Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, condemned a homophobic attack campaign by U.S. Rep. Fred Upton and the National Republican Congressional Committee ( NRCC ) that targets Michigan state Rep. Jon Hoadley, who is running against Rep. Upton for U.S. Congress. Victory Fund is demanding an immediate end to the homophobic attacks and for Rep. Upton and the NRCC to apologize for perpetuating harmful homophobic stereotypes. The NRCC is a political committee of the Republican Party tasked with helping to elect Republican members of the U.S. House and Upton is one of their most vulnerable incumbents.
For weeks, the NRCC has repeatedly referred to Hoadley as a "pedo sex poet" — a startling and defamatory use of homophobic tropes about gay men as pedophiles and sexual deviants. It also successfully pitched a political hit piece to the New York Post that purposely took phrases out of context from a 15-year-old live journal Hoadley wrote while an undergraduate student. They then use those phrases to make outrageous claims about Hoadley — all of them aimed at perpetuating homophobic stereotypes about gay men. Campaign mailers sent to voters' homes use the same phrases to attack Hoadley.
"Fred Upton is resorting to digging up Jon's puerile college blog posts and pulling together out-of-context words and phrases because he can find nothing else to criticize about Jon's public service record," said Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. "If Upton wants to be a digital avenger working to critique 15-year-old internet postings, why does he remain silent on the racist, sexist, transphobic and anti-immigrant tweets that are a constant from this White House? Where is his rebuttal of Donald Trump's tweets denying the extent of a pandemic that has killed 180,000 Americans with no end in sight? It is pathetic to see Fred resort to becoming an internet troll at a time when our president's words and actions have led to a resurgence in hate crimes, white supremacy and divisiveness. Any media outlet that reports on Fred's take on Jon's internet musings from 15 years ago should also ask for Fred's takes on Trump's tweets from just the past week."
A reading of the live blog posts reveals the extent of the distortion and smear campaign by Upton and the NRCC — using small sections of posts to claim Hoadley mocks women, uses drugs, victimizes sexual partners and is a pedophile. Each reference is addressed and debunked below:
Hoadley is a champion for women. He has continuously been a champion for women's rights in the legislature, advocating for equal pay legislation, reproductive rights, childcare resources and beyond. This fixation on a bad attempt at humor when he was just 21 — for which he has also issued an apology — aims to paint him as a sexist and to distract from the actual issues - including women's issues - at hand in this election.
Outdated pedophilia tropes against an LGBTQ candidate. In a clearly satirical discussion about whether all 'gay men desire to be flower girls' an aforementioned friend jokes that he has no desire to see a 'four-year-old wearing a thong'" as a condemnation of the hypersexualization of children. The phrase has been removed from context to somehow imply that Jon is a pedophile, an accusation that has been repeated multiple times in many ways by the NRCC and its staff.
Implied drug usage. The original passage details that Hoadley went to leather bar to "learn about crystal meth" and attended an informational meeting about the drug's impact on the LGTBQ+ community. He ended the post by writing, "Don't do meth."
LGBTQ Victory Fund
LGBTQ Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America's politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government.