Deal slams opponent in Georgia GOP gubernatorial primary for voting to support gay outreach.

Next week, Georgia voters will go to the polls to vote in the state’s primary elections, nominating statewide candidates for both the Democratic and Republican parties. One of the contenders for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination is former Rep. Nathan Deal, who resigned from Congress earlier in the year to focus on the race for governor. Yesterday, following Sarah Palin’s endorsement of his opponent former secretary of state Karen Handel, Deal put out a statement slamming Handel for voting to fund a gay rights event and supporting gay outreach:

It’s disappointing that Sarah Palin has chosen to back the most liberal Republican in this race. In past races, Karen Handel endorsed taxpayer-funded domestic partner benefits and gay adoption — and she’s been caught lying about it. Just last night, Handel finally admitted she’d written a check to a gay rights group — when previously she said the check was a forgery and she never lived at that address.

As Fulton Commission chair, Handel voted to give taxpayer dollars to “Youth Pride” which did outreach to gay and “questioning” kids as young as 13 and funded seminars such as “Unsung Heroes of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community” — this was during a budget crisis. “We do hope that the former governor will look at the record and reconsider, or explain to conservative Georgia Republican primary voters why she’s endorsing Handel in light of these well-documented facts and Handel’s clumsy effort to cover them up.”

“I’m extremely disappointed with former Rep. Nathan Deal using the same tired old gay boogeyman scare tactic against Karen Handel, and I think it reflects a losing campaign,” said Georgia Log Cabin Republicans president Jamie Ensley last month, as Deal began to escalate his attacks on Handel’s past support for gay rights. For her part, Handel has backtracked on her former pro-equality positions, and has even been caught lying in her attempts to claim she was never a member of the Log Cabin Republicans.