter with which it seems Ron Paul himself might have had more involvement- and failed to distinguish in their reporting between two separate publications.

  • Michael Bussee

    What does Ron Paul really believe about gays?

    “A January 1994 edition of the Survival Report states; “[T]hese men don’t really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners.” Also, “they enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick.”


  • StraightGrandmother

    Michael, say it is true that RP didn’t write the offensive concepts, I find it hard to believe that he didn’t read these newsletters. An errant paragraph by a ghost writer, it could happen, but the problem is that these offensive concepts were repeated. Now surely he didn’t miss reading all these different issues. If you read something that goes out under you name that you do not agree with you lay down the law. RP didn’t do that the offensive comments kept coming.

  • Kris

    Gay people are not stupid and don’t buy the smear