Election 2024

Dr. Oz hosts campaign event at Christian “straights only” wedding venue

GOP Senate candidate Mehmet Oz
GOP Senate candidate Mehmet Oz Photo: Shutterstock

At his Wednesday campaign rally in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz claimed to want to unite voters. But the Republican candidate for the state’s U.S. Senate seat chose a divisive venue.

As Jezebel notes, the event took place at Ironstone Ranch on Elizabethtown’s Stone Gables Estate. The event complex is also home to popular wedding venue Star Barn, which bans same-sex weddings due to its owner’s religious beliefs.

On its website, Stone Gables Estate is described as a “biblical faith based ministry/business.”

“We provide marriage-related services as ordained by God’s Word, the Holy Bible, that are consistent with the written truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” the site states.

In September, Oz tweeted his support for the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the anti-LGBTQ Defense of Marriage Act and require all states to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages performed in states where they are legal.

“I believe that same-sex couples should have the same freedom to get married as straight couples,” he wrote.

But the Oz campaign’s choice of venue calls into question the candidate’s commitment to marriage equality.

Jezebel reports that Oz’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. But in an email, the campaign for Oz’s Democratic opponent, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) blasted the Republican’s decision to hold a rally at the Stone Gables Estate.

“Oz is currently on TV lying to the people of Pennsylvania that he is a moderate, but now he is holding a campaign event at a venue that bans same-sex couples, has January 6th marchers on his staff, and is rallying with Trump and Mastriano this weekend,” the campaign said in a statement. “How are you going to ‘reject extremism’ in DC if you won’t reject it right here in PA?”

Stone Gables owner David Abel has reportedly maxed out donations to Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano. Mastriano, who is running against Democrat Josh Shapiro, has called Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) executive order banning so-called “conversion therapy” “disgusting.” Both Abel and Mastriano were present at Oz’s Wednesday rally.

Real Clear Politics’ polling average shows Shapiro leading Mastriano by 12 points. The U.S. Senate race, meanwhile, has tightened, with Fetterman now a razor-thin 0.2 points ahead of Oz.

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