'I Am Not Gay and Never Have Been'
A Republican candidate for the Texas House is defending his decision to wear a "Gay Hitler" costume to a fundraiser eight years ago, when he was photographed making the iconic Nazi “sieg heil” salute.
Kyle Biedermann, a hardware store owner who identifies as a "conservative, Christian Republican," wore the costume to a Saturday Night Live-themed party benefitting a local food pantry, The Express-News of San Antonio reports.
"Gay Hitler," played by Chris Kattan, debuted on SNL's "Weekend Update" in 2001.
Biedermann removed a photograph of himself in the Gay Hitler costume from Facebook prior to launching his campaign, but the Express-News got hold of it anyway.
“What would be offensive about that photograph?” Biedermann reportedly told the newspaper indignantly. “This whole thing is about political correctness. It’s not a problem for me whatsoever.”
“It’s only a problem because somebody is running against me and is trying to hurt my character,” Biedermann said. “It was never a problem before. … My opponent wants to do sleaze things. This is what people hate about politics.”
Here's how Biedermann explained the costume further in an email to a constituent obtained by the Express-News:
“The explanation is simple," he wrote. "This was a fundraiser for the Food Pantry and the Needs Counsel with about 400 people with a SNL theme … The costumes are supposed to be outrageous and Mine certainly was. Gay Hitler was a SNL character from the show which of coarse [sic] is a spoof. ... I am not gay and never have been. Don’t know anything about Swingers Clubs and no desire to find out. I have an amazing wife.”
Biedermann's website states that he's a "rock solid conservative." It makes no specific mention of LGBT rights, but under "religious freedom," it states: "Our country was founded on Christian Principles which are clearly stated in our Constitution and in the writings of our founding fathers.We must never let foreign laws and legal doctrines such as Shariah law to infiltrate our legal system and our country."
Biedermann is challenging incumbent GOP Rep. Doug Miller, whom he believes is too moderate, and they'll meet in a runoff May 19.
Miller, despite having a gay son, introduced a bill last year seeking to ban cities from enforcing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances.
But Biedermann doesn't seem to understand that the issue is not whether or not he's gay – that wouldn't be a negative if he were – it's that he intentionally thought it was appropriate to mock gay people, and worse, to associate them with Hitler, just as the far right has done for years. American Family Association's Bryan Fischer has called gay people "Nazis," said Hitler was gay, and claimed the Nazi party was formed in a gay bar. He has claimed that Hitler's Brownshirts were gay because Hitler wanted savage men to do his dirty work.
There is also a vile book, The Pink Swastika, written by hate group leader Scott Lively, which claims much of the same.
Image via Facebook