In the midst of the newly re-animated newsletters issued under Ron Paul’s name, an aide to the Texas Congressman has come forward with two stories about personal interactions with gay supporters. They don’t support the live-and-let-live image of the previous carrier of the Libertarian Party’s presidential banner.
Eric Dondero, an aide to Ron Paul from 1987 to 2003
insists Congressman Paul is not anti-gay, but details two shocking anti-gay incidents, including Dr. Paul’s refusal to use a restroom owned by a gay man, and even refusing to shake hands with a top gay campaign donor.
In 1988, Ron had a hardcore Libertarian supporter, Jim Peron, Owner of Laissez Faire Books in San Francisco. Jim set up a magnificent 3-day campaign swing for us in the SF Bay Area. Jim was what you would call very openly Gay. But Ron thought the world of him. For 3 days we had a great time trouncing from one campaign event to another with Jim’s Gay lover. The atmosphere was simply jovial between the four of us. (As an aside we also met former Cong. Pete McCloskey during this campaign trip.) We used Jim’s home/office as a “base.” Ron pulled me aside the first time we went there, and specifically instructed me to find an excuse to excuse him to a local fast food restaurant so that he could use the bathroom. He told me very clearly, that although he liked Jim, he did not wish to use his bathroom facilities. I chided him a bit, but he sternly reacted, as he often did to me, Eric, just do what I say. Perhaps “sternly” is an understatement. Ron looked at me directly, and with a very angry look in his eye, and shouted under his breath: “Just do what I say NOW.”
Not homophobic; simply won’t use the bathroom in the home of a gay supporter. Right.
Long-time Ron Paul aide Eric Dondero’s other example:
The second incident involved one or two other staffers many years later at the BBQ in Surfside Beach. I was not in direct presence of the incident. But another top staffer, and I believe one of our secretaries, was witnessed to it. This top staffer adores Ron, but was extremely insulted by his behavior, I would even say flabbergasted to the point of considering resigning from his staff over it.
“Bobby,” a well-known and rather flamboyant and well-liked gay man in Freeport came to the BBQ. Let me stress Ron likes Bobby personally, and Bobby was a hardcore campaign supporter. But after his speech, at the Surfside pavilion Bobby came up to Ron with his hand extended, and according to my fellow staffer, Ron literally swatted his hand away.
Of course, not having the faintest understanding of the word ‘homophobic’ this former aide attempts to excuse Ron Paul’s behavior:
Again, let me stress. I would not categorize that as “homo-phobic,” but rather just unsettled by being around gays personally. Ron, like many folks his age, very much supports toleration, but chooses not to be around gays on a personal level. It’s a personal choice. And though, it may seem offensive to some, he has every right in my mind to feel and act that way.
Not “homo-phobic”? Right. Would take gay money, allow a gay to set up a campaign fundraising swing, would stay in a gay home and accept the support of gays at an event. But wouldn’t use the bathroom in a gay home or shake hands with a gay man? Oh, that’s not homophobic at all.
Definition: irrational fear or dislike of or prejudice against homosexuality or homosexuals .
You be the judge. Do these examples illustrate an irrational fear or dislike? They are leavened, of course, with the hypocrisy of accepting money, organization, lodging, and support from gays. Somehow, to me, that doesn’t make it less worse.