Dennis Scranton, a 92-year-old man from Miles City, Montana, is one of Donald Trump’s Electoral College voters. However, Scranton is currently facing criticism for anti-LGBT comments he made on Facebook six years ago.
The Missoulian reports that Scranton said gay people should be hung.
In 2010, the Billing Gazette originally reported on Scranton’s comments as part of a wider story on the removal of a local Tea Party leader. At the time, Tim Ravndal was attacking the ACLU for taking a case related to the rights of gay couples.
‘Marriage is between a man and a woman period! By giving rights to those otherwise would be a violation of the Constitution and my own rights’
Ravndal’s comments were certainly bigoted, but it was Scranton’s response to Ravndal’s comments that caught people’s attention.
‘I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions.’ wrote Scranton.
‘Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual,’ replied Ravndal.
The conversation was believed to be a reference to the murder of Matthew Shepard, who was tied to a fence post and beaten to death. The police determined that Shepard was killed because he was gay.
It’s been six years since Scranton made those hateful comments, but time has not made him any more tolerant. When the Missoulian asked Scranton about his comments he was unrepentant.
‘Don’t forget, I’m 93 years old. I come from a different era. I hadn’t heard of anyone being homosexual until I joined the Navy, and then I encountered them,’ Scranton said. ‘We were raised with good morals.’
Ahh yes, “good morals.” We’re slightly confused as to what this man’s definition of “good” is because murder does not fit into our definition.
It should be noted that Scranton’s age appears to have affected his memory a bit. When asked about the event, he was unclear as to what he remembered and misstated his age twice. Furthermore, he offered conflicting stories as to how he was chosen as an elector.
Scranton originally told the Missoulian that he was chosen as an elector by the state legislature, but that isn’t what actually happened. In fact, Scranton was nominated by the state’s Republican convention due to his age and status as a World War II veteran.
Montana GOP Chairman Jeff Essmann says he does not believe that Scranton’s comments should disqualify him from being an elector since the position is ceremonial.
‘It’s a ceremonial function. If people choose to be outraged, I guess they can be. It’s a free country,’ Essmann said. ‘Some people mellow as they age, some people say, “I’m over X-years of age and I can say whatever I want.”Mr. Scranton has taken the second path.’
Despite Essmann’s words, the Montana Democratic Party has condemned Scranton and lays the blame at the feet of the state party’s leadership. Specifically, they blame two of the state’s representatives in Congress, Ryan Zinke and Steve Daines.
‘With Congressman Zinke and Sen. Daines at the top, it’s become a troubling pattern for the leaders of the Republican Party to defend small-tent values that hurt Montanans, threaten jobs and our economy, and jeopardize the rights and freedoms we must never take for granted,’ Democratic director Nancy Keenan said in a prepared statement. ‘We need more leaders like Jon Tester and Steve Bullock who are willing to hold folks accountable and stand with all Montanans.’
Despite the outrage over Scranton’s statements, it is unlikely that he’ll be removed from his position in the Electoral College.
Featured image via Missoulian.