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Candidate Defends Remarks About Gays and God

by ARLnow.com October 20, 2011 at 11:55 am 3,798 63 Comments

Republican State Senate candidate Tim McGhee is catching some flak for comments he made to the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance Monday night.

During his closing remarks at the group’s candidates forum in Ballston, McGhee started opining about the relationship between gays, lesbians and God.

“Each and every one of you is a uniquely valuable human being created for a purpose,” McGhee told the group, according to an audio recording and transcript on the Not Larry Sabato blog. “Some of you are beyond frustrated with God right now. Some of you refuse to believe in him altogether. You’ve asked the question or perhaps given up asking a long time ago ‘Why? Why would God make me who I am and then tell me that’s wrong?'”

Needless to say, some AGLA members took exception to the implication that being gay is “wrong” — or that a discussion of God and morality was appropriate during a local political debate.

“Sitting in that room while the above was happening was insanely awkward,” wrote one Not Larry Sabato commenter.

McGhee, however, defended his remarks when asked about them by the Del Ray Patch.

“It was a personal view… It was meant to be an added perspective on who God is and his mercy,” said McGhee, a database administrator for The Falls Church.

McGhee’s opponent in the race for the 30th District state Senate seat is Del. Adam Ebbin, a Democrat who was the first openly gay member of the Virginia General Assembly.

  • Thes

    Hopefully, this man’s “personal views” will get nowhere near a seat in the Virginia State Senate.

    • Charlie

      But he’d fir right in…

  • Steamboat Willie

    Is anyone surprised? This is mild stuff relative to the majority of Republicans.

  • Joe Schmoe

    I wonder if he’s in favor of gun rights because he just shot himself in the foot.

    • YTK


  • YTK

    There’s no reason why he had to pontificate during a political speech.

  • Respectfully, Republicans need a better candidate.

  • Rosslynite

    God must be so royally pissed off at how many people invoke her name yet have so little understanding of what mercy really means. He looks a little gay in that photo. He probably thinks his best defense is a good offense.

    • Thes

      Science shows this is true. However, my guess is this guy doesn’t believe much in science, either.

      • Global Cooling

        Really? Yesterday’s posts showed that 25 years ago, “science” also showed that we were headed for global cooling. Maybe you should have said ‘prevailing thought’. You really shouldn’t complain, though – prevailing thought 250 years ago would have you burning at the stake for blasphemy right about now.

        MY God is still steaming over the lack of widening I-66. Well, that and the invention of light beer.

        • Thes

          I said science and not prevailing thought because I don’t know what the prevailing thought is, nor would I know how to cite a source for such a claim. Instead I linked to a professional and peer-reviewed scientific study. Falsifiable and replicable.

        • Steamboat Willie

          Global cooling was a media sensation and did NOT come from the consensus of scientists. This false myth persists in the right wing climate change denier circles and talk radio echo chamber, but there is no evidence to support the claim.

          Not that you will be persuaded, but, here’s a simplified version, from Skeptical Science blog:

          What was the scientific consensus in the 1970s regarding future climate? The most cited example of 1970s cooling predictions is a 1975 Newsweek article “The Cooling World” that suggested cooling “may portend a drastic decline for food production.”

          “Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend… But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.”

          A 1974 Time magazine article Another Ice Age? painted a similarly bleak picture:

          “When meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe, they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.”

          Peer-Reviewed Literature
          However, these are media articles, not scientific studies. A survey of peer reviewed scientific papers from 1965 to 1979 show that few papers predicted global cooling (7 in total). Significantly more papers (42 in total) predicted global warming (Peterson 2008). The large majority of climate research in the 1970s predicted the Earth would warm as a consequence of CO2. Rather than 1970s scientists predicting cooling, the opposite is the case.

          • Global Cooling

            Sorry – I thought ending with the light beer comment would make it clear that I was mostly being tongue-in-cheek. But science CAN be wrong (not as wrong as electing a loon like this to office).

            People here leave no room for non-conforming opinions – which is really not different at all from McGhee’s comments when you really think about it. If you’re all one-sided, you’re really no-sided.

            I chose today’s moniker to make a point – I actually believe that man contributes to climate change, that there are things we can do (and already are doing) to mitigate the damage. And there’s an entire world of gray area there in terms of what is most effective.

          • drax

            You had your tongue jammed real tight up in that cheek, GC.

            That’s the problem with parody of the rightwing these days – they’re already self-parody.

        • drax

          “Yesterday’s posts showed that 25 years ago, “science” also showed that we were headed for global cooling.”

          No it didn’t. That’s another rightwing myth. Global cooling was an idea that was tossed around, but it was never supported by rigorously collected solid evidence – like global warming has been. And the scientific measuring abilities are light years better than they were back then.

