Jennifer Cockrham, a nurse from Walkertown, N.C., holds her hand over her heart for the Pledge of Allegiance during a rally supporting a constitutional ban...
Allen Breed/AP

GOP candidate calls gay couples ‘gremlins’


Same-sex couples are “gremlins,” a Republican candidate said in a recent Facebook post that positioned South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District race as a referendum on marriage equality.

“Same-sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are not cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life,” Anthony Culler wrote last week. Culler is challenging Democratic Rep. James Clyburn.

Culler’s diatribe against same-sex marriage included numerous personal attacks on LGBT people, whom he labeled “bullies” that lead an “alternative lifestyle” plagued by substance abuse. 

In his impassioned get-out-the-vote treatise, Culler argued that same-sex marriage has become legal not only due to courts that have ignored the will of the people, but also because of the ignorance and apathy of a “mass majority” of Americans. A vote against Clyburn, Culler argued, would counter this indifference by driving same-sex marriage “back into the darkness,” and preserving the destruction of traditional family values.

“Do not buy the ‘cuteness’ and ‘What will it hurt?’ arguments whispered in your ears and marketed to our children,” Culler said in his post.

But a record 55% of Americans affirmed their support of same-sex marriage in a Gallup poll released in May. And Republicans have nearly doubled their support of marriage equality since the polling firm first asked the question in 1966.

On Monday, Daniel T. Encarnacion, former chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina, called on Culler to withdraw from the race, “so real Republican values can represent the 6th Congressional District.”

“I cannot sit idly by, and allow Mr. Culler to describe gay men, and women as gremlins. This is the definition of ignorance, and is absolutely reprehensible,” said Encarnacion, who formerly announced his write-in campaign via Facebook.

It’s unlikely that Clyburn, the state’s first black congressman since Reconstruction, will be defeated on Election Day, according to the Associated Press. Clyburn has two clear advantages: He is running in a majority black district, and he has a huge fundraising advantage with about $1.5 million in the bank.

Marriage equality has seen an unprecedented advance in the past two weeks – 31 states plus the District of Columbia now allow same-sex couples to wed.

Talking Points Memo reported on Culler’s Facebook post earlier Monday.