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Congressman runs ‘most homophobic campaign’ in the US, with Republicans describing his opponent as a ‘paedo sex poet’

Lily Wakefield September 18, 2020
Fred Upton: Congressman runs ‘most homophobic campaign’ in the US Jon Hoadley

Fred Upton's supporters described Jon Hoadley as a "pedo sex poet". (Jon Hoadley/ Facebook)

Republican congressman Fred Upton has been described as running the “most homophobic campaign” in the US after refusing to put a stop to his supporters calling his gay opponent a “paedo sex poet”.

Upton is running to be reelected as US representative for Michigan’s sixth congressional district against his gay, Democratic opponent, Michigan state representative Jon Hoadley.

According to LGBTQ Victory Fund, which endorsed Hoadley, the gay politician has been subjected to incessant homophobic abuse from Upton’s supporters.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which works to elect Republicans to the US House, has cited 15-year-old blog posts to describe Hoadley as a paedophile and drug user who hates women.

The LGBTQ Victory Fund has debunked these claims in a press release, insisting that the quotes have been “removed from context”.

For example: “In a clearly satirical discussion about whether all ‘gay men desire to be flower girls’ an aforementioned friend jokes that he has no desire to see a ‘four-year-old wearing a thong’ as a condemnation of the hypersexualisation of children.

“The phrase has been removed from context to somehow imply that Jon is a pedophile, an accusation that has been repeated multiple times in many ways by the NRCC and its staff.”

A spokesperson for Hoadley’s campaign dismissed the blog posts, telling the New York Post: “Because of 150,000 deaths from COVID and a collapsing economy, congressman Fred Upton’s chances of getting reelected are drowning so quickly that the Republicans have mistaken bad college poetry for a life preserver.”

Despite the NRCC’s smear campaign against Hoadley and repeated references to him as a “paedo sex poet”, Upton has refused to condemn the claims.

Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said Upton’s refusal to stop his supporters from spouting homophobic abuse indicates that the congressman is running “the most homophobic campaign against a gay candidate anywhere in America”.

She said: “For Fred Upton to claim he cannot stop these disgusting and bigoted attacks on Jon is absurd – they are key to his campaign strategy… If Fred says publicly that these attacks are wrong and that calling a gay candidate a paedophile is an affront to civil political discourse, they will stop.

“Fred refuses to do that because he believes these Trump-style campaign tactics are his best chance at winning – making his talk about civility even more hypocritical.

“Let’s be perfectly clear: Fred Upton is behind these attacks and is running the most homophobic campaign against a gay candidate anywhere in America right now.”

Parker added: “Fred is a charlatan and a phony and his words about civility defy his votes and his actions.

“He pushes lies about an openly gay candidate he knows are entirely false, he votes with Trump 80 per cent of the time and he refuses to speak up when Trump defiles immigrants, women and people of colour.

“He has sold out the interests of his constituents in favour of the extreme-right political machine and Donald Trump.”

More: Fred Upton, Homophobia, Jon Hoadley, National Republican Congressional Committee, presidential election 2020

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