In Case You Missed It, new reporting from David Catanese calls out Adam Laxalt for his “detailed history of not only vehemently opposing gay marriage, but questioning whether homosexuality can properly integrate into general society.”
Laxalt has been a long-time opponent of LGBTQ+ rights, having spoken out against same-sex marriage equality and penning multiple op-eds in support of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, arguing “men still love to have sex…. The military cannot tolerate sex in combat.” Recently, Laxalt came under fire from Nevada’s LGBTQ+ community, with groups across the state speaking out against him for his extensive anti-LGBTQ+ record and his support of Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” law.
David Catanese // 6.16.22
The GOP Senate nominee in Nevada has expressed strident views about the homosexual lifestyle. Should anyone care 12 years later?
On Tuesday night, one of those margin-of-error races was formally joined when Adam Laxalt, a former attorney general in Nevada, secured the Republican nomination to challenge first-term Democrat, Catherine Cortez Masto. The Nevada race will be one of six highly competitive contests that determines party control of the U.S. Senate.
Laxalt doesn’t speak much, if at all, about gay rights these days. Like most Republicans running, he’s trained his focus on inflation, the surge of immigrants coming through the southern border and spikes in crime that are plaguing cities.
But Laxalt has a detailed history of not only vehemently opposing gay marriage, but questioning whether homosexualtiy can properly integrate into general society.
That’s an opinion he issued 12 years ago, in a lengthy op-ed for The American Spectator in October of 2010.
Cultural elites notwithstanding, homosexuality and its integration into society are anything but certain right now. Indeed, in our towns and communities, America is in the midst of a giant cage match over homosexuality’s legal and cultural future.
To those who currently tolerate homosexuals but retain their God-given right to reject homosexuality as a practiced lifestyle — could you do the above as a leader? Even for your country? It is one thing for the military to ask its members to accept homosexuals, but another for the military to ask its members to accept and live with homosexuality, the homosexual lifestyle.
Will there be pressure, subtle or overt, to make a homosexual in charge of a ship? Within five years, what if there is still not a homosexual Captain in the U.S. Navy who is in the top eleven out of over 1,000 Navy Captains to command an Aircraft Carrier — a weapon system of unparalleled capacity possessing the ability to single-handedly wipe out dozens of nations at a time. Will the political pressure on flag officer leadership force a homosexual into command, regardless of ability? If so, will his sailors respect and follow? The consequences are realistic and dire.
It’s stark reading this given how drastically public opinion has moved regarding the homosexual “lifestyle,” as Laxalt refers to it. A majority of Americans are fine with gays serving in the military, though notably a recent national poll found that 60% of Republicans still oppose gay marriage.
Laxalt’s most detailed thoughts on the issue were those of a 31-year-old military man in private life.
Why return to 12-year old comments, you might say?
For one, because there’s no public record since then of Laxalt adjusting his position on gays broadly or those serving in the military specifically.
When he made his run for attorney general four years later in 2014, Laxalt consistently said he still believed marriage was reserved for man and woman, a view reflected in the state’s ban. As a candidate he said he would work to defend the ban.
But after Nevada’s ban was struck down and a group organized an appeal to the Supreme Court to reinstate it, Laxalt punted through a spokesperson to the governor.
In 2018 when he ran for governor against Steve Sisolak, the Human Rights Campaign tagged Laxalt as a “virulent anti-LGBTQ” activist, but it wasn’t a central component of the race. It was former President Trump’s first midterm, which meant a Democratic wave year propelled Sisolak to the governorship, but just barely.
The point here is that Laxalt, as attorney general, candidate for governor and now U.S. Senate nominee has never addressed whether he still holds the same beliefs he penned in that 2010 op-ed.
It’s clear the Laxalt campaign will steer clear of gay, given how important they view abortion in the context of their race.
From a Laxalt campaign memo issued Wednesday:
Our opponent has attempted to redirect the conversation from the economy to a variety of subjects, including abortion. But on the matter of abortion, even Sen. Masto admitted the issue was already “codified” in Nevada. Despite Democrat attempts to move on from discussing the economy, voter attentions are undivided.
Laxalt has embraced the Florida law that bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten through third grade, calling it “indoctrination” to teach 7-year-olds about the LGBTQ community.
Perhaps Laxalt has evolved on whether he thinks gays can serve in the military, captain an aircraft carrier or successfully integrate into modern society. Does he believe they should be able to legally adopt children? What about nondiscrimination laws to be protected from being fired for their sexual orientation?
We just don’t know the answers to any of these questions. Because he hasn’t been forced to address them and appears to have no plans to.
Perhaps Democrats will see an incentive to try and make him.