Log Cabin Condemns Don Benton for Anti-Gay Mailer

Washington Congressional Candidate Who Designed Mailer Has "Losing Strategy" in Final Days

November 2, 1998 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The nation's largest gay Republican organization strongly condemned Washington state GOP Congressional candidate Don Benton for his decision to design and mail an anti-gay leaflet to voters in the Third Congressional District in the final days of the campaign.

Log Cabin Republicans learned of Benton's role in designing the mailer through research with officials at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). Benton used a block of campaign funds he received from the NRCC earlier in the campaign to design and produce the piece on his own.

"When are candidates going to learn from the defeats of the primary season?" asked Richard Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "In race after race this year, when a candidate went harshly anti-gay in the final days, they lost. Jon Christensen in Nebraska, Darrell Issa in California, Randall Terry in New York -- race after race, they all went down. It's a losing strategy because mainstream voters are turned off by gay bashing. They know it's wrong and they turn against it for good reasons. Don Benton should be ashamed of himself, and we strongly condemn this mailer that he designed."

The mailer contained a line which read: "Oh my! Did you know that Brian Baird (the Democratic candidate) supports requiring our churches to perform same-sex marriages?" Another line read: "Seattle's liberal gay activists know where Brian Baird stands. They believe he will lead the fight in Congress for "same sex marriages" and the rest of their liberal agenda," with a direct reference to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which was introduced in the 105th Congress by Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Senator Jim Jeffords (R-VT).

"Don Benton will be held accountable for his actions by the voters of the Third District," Tafel said.

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay and lesbian Republican organization, with 50+ chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office and a federal political action committee.