- Courtesy Gorden Klingenschmitt
“I’ve heard about cases when people repented of pornography and were healed of liver cancer.” — The Daily Show
“The ultimate hate speech is to endorse homosexuality.” — Right Wing Watch
“We pray against the domestic enemies of the Constitution, against this demon of tyranny who is using the White House occupant [Barack Obama]. That demonic spirit is oppressing us.” — mic.com (video)
All these quotes came from one man: Gordon Klingenschmitt.
Klingenschmitt, who was court-martialed after appearing at a protest in his Navy uniform, has garnered national attention for his unabashed hatred of the LGBTQ community. He used his platform as a Colorado state legislator to claim that an attack on a pregnant Longmont woman was a “curse of God” because abortions are legal. The woman’s baby was cut from her womb. He was censured for the comment, but that didn’t even slow him down.
He’s accused Gov. Jared Polis of being in league with ISIS and claims that homosexuals are the equivalent of child molesters. It’s uncertain how he ever got elected to begin with, but what’s absolutely certain is that he should never represent Colorado Springs in an elected office.
The very idea terrifies.
Colorado Springs has slowly shed its reputation for right-wing, hate-filled rhetoric. Now isn’t the time to return to the heyday of the anti-LGBTQ movement in the Springs. We’re the fastest-growing city in the state; we’re attracting millennials; we’re no longer in the news for turning off our streetlights or for embarrassing activities of certain national evangelical leaders (we’re looking at you, Ted Haggard). Focus on the Family is less vocal today about homosexual families and equality in marriage. Ditto for New Life Church.
In the new Colorado Springs, there’s no room for hate.
There’s no room in city government for a man who traveled to Alabama in 2017 to campaign for U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore. You remember Moore; he was the guy accused of paying inappropriate attention to girls of an inappropriate age; he was the man barred from the local mall for allegedly harassing teenagers.
We can’t have Klingenschmitt representing the city. We can’t have him using the Council dais as a bully pulpit for his particular perverse brand of religion. He isn’t interested in governing or serving constituents. When he was in the state legislature, he passed a single bill. He’s not only hateful, he’s ineffective.
We can’t afford to have a divided Council right now. We can’t afford to return to the days of Council dysfunction that we experienced just a few years ago when the Council and Mayor Steve Bach were in the headlines for their constant disagreements, constant turmoil. We’re bigger than that now; we’re better than that now.
And there’s one way to avoid giving Klingenschmitt a platform. Vote. Stop him from gaining a seat on City Council; keep government functioning free of the kind of distractions he would bring. Let Klingenschmitt and his ilk know there is no leadership position for them in Colorado Springs. Vote.
The risk is real. Historically, voters sit out local municipal elections and, because he’s been elected before, Klingenschmitt has name recognition. This man cannot be allowed to disrupt city governance with his antics.
When you get your mail-in ballot in a few weeks, fill it out and turn it in. Use your power at the ballot box to vote instead for equality, diversity and inclusion. Your vote matters.