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Homophobic Hate-Monger Declares for U.S. Presidency

Gary Lee Bauer, Republican, Officially Enters 2000 Race

Obsessive Crusader Boasts a Vicious Anti-Gay Record

By Jack Nichols

Newport, Kentucky—Gary Lee Bauer, a leading anti-homosexual crusader, has officially declared his candidacy in the 2000 race for the U.S. presidency. On leave from his post as president of the virulently homophobic fundamentalist front group, the Family Research Council, Bauer made his announcement in a gymnasium here at a high school he once attended. bauer2000.gif - 12.17 K Gary Bauer

Bauer's fund-raising capabilities, say political watchdogs, should provide him with considerable clout in the primaries, though few expect him to win the Republican nomination which nationwide polls currently indicate could go to Gov. George W. Bush, Jr. of Texas.

T.J. Walker, a spokesperson for Americans for Religious Liberty describes Gary Bauer as:

"The Pied Piper of Puritanism in American politics. He represents a sex-obsessed band of extremists who are on a mission to persecute women who want to control their own bodies and gays who want to be left alone."

Albert J. Menendez, author of Visions of Reality: What Fundamentalist Schools Teach (Prometheus Books) calls Bauer the Religious Right's "man to watch". He writes:

"Bauer's Family Research Council (FRC) has specialized in lobbying and publishing books and articles espousing so-called 'family initiatives' such as tax breaks for families with stay-at-home mothers, elimination of the marriage penalty on federal tax policies, abstinence-based sex education programs and the like."

Bauer's Family Research Council, explains Menendez, "fiercely opposes abortion rights, supports vouchers and other forms of tax aid to private and religious schools and opposes civil rights legislation protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment and housing.

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
Gary Bauer: In His Own Words

Religious Right Places Full-Page Hate Ads in Major Newspapers

Florida Pickets Hound Hatemonger Gary Bauer

Related Sites:
Family Research Council

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"The group even sarcastically denounces hate crimes legislation because these legal proposals 'threaten to penalize individuals with religious and traditional family values.' (Since its founding a decade ago FRC seems obsessed with gay-related issues, opposing every initiative that would lessen discrimination and 'exposing' gay members of the Clinton Administration.)"

Bauer's group has been an enthusiastic co-sponsor of "Ex-Gay" ministries newspaper and TV ad campaigns wherein scientific opinion has been blithely ignored and bogus "Christian" counseling sessions set up for gay males and lesbians.

Bauer has not served in any previous elective office nor in the armed services. He did serve, however, as domestic policy advisor to President Ronald Reagan. Following his White House advisor's stint, Bauer built the Family Research Council into a well-heeled organization. Frank Rich, writing in January in the New York Times, discussed the group and its leader's motivations:

"What is the right's modern obsession with homosexuality? Why do organizations like the Family Research Council spend fortunes on ads aspiring to "heal" gay people who are not sick?…Some of this obsession may be due to fear and bigotry. Some of it is take-no-prisoners culture war: Gay people are among the designated scapegoats for all that the right hates about the 60s in general and Bill Clinton in particular. And possibly some of it is pathological. From Roy Cohn to the Jesse Helms political consultant Arthur Finkelstein, some vitriolic right-wing exploiters of homophobia have turned out to be gay themselves."

Many believe that Rich's insight applies to Gary Bauer as well, although he has been married since 1972 and is the father of three children.

Others insist that it was Gary Bauer who was responsible during the Reagan administration for the president's foot-dragging on AIDS, thus allowing the virus to spread wildly without taking appropriate government action. Franklin Foer, writing in U.S. News and World Report (February 15) said:

"In the Reagan White House, aides guilty of offending the first lady could usually be found signing their own resignation letters. But in 1987, Gary Bauer, then a top policy adviser, took on Nancy Reagan--and won. Known for trotting around the White House carrying semipornographic safe-sex pamphlets, which he denounced, Bauer was perhaps Reagan's most conservative aide.

"He reserved special disdain for the first lady's pet project, creating a presidential commission to study AIDS. To undermine her work, he artfully slipped Mrs. Reagan the oldest trick in the Washington playbook: letting her have the commission but packing it with his fellow social conservatives. Amazingly, Bauer kept his job."

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