A decorated vet running for a hotly contested congressional seat in Texas has come under attack from one of his GOP primary opponents for participating in a pride fun sponsored by an Air Force base gay rights group.
According to The New Civil Rights Movement, retired Col. Michael Bob Starr participated in LGBT Pride runs in 2014 and 2015, sponsored by the Pride Alliance at Dyess AFB, where Starr once served as commander.
Starr, who is currently one of nine Republican candidates battling for the congressional seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Randy Neugebauer, has come under attack from opponent Jason Corley who claims that the base was indulging in “social engineering” under Starr.
According to Corley, he brought up the issue because he can’t understand why the base allowed the existence of the gay rights group in the first place, and that and that he is concerned that the government will begin paying for gender reassignment surgery for transgender service members.
Previously, Corley railed against the military allowing gays to enlist and attacked U.S. Supreme Court justices who sided in favor of nationwide marriage equality.
“Republicans in Congress voted to OK these guys to let them in there,” Corley said. “When I go to Congress, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to jump up and down, stamp my foot, beat on the table and say, ‘No, we’re not going to allow this.'”
Corley said that Starr’s participation in the Pride runs suggests voters in the conservative district may not know enough about the retired colonel who is a favorite to make it through a run-off leading to the primary.
“We know he served in the Air Force, and I appreciate that,” Corley said. “But, what else do we know about him? This is an agricultural region and we need candidate who knows ag.”
Corley’s campaign website does not indicate whether the candidate ever served in the military and that he is employed as an oil field worker.
According to Starr, he supports traditional marriage but that his job was was to “enforce the law and not discriminate against anyone who made different lifestyle choices than the ones that I agreed with,”
The retired colonel also said that he did it in support of the servicemen on the base where he was a commander.