Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.
Anti-gay statements didn’t deserve rebuke from GOP, candidate says
Republican state Senate hopeful Dave Leach, who has garnered headlines over the past year due to his close relationship with the man convicted of murdering Kansas abortion provider George Tiller, says the Republican Party of Iowa erred when it denounced a state House candidate who called AIDS a punishment from God for homosexuality.
Jeremy Walters, who is challenging incumbent Democratic state Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines in House District 67, last week wrote that when the Bible says homosexuals should be “put to death; their blood shall be upon them,” the blood is really AIDS. When the statements were made public they were greeted with outrage by One Iowa, the state’s largest LGBT-rights group, and denounced by Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn. When the party later discovered Walters was scheduled to volunteer at the GOP Iowa State Fair booth, his invitation was rescinded.
Walters eventually apologized for the postings and removed them from Facebook.
Leach, who is running against Democratic state Sen. Matt McCoy in Senate District 31, said Walters statement was “theologically clumsy, but it seemed close enough to Biblical truth to not merit a censure from the Republican Party.”
“GOP head Matt Strawn is right in saying HIV does not discriminate; in other words, the fact that someone has HIV by no means proves they got it through sodomy,” Leach said in an e-mail to Strawn and The Iowa Independent. “But I don’t see that that is what Jeremy said.”
Whether the Bible says there is a connection shouldn’t matter, he said, since, “everyone knows there is this connection.”
Everyone knows sodomites suffer [HIV/AIDS] far more than the rest of the population, and that sodomy’s practices, which are so embarrassingly unsanitary that you dare not detail them in one of your articles, would inevitably create such a disease if it did not already exist. It seems “inappropriate,” to use Strawn’s word, to apologize for saying what the Bible says, with which everyone agrees. It is “inappropriate” for anyone to ask such a thing. I am sorry that Jeremy gave up his ground, although at least he stood it for awhile, which is more than most will do.
Leach publishes a newsletter called “Prayer & Action News,” which advocates the doctrine of justifiable homicide in the case of abortion doctors. One of its contributors was Scott Roeder, the man convicted of murdering Kansas abortion provider George Tiller last year. Leach drafted a legal brief on Roeder’s behalf arguing the necessity defense, helped organize a fundraiser for his legal fees, regularly attended his murder trial and conducted an in-depth interview with him after his conviction in February. Leach testified as a character witness for Roeder during his sentencing.
In his e-mail to Strawn and The Iowa Independent, Leach said he has “profound regret” about publicly criticizing the state GOP, since: “The party has treated me fairly so far, and I hope that will not end as a result of me saying these things.”
“Many times throughout my political life, I have said what, so far as I can determine after careful study, is true, and important, knowing the cost could be loss of dear friendships,” Leach wrote. “I have always regretted the cost. I pray it will not be too expensive this time.”