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GOP senator admits anti-gay death threat came from office

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UPDATE: Sen. Saxby Chambliss has confirmed that an online comment declaring “all faggots must die” originated from his Senate office, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

But in a statement, Chambliss’ office said it has not discovered exactly who was behind the slur, and has turned the matter over to the Senate Sergeant At Arms.

“The (Sergeant at Arms) has worked side by side with our personnel to determine whether the comment in question emanated from our office. That appears to be the case,” an unsigned statement from Chambliss’ press office read.

“There has not been a determination as to who posted the comment,” the statement read. “That part of the review is ongoing, and is now in the hands of the Senate Sergeant at Arms.”

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The Joe.My.God. blog, where the comment originally appeared, reported Tuesday that Chambliss’ office confirmed it was the source of the comment, but the statement issued by his office Wednesday was the first official confirmation.

“We’re standing by for your apology, Sen. Chambliss,” Joe.My.God. blogger Joseph Jervis writes.

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS BELOW

“A hatred of gays and a lack of IT savvy are likely to add up to unemployment for somebody in Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ office,” Rob Quinn writes for Newser.

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Jim Galloway at The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports,

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss confirmed Tuesday that he investigating whether one of his staffers left a threatening slur on an Internet discussion of the right of gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military.

“We have seen the allegations and are moving quickly to understand the facts. This office has not and will not tolerate any activity of the sort alleged,” Chambliss spokeswoman Bronwyn Lance Chester said. “Once we have ascertained whether these claims are true, we will take the appropriate steps.”

The comment was posted on Joe.My.God., a blog dedicated to gay and lesbian issues.

“All [gays] must die,” wrote the commenter, identifying himself as “Jimmy,” shortly after a Democratic bid to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” faltered in the US Senate.

UPI notes Joe.My.God. blogger Joseph Jervis “told the newspaper it didn’t take long for his readers to determine the origin of the comment.”

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“Among the fields in which gay people are over-represented is the IT field,” he said.

Gawker jokes, “We imagine the Chambliss office is now scrambling to figure out how to blame this all on a cat walking across a keyboard. Don’t mess with nerdy gays!”

Other bloggers, journalists and activists discussing DADT wondering about homophobic comments left at their websites are looking to recruit such folks.

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At the Dallas Voice, John Wright writes,

Which brings us to a comment that was left here on Instant Tea on Tuesday, below a post about Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Pete Sessions receiving awards from the Log Cabin Republicans. The comment posted by someone calling himself “BillyBob” said: “the only thing a disgusting faggot has a right to is a six foot hole in the ground.”

We’re no experts, but using Google alone we’ve managed to trace the source of the comment to the area of Brady, Texas. So what we’re wondering is, can any of our readers figure out who posted it? If so, shoot us an e-mail. We’d like to know.

Here’s the full IP address: 71.116.4.78

Tuesday morning, Jervis blogged, “I’ve just gotten off the phone with Atlanta Journal-Constitution political writer Jim Galloway who says that Sen. Saxby Chambliss has confirmed that the ‘All faggots must die’ comment left here on JMG earlier today did indeed come from his Atlanta office.”

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Galloway tells me a further confirmation, and hopefully, the identity of the commenter, should come tomorrow. I’ve also talked to producers at CNN and two Fox affiliates who may be covering the story. Thanks, as always, to our worthy JMG geeks for all their help!

In February, noting Chambliss’ position that the Pentagon should stick to the DADT compromise, AJC’s Galloway reported, “The dichotomy of Chambliss’ position was on display. On one hand, Georgia’s senior senator acknowledged the service of gays and lesbians, and predicted that they would complete future service ‘valiantly.'”

“On the other hand, Chambliss said ‘the presence’ in the military of those ‘who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” would create an unacceptable risk in the military.'”

TPMuckraker adds, “The Senate sergeant-at-arms, which administers the Senate’s IT systems, did not have a comment as of this morning.”

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