A Republican running for the Missouri House of Representatives has a long history of promoting anti-gay views, according to article published this week by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Hardy Billington, 65, once called legalizing marriage for same-sex couples an “outrage” in a blurb promoting a 2006 that he authored, according to the Post-Dispatch, which noted that in the same blurb he said homosexual “lifestyles” lead to more deaths than smoking tobacco.
Billington, who is reportedly the lone GOP candidate in the race to represent Poplar Bluff in the Missouri House, later purchased a newspaper advertisement, in 2012, to support passage of a bill called “Don’t Say Gay,” which would have banned references to homosexuality in public schools.
“We are encouraging and affirming individuals into the ‘gay’ lifestyle,” Billington reportedly wrote in an advertisement for the Daily American Republic, Poplar Bluff’s local newspaper. “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.”
“I’ve known Hardy for 30 years, and I knew he had published those ads,” Smith said. “I don’t think it’s right to discriminate against people because of who they are.”
Gay rights have been a politically divisive issue in the state for years, the article noted.