Vicky Hartzler is running in Missouri's 4th Congressional District.
She opposes gay marriage; she opposes hate-crimes laws; she opposes the repeal of DADT.
Now, that doesn't really make her much different than most Republicans running for office, so, why then, is Vicky Hartzler considered the most anti-gay political candidate in America?
Well Vicky Hartzler does much more than take the standard GOP position on gay rights, she has made a name for herself as an anti-gay crusader.
In 2004, Vicky Hartzler drew national and international attention for her part in the campaign for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Missouri; the amendment was the first of its kind, and passed by a huge margin in August of that year. Hartzler was subsequently quoted as celebrating her victory for "traditional marriage."
Doug Gray, a political consultant from the other side of the Missouri amendment fight, says anti-gay bias is central to Hartzler's identity:. "It's a core issue for her. Vicky is biased. She has always been very motivated by this issue."
Of course, a Vicky Hartzler spokesman says she's "not prejudiced against anyone": "She just thinks certain things are a traditional part of society--marriage being one of them."
And Vicky Hartzler doesn't want the LGBT community protected from crimes inflicted upon us for being gay, nor does she think we deserve the right to serve in the military like anyone else.
But, remember, she's not prejudiced.
Still, to see how anti-gay Vicky Hartzler is, you have to understand that even before her fight to pass a gay marriage ban amendment in Missouri, it was already illegal for gays and lesbians to marry there. In fact, Missouri is one of the most anti-gay states out there; you can be legally fired for being gay in Missouri; Missouri has no laws granting hospital-visitation rights for gay couples.
Vicky Hartzler wasn't fighting to protect Missourians from gay marriage, because, even if her amendment failed, it would still be illegal for gay men and women to marry there. What she was doing, however, was inciting fear ion the state by pushing the marriage ban, so no one would notice that local LGBT advocates were working towards employment non-discrimination rules and hospital visitation rights.
Vicky Hartzler manipulated the populace with fear; a typical Republican strategy.
And now Vicky Hartzler is the poster child for anti- gay victories around the nation. When voters in California passed Prop H8 in 2008, a "glad" Hartzler told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she doesn't believe gay rights issues are civil rights issues. The "color of someone's skin doesn't change," she said, because, as she believes, there is debate about whether homosexuality is a "lifestyle or they were born that way."
Get over it, Vicky. You were born straight, I was born gay; you became a hateful bigot, I chose not to go that route.
And now, in her run for office against Democrat Ike Skelton, who was an architect of DADT back in the 90s, the campaign has turned into a Who's More Anti-Gay race. While she acknowledges that she and Skelton are on the same page regarding DADT--she says repealing it "puts us at risk"--Vicky Hartzler is arguing Skelton "allowed" hate crimes legislation to be attached to a defense authorization bill in 2009 in order to advance "the extreme agenda items of the gay movement."
Anti-gay Skelton was "catering to the desires of gay rights groups," says Steve Walsh, a spokesman for Hartzler's campaign.
And, as is usual, in addition to her anti-gay-anything campaign, Vicky Hartzler is pushing for more Christian right causes. In 1999, as a state representative, she backed a bill that would have allowed for prosecutors to charge women who obtained late-term abortions with murder. Her bill would also have permitted second-degree murder charges to be filed against the doctor who performed the procedure.
Luckily, the law was vetoed by a Democratic governor.
In 2000, Hartzler also lead the fight against Missouri ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, a federal constitutional amendment that would have formally provided for equal rights for women.
In 2008, she wrote a book, Running God's Way, outlining the "Christian" way to campaign for office.
Vicky Hartzler apparently knows nothing about the :separation of church ands state."
Vicky Hartzler obviously knows nothing about human dignity.
Vicky Hartzler obviously knows nothing....but hate, masked as Christianity.