Remembering Ken Blackwell

Yesterday we noted that a gaggle of right-wing powerbrokers had lined up behind Ken Blackwell’s candidacy for RNC chair and his performance at yesterday’s debate seems to have placed him among the front-runners for the position.

And Tony Perkins, who runs the Family Research Council where Blackwell serves as a senior fellow, is doing his part to help him get elected, issuing press releases endorsing him and touting his qualifications to right-wing news outlets:

“The party is at a turning point right now where its first really open election of a party chairman is taking place,” notes Perkins. “And Ken Blackwell is probably the most qualified in terms of his background of being elected to statewide office three times in Ohio, having worked with the U.N. [on] the Human Rights Commission.”

And while Blackwell has “done a whole lot in his political career,” Perkins emphasizes that the former university administrator and educator is also a solid conservative — “one who understands the importance of faith and family and freedom, [and] lower taxes,” he adds.

Since losing his own bid for Governor of Ohio in 2006, Blackwell has kept a rather low profile and more or less refrained from making bold public proclamations decrying gays like he did during his campaign when he was travelling the state with Rod Parsley – so maybe now would be a good time to remind ourselves of some of the remarks Blackwell made before he decided he wanted to be RNC chair:

In a newspaper interview Sunday, the Republican candidate for Ohio’s governorship, J. Kenneth Blackwell, compared gay people to arsonists and kleptomaniacs who can be “changed.” The religious conservative and current secretary of state made the controversial remarks in a question-and-answer session with The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio’s largest paper.

“I think homosexuality is a lifestyle, it’s a choice, and that lifestyle can be changed,” Blackwell said in response to the question “Is homosexuality a sin, and can gays be cured?” according to published transcripts. “I think it is a transgression against God’s law, God’s will.”

He continued: “The reality is, again…that I think we make choices all the time. And I think you make good choices and bad choices in terms of lifestyle. Our expectation is that one’s genetic makeup might make one more inclined to be an arsonist or might make one more inclined to be a kleptomaniac. Do I think that they can be changed? Yes.”

And who could ever forget this gem from 2004:

Ohio’s Secretary of State is coming out strong in support of Issue One, the measure that would ban same-sex marriage. Kenneth Blackwell spoke to an energized crowd at the Cathedral of Praise Tuesday night.

Blackwell said it’s time for people of God to take a stand. He even drew a comparison between same-sex couples and farm animals. “I don’t know how many of you have a farming background but I can tell you right now that notion even defies barnyard logic … the barnyard knows better,” said Blackwell referring to the idea of same-sex marriage.

Blackwell was joined by Pastor Rod Parsley, president of The Center for Moral Clarity. The two men are traveling across the state trying to rally support for Issue One. News 11 contacted Secretary Blackwell’s office today for further explanation. His press secretary issued the following statement on Blackwell’s behalf: “Part of the function of marriage is to reproduce the human race and same-sex marriage cannot carry out that function.”

This man now wants to lead the Republican Party and so it comes as no surprise that the professional anti-gay activists like Perkins, Dobson, and their ilk are lining up to ensure that he does.