ENDA, “Dr. Chaps” and the State House

As CNN reports, the Employee Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) passed a Senate vote yesterday with more Republicans continuing to join Democrats in support:

For the first time, the U.S. Senate approved legislation that would protect gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace.

The Employment Nondiscrimination Act, or ENDA, passed the Democratic-led chamber on Thursday, 64 to 32. Ten Republicans joined 52 Democrats and two Independents in supporting the bill. Four Senators did not vote.

Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake became the latest GOP members to support the measure. They joined Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Susan Collins of Maine, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and the bill's co-sponsor, Mark Kirk of Illinois.

"The workplace is simply no place for discrimination," Collins said before the vote.

Opposition in the Republican-controlled House is strong, minimizing any chance the measure will become law. House Speaker John Boehner also opposes it.

Klingenschmitt for HD-15

Do you have any idea how much all this bullshit weighs?

Senate passage of ENDA is certainly an important landmark for the long-overdue legislation, though as CNN notes, it probably won't become law anytime soon under the current makeup of the House of Representatives.

What Senate passage of ENDA will also do, however, is give more of a forum to the lunatic ravings of Colorado Springs' own Gordon Klingenschmitt, also known as "Dr. Chaps" (a handy nickname to have when your last name is almost too long for Twitter).

A former Navy chaplain, Dr. Chaps has gained a manner of infamy on the Internet for his aggressively bizarre anti-gay beliefs. Dr. Chaps has claimed to have performed more than 50 "exorcisms" of gay and lesbian individuals, and says he has a 50-percent success rate in curing "gayness." You can imagine how he feels about ENDA, but should your imagination fail you, here's Raw Story reporting on an email Dr. Chaps sent to his followers in late October:

Klingenschmitt warned in the email that under ENDA, the federal government will “jail the Christians who refuse to celebrate gay weddings” and “bankrupt Christian employers.”

Klingenschmitt went on to warn that the rights of homeowners will no longer count if ENDA is passed and that people will be forced to allow anyone of any orientation to barge into their homes and engage in any form of coitus they like. As evidence, he cited that case of a British bed and breakfast owner who refused to allow a same sex couple to stay in his home as guests.

The couple sued and won, alleging discrimination. According to “Dr. Chaps,” this means, “the militant gays essentially demand ‘let us have sex in your house, or we will kick you out of your house.’"

Ah, yes, beware the "militant gays."

So what does this have to do with Colorado Politics, you ask? Klingenschmitt announced in late October that he is running for HD-15, the Colorado Springs seat being vacated by Rep. Mark Waller (who is running for Attorney General). This is the same seat that was once held by Doug Bruce, who was so disliked even by his fellow Republicans that the GOP recruited Waller to take him out in a primary. As fate would have it, Klingenschmitt could be a bigger problem for the GOP than Bruce should he manage to get through a Republican primary (Dave Williams and Michael Kuhn have both filed to run on the GOP side as well).

Dr. Chaps' anti-gay rantings may play well in parts of Colorado Springs, but he would be a serious black eye for Republicans hoping to regain support from more moderate Colorado voters. Even if he doesn't make it out of a Republican primary, Klingenschmitt has access to enough of an audience (he is a frequent guest on right-wing and evangelical TV and radio programs) to become a serious distraction for the GOP — particularly as Republicans try to find their nominees for Governor and U.S. Senate, respectively.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    Ah yes, the GOP is the Party of Hate®. We can only pray that voters in HD-15 go for this nutjob.

  2. davebarnes says:

    I know Sean is not wearing chaps, but this is so Colorado with demonstrated support for the 2nd Amendment.

  3. Moderatus says:

    Michael Kuhn is the only serious contender. The rest of this is just a distraction.

    • n3b says:

      They love to elevate the crackpots. This is just what they did with Jaxine Whatsername. Boobies.

      • MapMaker says:

        Do you really want to go the "he's just a crackpot" way? Do you think that I can't find any statement by Rev. Chaps that hasn't been said by mainstream Republicans? Just where do you place the marker between normal Republicans and cranks?

        • langelomisterioso says:

          Whaddaya wanna bet N3bbish places that marker squarely where he's at? Have you also noticed he's a past master of the un attributed assertion "they" ( whoever they are) love to elevate crackpots, and on the Gessler thread he'd "heard "from some mysterious source that the election process was a serious impediment to something or other.Maybe these crackpots and boobies wouldn't get so much attention if there weren't so many of them with a tendency to run their mouths.

          • MapMaker says:

            While it's hard to generalize about someone who specializes in two line snark, I'd bet that any marker placed on n3b would go straight through the heart of Rev. Chaps. I doubt there's any statement that Klingenschmitt makes that nebbish himself would shy away from.

            The problem nebbish has with Rev. Chaps is not that he's an outlier, it's that he's the distillation of Republican ideas – and that he got caught espousing them.

            • BlueCat says:

              Exactly. The only difference between what are now mainstream Rs and the ones who get in trouble for saying crackpot stuff like women don't get pregnant from being raped is that the ones who get in trouble say these things right out loud in public. There is zero difference between what the supposed crackpots support and vote for and what almost every Republican in congress supports and votes for.  None. 


              Ditto what the Rs in R majority state legislatures support and vote for. Ditto with what most R governors with R majority legislatures are pushing. In fact their whole post 2012 reevaluation amounts to…. don't change on any policy. Just try not to sound so dickish and do a better job of shutting up the Rs who say too much right out loud. 


              Of course now they don't even feel they have to go that far. They can just focus on the problems with the ACA roll out.


              They might notice that they lost some interesting little special elections, mayoral races in places where a Dem hadn't won in 20 years, and some big ones, as in VA, at the height of the ACA crisis, though and that's really all they've got. They might notice Christie may have won big but the policies he strongly objects to have all won just as big, even minimum wage increase, which shows people think he's a good strong executive but are much more on board with Dems on policy.


  4. mamajama55 says:

    Klingenschmitt is apparently harassing one of my favorite groups, "Right Wing Watch", by claiming copyright infringement against their putting videos of him saying crazy stuff on Youtube. Consequently, RWW no longer has these videos (or any videos) available on Youtube.

    Right Wing Watch is asking supporters to tweet@Youtube to ask them to expedite the review process against these bogus claims so that they can get back to doing what they do – expose right wing hypocrisy and craziness.

    We have filed an appeal to YouTube and hope to get our channel restored shortly. If you would like to help, you can tweet @YouTube and urge them to expedite the review process.


    – See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/bogus-copyright-claims-gordon-klingenschmitt-take-down-right-wing-watch-youtube-account#sthash.AFXxUSyv.dpuf

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