Pastor Brian Hale, the GOP House candidate in Maine, was hoping to challenge incumbent Rep. Jeffrey McCabe (D) using the “fiscal conservative” label. But thanks to the unwanted help from the right-wing National Organization of Marriage (NOM), Hale is now dealing with the “homophobe” label. Last week, NOM began filling local mailboxes with a two-sided flier that “features a smiling family of four with a ‘Welcome to Maine, the way life should be’ placard and a single photograph of Hale.” On the flip side, the flier displays a photograph of McCabe, his email address, and two men in bow ties, arm-in-arm, standing atop a wedding cake. This side’s placard reads, “Now it’s time to let Jeff McCabe know we don’t agree with his decision to back same-sex marriage.”
While the fliers carried Hale’s name and email address, they also carry the return address for NOM’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. “I never heard of the National Organization of Marriage until I pulled it out of the mailbox,” Hale said. Though Hale is against marriage equality, he decried the effort as a “tasteless” and “inappropriate” tactic that is only helping to paint him as a “homophobe“:
“I think this is tasteless; I’m not enjoying this,” Hale said Monday. “I think this is an incidence of friendly fire — someone thought they were helping me and they’re not. I’m running as a fiscal conservative — that’s what I’m going around talking to people about. I’m not running an anti-gay campaign. The first time that I heard anything about this or its contents is when I pulled it out of my mailbox.”
Hale said he showed the flier to his wife and daughters and they agreed that it was inappropriate. His 16-year-old daughter Hanna called it “really creepy,” he said.
“People are thinking I am the one who put this out,” Hale said. “I can see how one might understand that — it has my photo on it and my e-mail address, both of which I believe were pulled off the Internet. People are seeing this and saying, ‘Pastor Hale is a homophobe’ — and I’m not.”
Watch it here:
Hale also pointed out that the family NOM pictured “isn’t even his.” Both Hale and the chairman of the local Republican Party Chris Perkins phoned McCabe to disown the fliers and ensure their opponent that “the party does not support that type of campaign.” McCabe said the mailer had “hateful tones” with a “hate-filled” message about an issue he views as “an issue of equal rights.” While NOM’s tactic may not work for the local GOP in Maine, this latest proactive move certainly compliments NOM’s hate-filled strategy to promote an anti-gay agenda by any means necessary.