          Science advances. It improves on itself. “Scientists” once thought sickness was caused by demons, does that mean modern science is wrong about microbes?

      • LVGuy

        +1 for Pubmed

    • Chad

      Her? Everyone knows the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a He. Women don’t have “noodly appendages.”

      • PghBigDog

        >>Women don’t have “noodly appendages.”

        SOME do… I remember this girl I dated in college….

    • Tabby

      “A little gay”?


  • tonedeaf

    It’s awesome that the GOP runs candidates like McGhee and Merrick, who are so completely out of touch with the views of most of the people who live in this area. If there’s a strategery behind it, it sure beats me. Maybe these folks just need a good hobby

    • Patrick

      Or maybe it wouldn’t matter who the republicans run since the majority of the people in this area just vote for the person with a D after their name. Jim Moran proves this.

      • drax

        That’s not proof. You have no proof of why people vote for Jim Moran, you’re just pulling that out of your butt based on the assumption that because you don’t like him, nobody else should. That’s one reason you keep losing.

  • novasteve

    you people would be calling for critics of him to be prosecuted for hate crimes if he were muslim and said the same thing.

    • drax

      Making up wild straw man lies isn’t debate, steve.

  • WhatMightJesusSay

    “Why? Why would God make me who I am and then tell me that’s wrong?”

    Reading this article, I was more interested in his answer to that question than the mere fact that he asked it. But the transcript shows that he proceeded to give a sermon that (1) didn’t answer his own question and (2) was irrelevant to his qualifications for the State Senate.

    Here’s an answer he could have given: We don’t choose whom we lust after. Lust (for anyone or anything) has no place in heaven, but God can free us from it right now if we ask. Whether we choose that path or not, it has NOTHING to do with how we should be treated under secular law.

    • tonedeaf

      except that a candidate like this is probably running for election because he firmly believes his religious views should be enforced by secular law. Otherwise, he probably wouldn’t bother. At least he’s honest.

      And Lust has no place in heaven?? Jeez.Get thee to a nunnery! Is any kind of sexual expression is lust? Or just gay sexual expresson lust? I’m not sure your answer for him would give me any more reason to support him.

      • WMJS

        “I’m not sure your answer for him would give me any more reason to support him.”

        Yep, and that’s the problem with a political candidate asking in the first place. From the transcript, he sounds more interested in being a pastor than a senator.

        As for the nunnery: This world isn’t heaven. None of us are perfect heavenly creatures — we’re humans, not angels. Sexual expression of any kind has no place in heaven, and neither do many other common human traits. If being free of those in this world were a qualification for equal treatment under secular law, we’d all be equally left out.

        • AC

          “Sexual expression of any kind has no place in heaven”

          Then why would anyone want to go there?

          • drax

            Dammit, you beat me to that question.

          • Global Cooling

            Then that explains why there are 72 virgins there. . .

    • drax

      I don’t care what he or you or Jesus says about it. He’s running for delegate, no preacher. And you and Jesus aren’t running for anything.

  • Mr. Brown

    Theology isn’t Morality, and Morality isn’t Public Policy. He really should keep the comments to issues that are specific to the office in question.

  • KalashniKEV

    I think he was getting ready to come out. Seriously.

    He clearly has the gay gene.

    • Ha!

      Seriously! Dude totally sets off my gaydar. Except for the hideous shirt/tie combo.

      • KalashniKEV

        I’ll bet he makes that same face at you while you’re changing in the locker room.

        “Hey… ‘sup, dude?”

        • Ha!

          Indeed, it’s the closeted anti-gay nutjobs who would do just such a thing, not the openly gay toned and tanned gym rats, who in my experience are loath to do anything remotely like that.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    This will go over with most voters in the area like a preacher barging into a ridge runners convention.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    P.S. Mr. McGhee, stick to the public policy questions relevant to the office you are running for, like jobs, the economy, transportation – things that affect ALL people in Northern VA, regardless of what they do or do not do with their “plumbing” and whether you personally agree or disagree with what people do or do not do with their “plumbing.” And BTW, Mr. McGhee, God is neither a Democrat or a Republican.

  • V Dizzle

    This God person is a real pain. He/She/It seems to cause more trouble than good, am I right? I mean, the Yankees have won how many World Series? ..oh, and the Spanish Inquisition…that was bad too.

    • Tabby

      No one expects it.

    • Global Cooling

      Well, the Craps are still Stanley-Cup winless and the Skins are Super-Bowl winless under Snyder, so thanks and praise are in order – maybe MY God is just after all.

