Mass. GOP Distancing Itself from Homophobic Slur-Using Senate Candidate

Ted Busiek refuses to apologize for using ‘faggot’ in a tweet. In fact, he wrote another 2,400 words defending it.

ted-busiek

There’s quite a juxtaposition on display in State Senate race brewing in the Middlesex and Worcester District, which will likely pit Democratic incumbent Jamie Eldridge, an emphatic supporter of progressive causes and Beacon Hill water fountains, against, well, this guy.

Ted Busiek, 30, of Littleton, spent four years in the Air Force, and is now seeking Eldridge’s seat, which the Acton Democrat has held since 2009. He’s drawn criticism this week for using the homophobic slur “faggot” to describe Democratic Congressman George Miller of California in the accompanying video of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sparring with Congress over federal tribal gaming policy.

Busiek, a Trump supporter, told the State House News Service he used the word not in a “hateful sense,” but to convey that Miller was “obnoxious” and “kind of being a jerk.”

On Twitter, Eldridge, who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, called Busiek’s language “unacceptable,” and urged him to apologize and consider dropping out. Stan Rosenberg, the first openly gay Senate president in Massachusetts, said that Busiek would “not be a welcome addition to the state Legislature.”

While he says he has nothing against LGBT folk, Busiek says he opposes gay marriage and is “absolutely opposed” to same-sex couples adopting children. Instead, he’s argued, this is a matter of free speech.

“Every frat boy, all the guys I met in the military, and most—any man between the ages of 25 and 35 probably uses that word in a non-hateful sense,” he told Fox 25.

To further his case, Busiek—whose other policy positions include eliminating all affordable housing, outright banning abortion, and scrapping EBT—penned a 2,400-word treatise on CommentMagazine.net, a blog that lists him as executive editor. “Faggot,” as he uses it, is merely the parlance of “uneducated proles”—precisely the people he hopes to represent, he says.

“I’m fine with not saying ‘faggot,’ because I’m willing to believe that there are some who genuinely find the term hateful and hurtful,” he wrote. “But I’m not blind to the fact that for a contingent of the [social justice warrior] word-police, the goal is to ban any words that reflect the existence of a culture which views homosexuality unfavorably. Because they’d rather that that culture, my culture, simply didn’t exist.”

The Mass. GOP is distancing itself from Busiek, the lone Republican candidate on the September 8 primary ballot, condemning his remarks in a statement Wednesday.

“Obviously, Mr. Busiek’s language is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the values of the Republican Party,” chairman Kirsten Hughes said. State party officials added that they do not intend to spend any time or money in Busiek’s district, and the decision to drop out will be his to make.

This isn’t the first time Busiek has chafed with party leadership. In June, he called transgender people “perverts” after Gov. Charlie Baker, a fellow Republican, said he would sign the House version of a non-discrimination bill.

Lawmakers on Beacon Hill reportedly reached a compromise Wednesday over the transgender rights bill, with votes expected in both houses of the Legislature Thursday. Baker is expected to sign the legislation.