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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 5, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 45
Candidate Zeiger's homophobic remarks televised in 2006
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Candidate Zeiger's homophobic remarks televised in 2006

Campaign receives funding from Focus on the Family affiliate

by Robert Raketty - SGN Contributing Writer

Hans Zeiger, the Republican candidate in the race for the 25th Legislative District (Position Two), can't shake the controversy regarding his blog posts and articles which take aim at progressive organizations, women, and minority groups alike. This week, PubliCola and the Seattle Gay News uncovered additional details about the candidate that suggest that he does indeed hold strong socially conservative views.

The Puyallup native is in a tight contest with four-term incumbent Democrat State Representative Dawn Morrell. A hundred votes separated the two as the SGN went to press. Zeiger told this writer on Wednesday that he remained confident he would win.

'It's very close,' he said. 'Historically, the votes trend Republican in the late counts.'

On Monday, the blog PubliCola reported a Focus on the Family affiliate, The Family Policy Institute of Washington, had given aid to Zeiger's campaign by spending $3,313 in the race. The Lynnwood-based group had previously sought to repeal domestic partnership benefits in Washington state and is opposed to LGBT civil rights legislation.

Last September, Zeiger spoke to the SGN about his blog posts and articles he had written on the conservative media sites WorldNetDaily and Intellectual Conservative. He stated he 'wouldn't write the same thing today' and that his views had changed considerably since leaving his hometown for college. In one post he had called the Girl Scouts 'radical feminists, Lesbians, and cookie peddlers.' In another, he called the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the National Education Association 'terrorist organizations' that championed a 'radical homosexual agenda.'

'The short answer is that it's stuff written when I was 18 or 19. & Now I'm 25,' Zeiger explained. '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.'

Alex Hayes, a paid Zeiger campaign consultant and also the executive director of Mainstream Republicans, which endorsed the candidate, defended Zeiger. He told the SGN that the writings were 'taken out of context' and that 'blogs have a certain tone of voice - a tone that leads to hyperbole.' Hays added that his group, Mainstream Republicans, couldn't possibly endorse Zeiger's views, but that attacks on the candidate were 'intellectually dishonest.'

Although the bulk of the writings were made in 2003 and 2004, the SGN this week reviewed an interview originally aired on Penn & Teller's Bullshit, on April 3, 2006, which shows the candidate making homophobic statements.

The camera recorded every word, in which Zeiger said that Gays were more likely to molest boys; same-sex families would 'destroy the very foundations of our civilization'; and that the Boy Scouts had 'high moral standard[s]' for banning Gays from membership.

Same-sex families: 'The family is a certain way and a family includes a mother and a father. It includes children. To move beyond that model is so revolutionary that it is to pluck up and to destroy the very foundations of our civilization.'

Pedophilia: 'As the homosexual movement became much more entrenched in the American culture - starting in the late '60s - it really became an opportunity for the pedophiles to make a mass assault on the Boy Scouts. The statistics show that homosexuals are far out in proportion represented in engaging in pedophilia.'

Boy Scouts: 'The Boy Scouts have a right to exclude homosexuals. I think it is good that the Boy Scouts have a high moral standard.'

Zeiger was also heard saying that there have to be 'restraints in a moral civil society if we are going to be able to get along with each other; if we are going to be able to live in peace.' It was not clear whether he had intended this remark to be an inclusive statement or to suggest LGBT Americans push those restraints.

The SGN contacted Zeiger on Wednesday about the 2006 interview, but the candidate politely declined to discuss it.

'I'm not going to comment on that,' he said, and then referred the SGN to a blog of a high school friend whom he said had posted about a 'frank breakfast conversation' the two shared in which they discussed LGBT civil rights issues. The candidate failed to provide the web link, and the blog could not be located by press time.

Zeiger's campaign has taken actions to appear more mainstream, such as removing conservative KVI talk-show host DJ Kirby Wilber from among its list of endorsers, removing Zeiger's writings from the Intellectual Conservative website, and by referring to the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU), where Zeiger holds the post of senior fellow, as a 'non-profit organization that promotes the U.S. Constitution.' The ACRU is a conservative legal organization that opposes same-sex marriage, is favorable of the Boy Scouts of America's ban on Gays and non-theists from membership, and advocates for the removal of 'activist judges.'

Zeiger told the SGN this week that he entered the 25th Legislative District race to 'build up our communities' and feels that his writings, statements, and actions should not be taken as the truth about who he is today. Time will only tell whether the candidate emerges as a moderate Republican on social issues or another right-wing politician seeking to restrain hard-fought gains for LGBT Washingtonians.

To view the video of his 2006 TV interview, visit us online at www.seattlegayblog.blogspot.com.

Mike Andrew, SGN Staff Writer, contributed to this article.

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