  • ^ Is a Nob

    God has told me anyone with glasses is ‘inferior’ and ‘wrong’ and will be judged (presumably cast into a fiery pit to a horrific death) in the coming Salvation, but that’s just my personal opinion. Don’t even get me started on the Non-Christians… whoa nelly.

  • Charlie

    God judges not a-hoe republican candidates.
    Sorry dude but YOU are WRONG.

  • roquer

    I’ve always thought it strange that folks take such an illogical approach toward God, and religion. According to Christianity principals, God is a forgiver, not a punisher. If these folks believe what they’re doing isn’t right, then they can ask for, and be forgiven. If they believe what they are doing IS right, then why should they have any issues with what McGhee said at all?

    • V Dizzle

      You must not be big on the Old Testament then? Didn’t God F-up a bunch of dudes?

  • Frank

    Although his timing wasn’t that great – but that’s to be expected of a newbie politician – I wonder why everyone is so upset over his question….

    It is common for many Christian churches to teach that a gay lifestyle is wrong. Many gay people brought up in these churches struggle with their feelings and what they are being taught about those feelings. If the quote here is accuate, then one should not infer that he is saying that being gay is wrong. He very well could be preaching his views that those who teach that being gay is “wrong” and against God’s will are incorrect.

    As others have said, being gay does not automatically make you a Democrat – and pouncing on a person’s few sentences and assuming that is an indication of their views and an entire political party’s view is very short-sighted.

    This seems to me to be a young man, who hasn’t had the experience of speaking in “political” speech – which means just saying whatever you think the audience in front of you wants to hear. This time, sounds like he thought it was ok, but failed on the delivery.

    • Thes

      This is the man the Republican Party of Virginia formally nominated to represent them in seeking to hold public office in the Virginia State Senate, where he would be responsible for writing the laws of the Commonwealth. He was at a formal debate, whose purpose was to determine how he would exercise that considerable power. Representing the Republicans, Mr. McGee chose to say the things he said. Subsequently, he said he claims to Patch that he was merely using that time in the debate to present his “personal opinion”. This does not sound like someone who has demonstrated he can be trusted to exercise power on behalf of 200,000 Virginians.

      Why did the Republicans choose this man to represent them?

      • V Dizzle

        I think God chose him.

      • novasteve

        How dare people who don’t share your views exist!

        • Thes

          I don’t mind that such people exist. I mind if a major party nominates them to be our rulers.

        • George


          It’s not that he shouldn’t exist because he has differing views. The problem is that McGhee is/will be in a position to dictate policy and law over the population of the state and his personal belief should not influence the exercise of that power if it means limiting the rights of others.

        • drax

          Steve, were you listening when I told you making up idiotic straw men isn’t debate?

  • Flying Spaghetti Monster

    “What if that’s exactly what God did? What if that’s exactly what God had to do to fully demonstrate who he is?”

    …What if God has a bitchy sense of humor? What if “who he is” is really just a twisted little sadist?

    This guy is a joke.

  • Flying Spaghetti Monster

    “But… I won the Timothy Award!!! “

  • Michelle

    “Some of you are beyond frustrated with God right now. Some of you refuse to believe in him altogether. You’ve asked the question or perhaps given up asking a long time ago ‘Why? Why would God make me who I am and then tell me that’s wrong”

    I bet he says this to himself every night. “god, why did you make me a balding 5’7 white man with mouse ears?!”

    I’m a socially liberal republican and this guy and his remarks is one of the many reasons no one can take the GOP seriously. Seriously, guy… no one is telling you to get hair plugs and laser eye surgery so don’t tell anyone who to love, bang, marry.

  • Burger

    Not to change the subject but I think most politicians are pretty dumb.

    Exhibit A: a couple of days ago, I received a campaign letter from Howell telling me about her greatness. Nothing wrong with that except I am not in her district. I am part of the district lines that moved during redistricting. I was thinking she was a basic idiot or her staff was too dumb to realize the change when, today I received a letter from the GOP candidate.

    so in essence, they are being aided by people that can’t read a map.

    • drax

      Silly Burger.

      You think they sit around and read maps and check off addresses one-by-one for hours and hours to get their lists? They get the list from the state.

      And here’s a crazy idea – maybe YOU are the one who is mistaken, and you really are in her district now. They just redrew the districts, you know. You did know that, right? Maybe you should double-check and see what district you’re in before you go calling other people stupid.

  • BlueSkies

    “It was meant to be an added perspective on who God is and his mercy,”

    If our politicians would stop talking about God and show a little mercy themselves, this country would be in a much better place.

  • Jesus Christ

    The average Republican spends WAY too much time worrying about what is happening in other people’s a$$holes.

    • drax



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