Archconservative congressman from California and anti-homosexual crusader
William Dannemeyer, a seven-time period California congressman who exemplified the archconservative politics of Orange County, calling for a balanced federal budget even as making countrywide headlines for his assaults on “militant homosexuality” inside the early years of the AIDS epidemic, died July nine at his wife’s domestic in Thousand Palms, California. He becomes 89.
He had dementia, said his son, Bruce Dannemeyer.
Dannemeyer turned into “a symbol of the all-white, directly, Christian Orange County,” which became a nationally diagnosed bastion of conservatism inside the late 1960s, said Fred Smoller, a political technology professor at Chapman University in Orange, California.
A legal professional and previous conservative Democrat, Dannemeyer served in the U.S. House as a Republican from 1979 to 1993, representing Fullerton and other southeastern suburbs of Los Angeles when the location become ruled through protection contractors and former Midwesterners.
A Lutheran elder who stated he noticed little separation among church and country, Dannemeyer became regularly cited as one of the most conservative contributors of Congress and routinely took to the House floor to lambaste the “homosexual movement,” abortion rights activists, racy tv packages and “environmental zealots.”
He preferred regulatory rollbacks, expansive offshore oil drilling, cuts to social programs, and a go back to the gold standard.
And he embraced controversy via selling false claims about HIV/AIDS, studying a picture description of “the average gay’s preferred sports” into the congressional record, and likening Nelson Mandela to black militant H. Rap Brown and felon Willie Horton.
In 1990, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen dubbed Dannemeyer “the Renaissance man of bigotry.” The Advocate, an LGBTQ mag, later included him on its list of “the 50 largest homophobes of the closing 50 years.”
Dannemeyer regularly broke together with his GOP colleagues, along with when he voted in opposition to the Americans With Disabilities Act, and adverse rules monitoring hate crimes because it positioned homosexuality on par with race, faith, and ethnicity as covered lessons.
His hearth-and-brimstone rhetoric on gays made him a hero to the spiritual proper and a leading villain to LGBTQ rights advocates, with whom he overjoyed in publicly debating, often declaring, “God’s plan for a guy on this world is Adam and Eve, now not Adam and Steve.”
In a 1989 book, “Shadow in the Land,” he warned: “We ought to either defeat militant homosexuality or it’s going to defeat us.”
Dannemeyer acquired giant support from his district, effortlessly winning reelection every year, but proved too radical to win statewide office. In 1992, he determined to compete for a Senate seat after the incumbent, Pete Wilson, a Republican, changed into the elected governor of California. He misplaced in the number one to John Seymour (who fell in turn to Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat) and unsuccessfully ran once more in 1994.
The handiest son of German immigrants, William Edwin Dannemeyer, turned into born in Long Beach, California, on Sept. 22, 1929. His father, who was epileptic, ran a feed store in Los Angeles before transferring to a sanitarium in Nebraska when William was a younger boy, leaving his mother to take care of him and an older sister through scrubbing flooring.
“The closest factor he had to a mentor — or a father, for that count — become his scoutmaster,” said Bruce Dannemeyer. “Boy Scouts filled a massive void in his life.”
Dannemeyer, an Eagle Scout, acquired a bachelor’s diploma in 1950 from Valparaiso University, a Lutheran school in Indiana. He later stated he advanced the “trojan horse” to run for the workplace while on an internship in Washington and graduated from Hastings College of the Law, a department of the University of California in San Francisco, in 1952.