Business-friendly hate groups?

Like the dogwoods that bloom in the spring, nutty utterances from Republican Loudoun supervisor Eugene Delgaudio are just part of the landscape here in Loudoun County; most of us have simply become so inured (or at least resigned) to them that we hardly notice it any more.

Loudoun GOP supervisor—and newly designated hate-group president–Eugene Delgaudio

So it’s useful every once in a while to be reminded how whacko it looks to the rest of the world, that a stalwart of the local Republican political machine runs a full-time business devoted to paranoid ravings about the “homosexual agenda.”

Delgaudio’s gay-bashing organization (modestly titled The Public Advocate of the United States) has now made national news after being designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremist groups across the nation. The local Democratic Committee is calling for Delgaudio’s resignation.

Public Advoctae has been a lucrative career for Delgaudio. Although it puts on a pretense of lobbying for its causes, in fact its only real business is sending out direct mail solicitations warning that the radical homosexuals are taking over America, then using the contributions that come in to send out more direct-mail solicitations warning that the radical homosexuals are continuing to take over America. The group spends 80 percent of its revenues on fundraising; Delgaudio earned a salary of $120,000 in 2000 as the group’s director, the Washington Post reported. (Delgaudio once explained that his “small office” is run by “volunteers and low-paid staffers.”)

Among Eugene’s more bizarre statements from his mailings about the “homosexual agenda”:

• “Radical homosexuals will terrorize day care centers, hospitals, churches and private schools . . . You’ll see men hand-in-hand skipping down to adoption centers to ‘pick out’ a little boy for themselves.”

• TSA screeners at airports are conducting “sexual assault searches” and employing “homosexual porno scanners” as part of the “Gay Bill of Special Rights”: “That means the next TSA official that gives you an ‘enhanced pat down’ could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission.”

• “As homosexuals die off due to AIDS, the remaining AIDS carriers prey on children to replenish the ‘Homosexual Community.” (He added to that statement, “I absolutely must find $73,575 before the end of next month to pay for printing, telephones, research, and postage.”)

• “The Radical Homosexuals infiltrating the United States Congress have a plan: Indoctrinate an entire generation of American children with pro-homosexual propaganda and eliminate traditional values from American society.” (This was in response to a proposed bill banning discrimination against gays.)

As one gay-rights advocate told the Post a few years ago, none of the people who work on these issues have ever encountered Eugene actually lobbying a congressman, testifying to a committee, or otherwise actually engaging in the fight: he just “seems to use anti-gay rhetoric to raise money,” said David Smith of the Human Rights Campaign.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s designation of Public Advocate as a hate group, though, is a reminder of just how ugly this tactic is. And to our new all-Republican Board of Supervisors who want to promote the county’s “business friendliness” and attract new employers to open shop here, it’s not exactly good publicity is it? What’s good business for Eugene is definitely not good business for the rest of us.


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