Gordon "Chaps" Klingenschmitt won his Republican primary with 52 percent of the vote Tuesday night. In November, he'll face Democrat Lois Fornander to represent Colorado's 15th state House District, which is located near Colorado Springs.
"The voters are rising up with me to defend the First Amendment, religious freedom, smaller government, lower taxes and the right to life," he told The Colorado Springs Gazette after his win. "And those are the values I will fight for in Denver."
Klingenschmitt falsely claimed last year that the Affordable Care Act causes cancer, after he received a letter from a woman who defended the legislation. The woman's friend had recently died of cancer and had been unable to receive treatment because she didn't have insurance.
Earlier this month, he praised a bakery owner for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, proclaiming that anyone who supports gay rights is supporting "hate speech."
"The ultimate hate speech is to endorse homosexuality because you give them the impression that it's okay and that deceives them and ultimately trips them into hell," he said on his radio show, "Pray in Jesus Name."
Klingenschmitt frequently makes such pronouncements on his show. For example, he claimed that Jesus would want gay couples to "get divorced immediately."
He's also obsessed with demons, connecting them to many people and issues. For instance, he thinks "a demon of tyranny" has possessed President Barack Obama and is oppressing America, a demon has led the Federal Communications Commission to enforce lax decency standards and "molest and visually rape your children," and "a demon of murder" controls Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (D) and her pro-choice stance.
Klingenschmitt is a noted activist among evangelical Christians. In 2006, while a chaplain in the Navy, he was court-martialed for wearing his uniform when protesting the Navy's policies on prayer. He had wanted President George W. Bush's administration to pass an executive order that would have allowed chaplains to pray "in the name of Jesus."
His GOP primary opponent, Dave Williams, attacked his tainted military service record, while Klingenschmitt targeted Williams' finances. Williams, a business owner, donated about $45,000 to his own campaign, while Klingenschmitt raised only about $27,000 total.
If elected, Klingenschmitt hopes to introduce legislation allowing businesses and religious organizations to deny services to gay couples.
(h/t Right Wing Watch)
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