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Alan Keyes (born 1950) is a reactionary speaker, perennial candidate, and increasingly radical right-wing activist (he was the founder of RenewAmerica, after all) who focuses much of his attention on anti-gay and pro-life causes.
He was a diplomat during the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations, occupying such offices as Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from 1985 to 1987. His most important contribution to international relations was the Mexico City policy aka the "global gag rule" of abortion, of which be started the final version.
2004 Illinois Senate race
The 2004 campaign was notable for a variety of reasons:
- Keyes was a replacement candidate; the original Republican nominee, Jack Ryan, dropped out in the midst of a sex scandal in which the only participants were Jack Ryan and his (then) wife, well-known actress Jeri Ryan, and in which no sex occurred.
- Illinois Republicans faced an irredeemable setback in the vacuum of having no candidate for the period between Ryan stopping his campaign and his replacement Keyes, when Barack Obama was able to campaign unopposed to politically moderate voters.
- Contrary to Keyes' claims, he was never the party favorite, and he was never drafted.
- Keyes' 11th-hour entry prompted infighting among the Illinois Republican Party, and many state Republicans refused to support him.
- Prior to jumping into the race as Ryan's replacement, Keyes had no ties to Illinois. Keyes entered the race after establishing residency in Calumet City, Illinois, a Chicagoland suburb, mere days before the election. Such circumstances have traditionally been viewed as carpetbagging in the United States, something that Hillary Clinton was also accused of in 2000. Discussing Clinton's 2000 run for the US Senate from New York, he had said "I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there, so I certainly wouldn't imitate it."
- Keyes was trounced by Obama, 70%-27%, the largest margin in state history. It would ultimately be the springboard for Obama's road to the presidency.
Views on homosexuality
“”... if you go down a road that satisfies your personal predilections and relationships and sacrifices the common good of the country, including the elementary institution by which its civilization is sustained, then you are not only derelict in your public duty, you are abandoning your obligation as a human being. And frankly people throw around words like 'crime against humanity.' I think that kind of disregard for the God-endowed natural rights of human beings is the archetype of all crimes against humanity. And I think we have an entire elite faction that is committed to committing such a crime against the American people.
Keyes has been outspoken in his opposition to homosexuality in general and same-sex marriage in particular for at least a decade. In a 2004 interview with gay activist Michelangelo Signorile, the following exchange took place:
KEYES: And they are adopting the paradigm of family life. But the essence of that family life remains procreation. If we embrace homosexuality as a proper basis for marriage, we are saying that it is possible to have a marriage state that in principle excludes procreation and is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism. This is unacceptable.KEYES: It is the mutual pursuit of pleasure through the stimulation of the organs intended for procreation, but it has nothing to do with sexuality because they are of the same sex. And with respect to them, the sexual difference does not exist. They are therefore not having sexual relations.
SIGNORILE: So Mary Cheney is a selfish hedonist, is that it?
KEYES: Of course she is. That goes by definition. Of course she is.
SIGNORILE: I don't think Dick Cheney would like to hear that about his daughter.
KEYES: He may or may not like to hear the truth, but it can be spoken.
[UNIDENTIFIED VOICE]: Do you really believe that, that Mary Cheney...
KEYES: By definition, a homosexual engages in the exchange of mutual pleasure. I actually object to the notion that we call it sexual relations because it's nothing of the kind.
[UNIDENTIFIED VOICE]: What is it?
He has since followed up on this gem of a conversation by making
wild-ass implausible assertions that increased gay rights will lead to establishment of both a Communist and Nazi regime in the US, and that Satan is using gay-inclusive TV programming to destroy America. We're still waiting on those.
He also came up with the singularly uncomfortable (and strangely Freudian) statement that "elitist faction judges cite human rights violations as they rape the parental authority of Christian parents who seek to raise their children to believe that homosexuality is wrong and sinful behavior," because UN pro-choice gun control cooties.
Keyes' daughter Maya came out as homosexual; she said that, due to this, her parents "threw her out of their house, refused to pay her college tuition and stopped speaking to her."
So Alan Keyes, the man who happily flipflopped on the issue of carpetbagging when it became politically and personally convenient, is at least staunch in his homophobia, even if it means giving his own daughter the cold shoulder - three cheers for political consistency(?)
Keyes on guns and abortion
"... at a Gun Owners of New Hampshire meeting ... He received a raucous standing ovation when he stated that gun owners are pro-life and their guns are to defend the lives of the unborn." The impracticality of the proposition suggests that his position on abortion is similar to that of Randall Terry: the solution to the problem is shooting doctors who provide abortions.
Keyes on religion
Keyes in film
Alan Keyes is featured in the documentary film FUCK as one of the "conservative" commentators decrying the use of the word. He also makes an appearance in the mockumentary Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, in which he informs the title character that the man who tried to put a rubber fist in his backside was a homosexual.
Oh, and this
- Wiley Drake, Keyes' 2008 Presidential election running mate.
- Before you think "That sounds like my marriage!", the allegations involved Jack trying to coerce Jeri into swinging and BDSM scenes with which she said she was not comfortable.
- In Illinois, Obama defeats Keyes in race called 1 of the strangest in state's history, Indianapolis Star
- Alan Keyes enters U.S. Senate race in Illinois against rising Democratic star, San Diego Union-Tribune
- GOP wants Keyes in Senate race, Baltimore Sun
- Alan Keyes Warns Gay Marriage Leads To A 'Totalitarian' Government, Right Wing Watch
- Keyes: Satan Using Gays on TV to Destroy America, Right Wing Watch
- Keyes: Teaching It's OK To Be Gay Is To 'Rape The Parental Authority Of Christian Parents', Right Wing Watch
- No drugs were used by Keyes to assist in the generation of this screed. Honest.
- When Sexuality Undercuts A Family's Ties, Washington Post
- Scroll down to the bottom of the second paragraph on Keyes
- Alan Keyes at On the Issues
- "God fires a shot across the bow of America"
- Alan Keyes: 'Lynch Mob' Wants to 'Hang Todd Akin from the Yardarm', Right Wing Watch
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| Topics: Debate:Religious beliefs and public office - Mission accomplished - Same-sex marriage - United States Electoral College - Values Voter Debate 2007
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