Gay congressional candidate under fire from Republican legislator in South Carolina

Posted on 30 Jan 2008 at 6:03pm
By Associated Press

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A Republican state legislator has attacked a congressional candidate for supporting gay rights, saying he wanted to call attention to her opposition to a state ban on gay marriage.

"Her homosexuality is not an issue. That’s her private business," state Rep. Thad Viers said of Democrat Linda Ketner.

Ketner is running in the 1st Congressional District against Rep. Henry Brown, who is seeking a fifth term. Neither she nor Brown has mentioned her sexual orientation during the campaign.

Ketner has been a major financial supporter and organizer of several gay rights campaigns, including a failed 2006 effort to defeat a state ban on gay marriage.

The congressional district covers much of the coastal region, including Myrtle Beach, an area Viers represents in the Legislature.

"I do think her associations with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance and the fact she spent thousands of dollars trying to defeat the marriage amendment is a factual issue that has not been covered," Viers told The Associated Press on Oct. 26, a day after he held a news conference where Ketner’s sexuality was raised.

He said he did not discuss the news conference with the Brown campaign beforehand.

"It seems the media is not doing their job and putting out the issues the voters should be informed about," Viers said Friday. "If it was on the flip side and a Republican running who had these associations, it would be on the front page of every paper."

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