A minister who wants the death penalty for homosexuals has just endorsed the Republican presidential contestant Ron Paul. The Paul campaign issued a statement highlighting the endorsement of the minister who’s church lies in Nebraska, just over the border from Iowa. Paul is polling in second place in Iowa with 22 percent of the vote, just behind Mitt Romney, who has 25 percent.
The pastor of Dominion Covenant Church in Omaha, Reverend Phillip Kayser, wrote that, “Difficulty in implementing Biblical law does not make non-Biblical penology just. But as we have seen, while many homosexuals would be executed, the threat of capital punishment can be restorative.” Kayser wrote that the threat of execution would scare homosexuals into repenting.
After attention was drawn to the pastor’s views, the Paul campaign removed the endorsement from their website but has refused to answer questions on the matter.
Paul’s Iowa State Campaign Director, Mike Heath, is a rabid homophobe who previously led the Christian Civic League of Maine. In 2004, Heath launched a Joseph McCarthy style campaign to out Main state legislators, “e-mail us tips, rumors, speculation and facts…We are, of course, most interested in the leaders among us who want to overturn marriage, eliminate the mother/father family as the ideal, etc,” wrote Heath, according to the Portland Press Herald.
In 2007, Heath led a failed effort to stop a Maine anti-sexual discrimination law. The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed another organization Heath led from 2008-2010, the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, which has written that homosexuals are more likely to become child molesters.
Paul is a libertarian, who has generally advocated for the government to stay out of people’s lives, including their bedrooms. Paul opposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage and has said that the state shouldn’t regulate a religious ceremony. The appointment of Heath to Iowa Campaign Chair contradicts many of his principals, and shows how Republican primary contestants must court the most extremist elements of their party in order to win the nomination.