kblackwellOne Nominee, Kenneth Blackwell, (Pictured) Compares Gay People to “Arsonists’ and Claims They Can “Change’

NEW YORK — Truth Wins Out (TWO) expressed unease today over the slate of extreme candidates running for chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). The organization is particularly concerned that former Ohio Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwell, is under consideration for the job. Blackwell has built his career on bashing gay and lesbian Ohioans and if chosen would likely bring his anti-gay agenda to the national stage, says TWO.

Blackwell once compared gay people to “arsonists and kleptomaniacs,” described their lives as a “transgression against God’ law,” and believes that they can “change.” In 2004, Blackwell led the campaign to amend Ohio’ constitution to prohibit recognition of same-sex marriage or civil unions. Fortunately, he lost his 2006 Ohio gubernatorial race by a 24-point margin.

“The very fact that Blackwell is under consideration reinforces the idea that the GOP is captive to its more extreme elements,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “If the GOP were trying to commit suicide, electing Blackwell would be the perfect poison pill to swallow.”

Blackwell’ nomination received a blow today when Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett announced his endorsement of Mike Duncan for re-election as chairman of the RNC. Another candidate, Katon Dawson, head of the South Carolina GOP, had to quit his membership in an all-white country club, to run for chairman of the RNC. Chip Saltsman, the Tennessee party leader who is in the race, handed out a Christmas CD at a holiday party that featured the song, “Barack the Magic Negro.” Saltsman told the New York Times that he believes those voting for chairman have “gotten past it.”

“No doubt they have gotten past it — and that is the problem,” said Besen. “The Republican Party has chosen the Revival Tent over the Big Tent, at the very moment they need to appeal to moderate swing voters.”

The Republican National Committee will meet January 28-31 in Washington, D.C., to elect a chairman.