Rep. Paul Shepherd, a Republican in the Idaho House of Representatives, forgot to renew the domain for his campaign website and a college student bought it and turned it into a pro-LGBT resource. So naturally he invited a reporter into his office to explain why gay people are just like slave owners.
Shepherd said he’d heard about Hailey’s actions, but hadn’t yet seen the new website. He was bemused, though, and brought me into his office so I could listen to an angry voice mail about the joint memorial.
“Why don’t you butt out… and worry about who you’re sleeping with?” the caller said before insulting Shepherd and his wife.
I asked Shepherd if he was surprised at the vitriol. “I know we have a disagreement out there,” he said, adding opponents of his memorial within the Legislature have been respectful to him.
He then tried to explain his position using historical context.
“Slave owners were very good Christians and good people,” he said, adding he was against slavery. “I totally disagree with that.” This fight, Shepherd told me, is an example of good people who have the wrong idea about moral convictions.
I asked Shepherd to clarify, and he reiterated the connection he saw.
“They (slave owners) weren’t terrible rotten horrible people,” he said — just people who made terrible decisions. “And that’s how I see gay people.”
I think the GOP has their next presidential candidate.