State Senator John Carona is Backpedaling Wildly on His Support for Gay Rights

Categories: Politics

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Republican state senator John Carona got himself into a bit of hot water with fellow conservatives last week, after he told Dallas Voice senior editor John Wright that he would support several LGBT rights bills during the upcoming legislative session. Those bills would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, offer domestic partner benefits to state university employees, and allow same-sex adoptive parents to have both names on birth certificates. Carona also told Wright he's "evolving" on gay marriage, but added: "Admittedly I'm not there yet. Nor do I believe the district is there yet. But times change and things may change," especially among younger Republicans.

The backlash was immediate, with groups like the Liberty Institute-backed Texas Values accusing the senator of supporting the "top legislative agenda of the homosexual lobby."

Carona is now rushing to clarify to conservative groups like the Texas Pastor Council (TPC) that he's still "pro-family" and that his remarks were reported "out of context."

TPC released a statement Friday, calling themselves sufficiently reassured. Dave Walch, their executive director, writes that Carona "has assured us that he is completely committed to maintaining his record as pro-marriage and pro-family in response to the concerns raised by an article in the Dallas Voice... His comments reported as "evolving" on issues like domestic partner benefits and same sex marriage were not accurately reported in context, according to the Senator in our conversation."

On Sunday Wright released the audio from his interview with Carona on the Voice's Instant Tea blog. It demonstrates pretty clearly that Wright quoted the senator's statements verbatim and with what we'd call quite a bit of context.

At one point, Carona says he employs individuals who "by their own admission are gay" and replies repeatedly, "I would support that" when asked about a non-discrimination bill.

"If you follow my legislative background and my record on all of this... I'm a pretty independent individual," Carona tells Wright a few moments later. "Yes, I'm Republican, and I don't deny or certainly don't apologize for that. But I try to look at each issue and determine how the constituents I represent would want me to vote, but also, you know, what's basically equitable. What's right. In many instances publicly I've gone against the Republican establishment, just because I fundamentally disagreed with the direction they were headed. i don't know that this is or is not such an area, just because i don't know what the entire agenda is at this point."

Carona also said that he "support[s] domestic partnership benefits," adding, "I don't currently offer those benefits in my own company in Texas but I do offer them in California. I choose to do business in states that either promote those benefits strongly or actually mandate such in law." He added that he doesn't offer them in Texas due to the cost.

We put in a call to Senator Carona's office in Austin and were directed to Barbara Salyers, the senator's legislative director and general counsel.

"We're not making any more comments at this time," she said. She punctuated that with a little chuckle that sounded either rueful or exasperated.

Dave Welch at the Texas Pastor Council added in his release that Carona "stated that he would not propose or support anything legitimizing the GLBT agenda or to undermine the traditional family and marriage. We will take him at his word and expect that position from his in the upcoming 2013 legislative session."

And just in case the senator didn't quite get the message, Welch adds that TPC "plan[s] to coordinate a team of pastors in his district to meet with him for ongoing dialogue."

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30 comments
disappointedmommy
disappointedmommy

If you go and look at the investigative report on him from the WFAA you will never vote for him again. Just google his name and WFAA.

roo_ster
roo_ster

Nice to see Carona back on the straight & narrow.  Still not voting for him.

CrackerDaddy
CrackerDaddy

Looks like someone was brought in for a stint of "re-education".

halldecker
halldecker

Am reminded of the time in the early 80's,  Dallas Mayor Jack Evans spoke to the gay political group in Oak Lawn,  DMN found out about it,  Mayor said he wouldn't have done it if he'd known they were a bunch of Queers.

Next election,  that bunch of Queers got organized,  were a major force in electing the new Mayor.  And have been ever since.  That's why you see all those pols in the Pride Parade. 

If you're in Carona's District,  call County Dem Headquarters and ask what you can do to help get rid of him.

 

 

nilesjr.david1
nilesjr.david1

John Carona is a hypocrite, and i can say from 1st hand experiance. Carona was a my district senator and I met with him personally, he pretty much didnt care and blew me off. he's gotta go

cesar39nt
cesar39nt

his colors are soo brightly lit this should tell us who needs to be voted out of office in favour of a more updated progressive human, "tree swingers are so yesterday" he should go such a wimp

SparksinTexas
SparksinTexas

Pastors gotta keep the hate & fear going or the donations will dwindle away.

ceepee
ceepee

WTF? These pastors are like the new mafia. Why do lawmakers allow them to get bullied by these thugs wrapped in the cloth? 

Daniel Alpiger
Daniel Alpiger

How refreshing that someone could think independently. NOT.

Aaron Dietrich
Aaron Dietrich

Is he still waiting for two of the same sex to reproduce?

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

"meet with him for ongoing dialogue."  Now wasn't that in God Father Part I

Terrence Wilsön
Terrence Wilsön

independent thought from a Texas Republican.....little late in the year for April Fools ain't it?

gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

Carona, a Republican, sure as the devil backpedaled on his promise to mail me information surrounding Rick Perry's extensive rollback of funding for the State of Texas' mental health programming.  In fact, Carona backpedaled so much that I never received that information.  Now, the doctors and caseworkers at Dallas Metrocare are so overworked and so understaffed that a visit to one of their several area locations is a real downer.  From those of us with mental illness, I'd like to thank Carona for his obvious disinterest. 

Wendy Diamond
Wendy Diamond

oh that makes me sad. I was almost proud to live in this state for a second

Steve Hunter
Steve Hunter

GOP senator accidentally says something right, apologizes profusely

jerikjonsson
jerikjonsson

What a depressing story.  Thanks a lot, AM.

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

LOL  -------   Here is a lesson to all you idiots who said that you might actually vote for a Republican because of what this guy said last week. They don't change stripes people......

KenLowery
KenLowery

Oooh. SO close to integrity.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

The tpc should get together and self immolate.

texaspainter
texaspainter

I wonder if the 'mincing' Pastor Jeffress from downtown Baptist has any opinion....

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