Anti-gay bigotry may still be an effective wedge in Republican primaries in Texas, but apparently it doesn’t always serve losing candidates well when they try to go back into the private sector.
During his campaign for U.S. Senate in Texas last year, former SMU and NFL star running back Craig James spewed rabidly anti-gay rhetoric.
During a debate I attended at the Dallas Country Club, for example, James came out against civil unions. He also said being gay is a choice and said gay people will have to “answer to the lord for their actions.”
“I think it’s a choice, I do,” James said. “You have to make that choice, absolutely.… Same-sex marriage, if someone chooses to do that, then that’s them, and God’s going to judge each one of us in this room for our actions, but in that case right there, they’re going to have to answer to the lord for their actions. We should not give benefits to those civil unions. It should not occur. We have to stay strong on this. This is important, man. I tell you what, we have a fiscal issue in this county, but we also have a moral issue in this country, and as Christians we better stand up.”
James, who lives in Celina, doubled down on those statements later in the campaign and said he believes civil unions are forbidden by the Ten Commandments. (We’re still trying to figure out which commandment he was referring to.) But James also maintained he was tolerant and pointed to the fact that he’d hired a gay Jewish campaign consultant.
James, of course, finished fourth and last among major candidates in the Republican primary, and we didn’t hear from him again until last week, when The Dallas Morning News reported that his anti-gay comments during the Senate campaign had led to his firing as a college football analyst for Fox Sports Southwest.
“We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department,” a Fox spokesman reportedly told The DMN. “He couldn’t say those things here.”
The sad thing is that while James’ anti-gay comments cost him a job in the private sector, they could serve him well if he decides to run for office in Texas again. Just ask the guy who won the Senate seat, Ted Cruz, who initiated the gay-bashing in the race when he attacked former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert for appearing at gay Pride.
What does it say about this country when anti-gay bigots can’t even be football commentators anymore — but they can still get elected to the U.S. Senate?