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The Gay, Jewish, Pro-Pot Republican Candidate Has Something to Say
Posted on Mar 21, 2012
By Howie Stier
“No More Mr. Nice Gay,” he says of his reinvention as an activist. Karger founded Californians Against Hate to oppose Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot measure banning same-sex marriage. He demands a congressional investigation of NOM, which campaigns against gay marriage. He claims to have persuaded the Catholic Church to stop funding the organization, and draws applause when he says “one down, one to go,” the boast referring to the Mormon church. And this is the real focus of his campaign, not to land the GOP nomination but to hit back at the Mormons for their opposition to same-sex marriage and allegedly funding NOM. To that end Karger has fixated on the GOP front-runner, Mitt Romney.
Karger charges that Romney committed voter fraud by living primarily out of state and casting a ballot in the Massachusetts special election won by Scott Brown. Karger has also joined the inevitable public discussion (and criticism) of Romney’s religion by launching a website, Top 10 Craziest Mormon Beliefs, that mocks the Mormon faith.
Though the odds are against him, just the notion of an openly gay GOP candidate is empowering to many homosexuals, a demographic frustrated at being treated like second-class citizens. Bill Mahoney, a radio personality and Internet radio consultant who followed Karger to New Hampshire and is producing a documentary on the candidate, found a surprising outpouring of support.
“He had people at colleges approaching him, opening up for consolation,” Mahoney said at the Los Feliz event. “One reporter covering the race broke down. [She said] her son wasn’t accepted by her husband. He’s fighting for those people.
“He’s creating a conversation around equality. He’s a trailblazer, particularly within the Republican Party.”
By the end of the night, this reporter is convinced that this recidivist party crasher is seemingly the most reasonable Republican candidate still in the presidential race, certainly among a field narrowed to a job-liquidating billionaire and a morose man with a penchant for cuddling the dead.
“My goal is to get into a debate,” Karger says, though with the cancellation after we spoke of a March 19 GOP debate, none remain scheduled. From the get-go, the campaign strategy was reliant on gaining exposure by participating in a televised debate. Beaming as a staffer forks over a fistful of donation envelopes, he says, “If I do, anything is possible.”
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