Gary Glenn, head of the American Family Association of Michigan, is once again causing controversy in state politics. This time, Glenn is a candidate for the 98th House district of Michigan. He is running as a Republican.
But a DeVos family backed political group – The Great Lakes Education Project – is not only supporting his rival for the nomination, Karl Ieuter, but also sending a mailing to the district which has some of Glenn’s rightwing ministerial supporters gnashing their teeth. The winner of the primary is expected to replace Tony Stamas, who has served three terms in the House and is ineligible to seek another term.
The mailing, attacking Glenn on his support of the FAIR tax scheme, notes that he has argued gays should be imprisoned and that he has publicly supported essays written by white supremacists. The latter allegations sent a group of black pastors, with deep ties to Glenn’s anti-gay activism, into overdrive on Monday.
“In retaliation, GLEP is now funding false and malicious attacks that accuse Gary of wanting to
imprison all gay citizens,” the pastors wrote in a press release circulated by Stacy Swimp, a minister from the Flint area who spent years in prison after being convicted of assault with intent to murder. “Worse, and this is where we come in, they unbelievably accuse Gary of endorsing ‘white supremacists’ and ‘Klan leaders.'”
Glenn has, indeed, said he believes people should be imprisoned for homosexuality. In February 2010, Glenn told the Michigan Messenger that he supported calls by Family Research Council employee Peter Sprigg for re-criminalizing homosexuality. Sprigg had made the claim in support of his opposition to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – the law that excluded out gay service members in the U.S. military.
“The short answer to your question is yes, we believe that states should be free to regulate and prohibit behavior that’s a violation of community standards and a proven threat to public health and safety – including, as of the United States did throughout its history, homosexual behavior,” Glenn wrote to Messenger at the time. He was responding to whether or not he supported re-criminalizing homosexuality.
Glenn’s KKK Connection
The rightwing radical has also championed the writings of known white nationalists. When Republican National Committeemen Dave Agema came under fire a year ago for relying on the writings of Dr. Frank Joseph, Glenn posted a note to salute and thank Agema via Facebook message for posting the letter. The letter from Joseph alleged, among other things, that homosexuals accounted for half of all murders in large cities, that a large swath of homosexuals are infested with intestinal parasites, homosexuals prey on children and that 21 percent of lesbians die in traffic accidents, suicide or the result of murder.
Information in the posting is sourced to propaganda written by Edward Fields. Fields is an active participant in Georgia KKK activities, reported MLive’s Ken Braun. He has also alleged the Holocaust was not nearly as bad as history teaches.
The press release supporting Glenn from black pastors was signed by, among others, Bishop Ira Combs of Jackson and Rev. Levon Yuille of Ypsilanti. Both Combs and Yuille, ironically, signed onto Glenn’s failed federal lawsuit challenging the federal hate crimes law, formally known as the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Shepard was a gay man who was robbed, savagely beaten and hung on a fence in Laramie, Wyoming in the 90s. Byrd was a black man who was tied to a truck bumper and dragged to his death in Texas during that same period. Both crimes were motivated by animus, court records show.
Emails to Stacy Swimp seeking to clarify if the pastors supported Glenn’s call for re-criminalization of homosexuality were not responded to by Swimp at press time.