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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 10, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 37
SGN exclusive Story: Republican candidate Hans Zeiger explains his homophobic blog posts
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SGN exclusive Story: Republican candidate Hans Zeiger explains his homophobic blog posts

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

In an interview with SGN, Republican legislative candidate Hans Zeiger backed away from homophobic articles he posted on conservative blogs.

Sort of.

Zeiger is running for the state House in the 25th Legislative District against incumbent Democrat Dawn Morrell.

On September 2, the political blog HorsesAss.org broke a story on what it called Zeiger's 'batshit crazy hate speech.'

Quoting from Zeiger's posts on right-blogs WorldNetDaily and Intellectual Conservative, HorsesAss painted a dark picture of a religious fanatic and anti-Gay bigot.

In one excerpt, Zeiger criticized non-Christians - and even "mainstream Baptists" - as "watered-down ecumenists" who prayed to a "generic god."

"But," Zeiger added, "the significant difference between the kumbaya sessions and interfaith vigils and atheist protests of the religious left and the Bible studies and prayer circles of the religious right is that our God is real."

In another excerpt, Zeiger condemned the Girl Scouts as "radical feminists, Lesbians, and cookie peddlers & allied with the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood."

"Knowing the radical agenda of the national Girl Scouts organization, parents need to take action," Zeiger wrote.

In yet another over-the-top post, Zeiger wrote that GLSEN is more dangerous than al-Qaeda.

"We speak much of terror networks in our time, and here is one of the vilest, for it has made greater progress in the tearing down of American institutions and ideals than Iraq or al-Qaeda have. NEA and GLSEN are not the only groups in the network; the ACLU and NARAL and Planned Parenthood and Americans United for Separation of Church and State and others come to mind."

Alex Hays, executive director of Mainstream Republicans, told SGN that the HorsesAss piece was "intellectually dishonest" because it quoted selected articles by Zeiger "out of context."

Mainstream Republicans is a group claiming affiliation with the moderate conservative politics of former Washington Republican governor Dan Evans. They have endorsed Zeiger in his race and continue to defend him.

Asked if he or his group endorsed the views Zeiger expressed in his posts, Hays replied, "Your characterization of it can't possibly be endorsed."

"Blogs have a certain tone of voice - a tone that leads to hyperbole," Hays continued, "and he was writing in the tone of a blog."

Zeiger himself took a very similar tack when he spoke with SGN by phone.

"The short answer is that it's stuff written when I was 18 or 19," he said. "Now I'm 25. Since then, I've gone to college, I've graduated. & I realize the world is pretty complex, that there's beauty and diversity in the world."

"I grew up on talk radio and I was influenced by that approach, by those values," he added. "I wouldn't write the same thing today."

While he was quick to distance himself from his earlier writing, Zeiger told SGN he thought the issue was a distraction from his current political race.

"It doesn't have anything to do with my legislative race," he said. "The main issue is how can we get jobs back."

In that case, he was asked, did he support existing state law that prohibits discrimination against LGBT persons in employment?

"Obviously the issues are complex there," Zeiger replied.

Pressed for a more explicit answer, Zeiger told SGN, "Discrimination is not a value I endorse. I want to be sure I'm a voice for human equality in the legislature."

On the third try, Zeiger admitted, "You should have a fair shot at the jobs, yes."

On the other issue he says is critical - improving public education - Zeiger was asked if he supported existing anti-bullying laws.

"I need to give that some consideration," he replied.

The latest anti-bullying law was passed unanimously by both houses of the legislature - in other words, with Republican as well as Democratic support - in August this year.

Zeiger is a senior fellow with the American Civil Rights Union.

According to media watchdog Media Matters, the ACRU's "top issues include opposing the Fairness Doctrine [equal time for opposing views in public media], protecting state sovereignty, and supporting FISA amendments giving the president broad authority to engage in surveillance."

The ACRU "defended the Boy Scouts' right to discriminate against homosexuals in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, opposed handgun restrictions in Heller v. DC and NRA v. City of Chicago, and sided with the [white] New Haven firefighters in Ricci v. Destefano [an affirmative action case]."

Zeiger is also an assistant Scout Master with the Boys Scouts of America.

Since the HorsesAss story broke, Zeiger's posts have been taken down from the Intellectual Conservative website, although his writings are still available on WorldNetDaily.

The name of one of his early endorsers - former KVI talk show DJ Kirby Wilbur - has also been deleted from Zeiger's website.

Wilbur is currently the Washington state chair of Americans for Prosperity - the front group used by right-wing tycoons Charles and David Koch to channel money to the Tea Party.

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