Pay No Attention to the Hatemonger Behind the Curtain

by Jose Medina

You’ve probably been thinking, hey, what’s Steve Hotze up to these days? The prominent anti-LGBT zealot from Houston has, as the Houston Chronicle noted, been awfully quiet leading up to next week’s referendum to decide the fate of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The silence is unusual for the outspoken Hotze, who last made headlines in August when he went on anti-gay tirade that included a sword — yes, an actual sword — and compared of gay people to Nazis (and demanded that LGBT people be driven from Houston).

Hotze, instead, is letting his money do the talking. Campaign reports examined by the Houston Chronicle show that the group opposing the ordinance has spent about $140,000 more than it has raised. Hotze has made up the deficit by, no joke, putting it on his credit card and extending a $50,000 loan, according to the Chronicle.

But why is Hotze otherwise so quiet? Here’s a possible answer:

Hotze’s less public role in the campaign is a smart strategy, said University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus.

Hotze’s long public battle against gay rights could be a liability for the campaign when it comes to attracting more moderate voters, Rottinghaus said.

So because the group opposing the equal rights ordinance doesn’t want to remind voters who Steve Hotze is, let’s remind voter who Steve Hotze is. Here’s just a sampling of what he’s said, including what he thinks about LGBT people, in an audio recording earlier this year during a Texas legislative hearing:

This is the guy opponents of the ordinance are in bed with. If you’re a Houstonian, you gotta ask yourself, do I want Hotze calling the shots in my city? Because that’s what is at stake at the polls next week.