Texas gubernatorial candidate Larry SECEDE Kilgore says he believes that, in accordance with the Bible, gay people should be put to death.
However, Kilgore says that for now, he’s putting that position aside — along with some of his other extreme views — so he can focus on one thing and one thing only in 2014: secession for Texas.
Kilgore, who legally changed his middle name to SECEDE in 2012, is a telecommunications contractor who lives in Arlington. He is also a perennial pro-secession candidate who is again running for governor as a Republican next year.
In addition to secession, Kilgore has previously advocated the death penalty for those who undergo abortions or commit adultery, along with otherwise strict adherence to so-called biblical law. But along with his views on LGBT issues, he’s taking all that off the table this go-round.
“The only position I have is secession,” Kilgore told Lone Star Q on Monday. “I am a Christian, and I have lots of Christian beliefs. However, I am trying to build a coalition of all different types of people. I look at the lesbians and the homosexual folks and I say, ‘Hey, D.C. is stealing my money just like they’re stealing your money.’ After we get our freedom, then we can decide all that stuff — hopefully at a county level. Right now, lesbians and homosexuals and Christians may have differences with each other, but we’ve got a bigger enemy.”
That’s all well and good, but what if Kilgore and his fellow secessionists actually succeed in seceding? What would happen to LGBT people in their new Texas nation?
Despite his past statements about abortion and adultery, I couldn’t find much online about Kilgore’s views on LGBT issues. The only previous mention seemed to be a summary of Kilgore’s positions that appeared in the Houston Chronicle in 2007: “Public use of vulgar sexual language would result in flogging. … Judges will flog more severely those convicted of transvestism.”
Concerned that drag queens across the state could be in for severe floggings if Kilgore is elected governor — and even though many of them might actually enjoy that — I called Kilgore this morning at the number listed on his campaign website. Kilgore answered the phone himself and, speaking in a thick Texas drawl, assured me that the plank on “transvestism” is no longer part of his platform, and he welcomes LGBT supporters.
As for homosexuality, Kilgore acknowledged that he believes it’s wrong — “according to God’s word.” However, he said he doesn’t plan to “do anything about it,” and he doesn’t want his views to interfere with his secessionist message. He also said that if Texas secedes, he would leave power for at least one year.
Kilgore said he initially made the widely cited statement about “transvestism” in 2001 or 2002, prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Texas’ sodomy law.
“Due to that ruling, Texas does not have that freedom anymore, so it would be silly for me under the current government system to try to come up with any laws against homosexuality behavior, because Texas is not free to do that at this moment in time,” Kilgore said. “I won’t be in power, and I won’t have any legislative say at that time, but yes, I would very much approve of a biblical law that prevented homosexual behavior in the new nation.”
Asked what the punishment for homosexuality should be under such a law, Kilgore told me: “According to the Bible, it should be execution, if anyone participates in that activity.”
He added that it’s no different from the punishment he would advocate for abortion or adultery, and he said it’s possible that after secession, Texas would have to “break up even more” — and some areas could choose to allow homosexuality or the “murder of babies.”
“In my gubernatorial run, it’s secession only, and I want to build a bridge with all different kinds of folks,” Kilgore said. “If there was a homosexual running that was a secessionist, I would support him.”
At least until the goal is accomplished. After that, Kilgore isn’t making any promises, so the person could be in for a severe flogging — or worse.