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Creep of the Week: Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas)

By |2018-01-23T15:25:01-05:00February 2nd, 2006|News|
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas)

“Fruity” is in the eye of the beholder, to riff on a famous proverb.
This week gay groups are buzzing about a comment made by notoriously anti-gay Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) during an interview with Rolling Stone in which he referred to gay Swedes as “fruits.”
The Human Rights Campaign and National Stonewall Democrats called for an apology from Brownback. In a letter to the Senator, HRC president Joe Solmonese accused him of sinking “far below the level of dignified discourse” and stepping “well over the line of decorum and common decency.”
NSD spokesperson John Mable called Brownback childish and unqualified to represent the people of Kansas, according to
Brownback was quoting a Bible verse in a discussion about marriage for gays and lesbians with the Rolling Stone reporter, specifically how recognizing gay relationships has supposedly sullied countries like Sweden. “You’ll know ’em by their fruits,” Brownback said, quoting Matthew 7:16.
Ill-timed at best, malicious at worst, Brownback did, indeed, call gay Swedes “fruits.”
Brownback has since issued a clarification. “While this biblical passage was pertinent to our overall conversation about faith and deeds, it apparently led the writer to believe I was making a joke. I was not and would never do so with such a personal and sensitive issue.”
Yeah, I’ll bet.
But here’s the thing – so what if he did call gays “fruits?” Don’t get me wrong. That’s totally not cool and, thankfully, more and more politicians are getting called out for using anti-gay slurs.
But considering Brownback’s rabidly anti-gay record, not to mention Brownback’s frightening plan for right-wing Christian domination of the U.S. government described in the same Rolling Stone article, the “fruit incident” is like being hit with a rubber band flung by Mike Tyson. Sure, it hurts, but while you’re whining about that he’s lining up the knock out punch and thinking about snacking on your ear.
In Brownback’s America, LGBT people would have no rights. In fact, we wouldn’t even exist.
Brownback’s most public anti-gay feat is the Federal Marriage Amendment that would block marriage and also civil unions for gay folks. According to Rolling Stone, “The amendment has no chance of passing, but it’s not designed to. It’s a time bomb, scheduled to detonate sometime during the 2006 electoral cycle. The intended victims aren’t Democrats but other Republicans. GOP moderates will be forced to vote for or against ‘marriage,’ which … is another way of saying for or against the ‘homosexual agenda.'”
If only Brownback were all talk and no action. Not so. And, according to Rolling Stone, he’s the right-wing darling for the 2008 presidential nomination. He’s probably too nutty to get it, but Brownback will no doubt have a prominent place behind the curtain in Oz – er, I mean D.C. Off to see the Wizard, indeed.
Ask Sen. Brownback what his favorite fruit is by calling him at 202-224-6521 or emailing him at

About the Author:

D'Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.