NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Democratic Party on Friday disavowed the winner of its primary for U.S. Senate because they claim the candidate is a member of an anti-gay hate group.
Mark Clayton, a Nashville-area Democrat, “is associated with a known hate group in Washington, D.C., and the Tennessee Democratic Party disavows his candidacy, will not do anything to promote or support him in any way, and urges Democrats to write-in a candidate of their choice in November,” the party said, in a statement.
Clayton is vice president of the group “Public Advocate of the United States” — Public Advocate has been labeled an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
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An anti-gay-marriage activist and flooring installer with a penchant for fringe conspiracy theories, Clayton believes the federal government is secretly building a massive, superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it, reported Mother Jones:
On his issues page, Clayton sounds more like a member of the John Birch Society than a rank-and-file Democrat. He says he’s against national ID cards, the North American Union, and the “NAFTA superhighway,” a nonexistent proposal that’s become a rallying cry in the far-right fever swamps.
Elsewhere, he warns of an encroaching “godless new world order” and suggests that Americans who speak out against government policies could some day be placed in “a bone-crushing prison camp similar to the one Alexander Solzhenitsyn was sent or to one of FEMA’s prison camps.” (There are no FEMA prison camps.)
In April 2008, Clayton issued a press release accusing Google of censoring his campaign website on behalf the Chinese government
According to a party statement, Clayton only won the primary because “Democrats in Tennessee knew nothing about any of the candidates in the race, so they voted for the person at the top of the ticket.”
“The only time that Clayton has voted in a Democratic primary was when he was voting for himself,” according to the statement.
The state Democratic Party said it will not back Clayton nor allow him to use any of the party’s resources in the general election.
At a news conference on Saturday, Clayton defended his relationship with “Public Advocate,” and said the group focuses on pushing pro-life legislation, defending marriage between a man and a woman and even advocating for the Boy Scouts of America.
Public Advocate, you may recall, has come under fire recently for hijacking an engagement photo of a gay couple from their wedding blog, and altering the photo to include anti-gay propaganda to attack a Colorado state senator who supported civil union legislation.