Ken Blackwell, a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, said that and more to gay columnist Michelangelo Signorile in September.
On his blog, Signorile comments:
It’s a far cry from the days when the RNC was led by the 38-year-old “bachelor” of questionable sexual orientation, Ken Mehlman, but, according to The New York Times, Blackwell, a failed Ohio gubernatorial candidate who compared homosexuality to arson and kleptomania at the height of the campaign, may well be the RNC’s next chair.
Signorile has posted audio from the complete 13-minute interview along with transcribed excerpts.
Here are some selected clips:
Ken Blackwell: What I said is that, in that regard, you can choose, people choose to be who they are, as they choose to break civil law and God’s law…I think you can choose not to be homosexual…
Michelangelo Signorile: Did you choose to be heterosexual? Did you wake up one day and say I want to be heterosexual?
KB: The answer is that I’ve never had to make the choice because I’ve never had the urge to be other than a heterosexual, but if in fact I had the urge to be something else I could have in fact suppressed that urge.
MS: But you realize people were insulted when you compared [homosexuality] to arson and kleptomania. I would like you to explain that because, how does that get into this whole “choice” issue? I mean, kleptomania is a compulsion.
KB: Well, the fact is, you can choose to restrain that compulsion. And so I think in fact you don’t have to give in to the compulsion to be homosexual. I think that’s been proven in case after case after case…
KB: Where you and I disagree is that I do not think homosexuality manifested in behavior is a behavior that should in fact make us change the laws of this land.
MS: But many laws have been changed already. The Supreme Court says that homosexual behavior is not illegal. Arson is a crime. If somebody burns your house down, that’s hurting you, hurting other people. The Supreme Court has said if it’s in your bedroom it’s not hurting anybody else.
KB: If in fact you would feel better for me to say to you that, one, I believe homosexuality is a compulsion that can be contained, repressed or changed, and that makes you feel better, then that is what I’m saying in the clearest of terms.
Blackwell’s factually challenged opinions are clear and direct — free of the obfuscation and deliberate confusion that Exodus International practices. Like Exodus’ leadership, however, Blackwell essentially denies the existence of sexual orientation and equates all sexuality with behavior, not romantic or physical attraction.
Blackwell’s prescription for America: Be celibate and unromantic for life — or marry someone to whom you’re not attracted and then fake a romantic and sexual relationship until your spouse demands a divorce.
Blackwell’s position regarding human relationships is anti-family, inhumane, egotistical, and disconnected from reality. In short, it’s an embarrassment to the GOP.
An appointment of Blackwell to lead the Republican Party could be very good news for the Democratic Party at a time when its base is beginning to question the party’s own commitment to “change.”