Missouri GOP Candidate Says That Being Gay Is More Dangerous Than Smoking
Hardy Billington is the Republican candidate running for Congress in Missouri, and he’s hoping to beat Democrat Robert Smith in the November 2018 election. Billington is also an unapologetic homophobe who has a history of intensely homophobic positions.
In 2012, Billington took out a newspaper ad that claimed a “gay lifestyle” is more dangerous to a person’s health than cancer. The ad suggested that homosexuals need “tough love” and direction. He wrote in the ad, “We are encouraging and affirming individuals into the ‘gay’ lifestyle. If you truly love someone, you would steer them away from self-destructive behaviors, shouldn’t you? Homosexuals need our tough love, not blind love.”
The newspaper pointed out that Billington’s add falsely tied “outdated” HIV studies to risks of cancer from smoking. The ad suggested that “study after study” demonstrates that the “gay lifestyle” decreases life expectancy by 30 years.
The ad was run in support of a proposed state law, the “don’t say gay” bill. The purpose of the bill was to stop discussions of homosexuality in schools. The bill failed. The newspaper ad was not the first time Billington expressed his homophobic views.
In 2006, Billington published a book titled The Election by Faith 2004. The book railed against a Massachusetts court decision that made legal same-sex marriage.
Billington has the clear advantage in the House race. He has considerably more financial resources than his opponent. The county the two men are competing to represent voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Four out of five voters in the county voted for Trump.
Robert Smith chose to run opposing Billington because he remembered the ads Billington took out and said, “I don’t think it’s right to discriminate against people because of who they are.” Billington’s campaign treasurer commented saying of Billington, “He’s not afraid to let anybody know that that’s his position, his personal conviction. That doesn’t mean that he has any animosity towards somebody that doesn’t hold that conviction.”