in the family

Christine O’Donnell Has an Openly Lesbian Sister, Says Ex-Ex-Gay Wade Richards

As the Republicans feud with Delaware’s GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell — and she feuds right back — the anti-masturbation candidate’s past returns. Not to haunt her, exactly, but to remind us from where she’s came, and how she developed positions like this one about AIDS. Oh, and how her anti-gay group got off the ground in the late 1990s with the help of then-20-year-old Wade Richards, an ex-gay who shared his homosexuality cure on 20/20.

Richards joined The Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth, O’Donnell’s solo campaign against abortion and The Gays, even though he still struggled with his own sexuality, he tells The Daily Beast.

The SALT wasn’t much of an organization. It was run out of O’Donnell’s apartment, where Richards lived for his first month in California, and the two of them seemed to be its only employees. But O’Donnell was good at getting publicity. She appeared frequently on Politically Incorrect and other talk shows, and the two of them toured the country, giving press conferences and speaking at churches and colleges about sexual purity and curing homosexuality. Richards, though, was having doubts, which he confided to O’Donnell. “I told her, ‘You know, Christine, I’m still super struggling with same-sex attraction,’” he says. “‘I don’t really know if this is real, if I can really be this changed person that I’m going around the country speaking and saying that I am.’” She paid little attention, he says. Campaigning against gay rights was too central to her mission.

But that’s not exactly news. We know O’Donnell has been, and still is, on a mission to rid the nation of “special rights” for our kind. What is news, however, is that O’Donnell has family that is family. Her sister is openly gay.

O’Donnell’s demonization of gay people is especially striking given the fact that, according to Richards, she has a sister who is openly lesbian. Indeed, it was meeting her sister, he says, that helped him begin to accept his own sexuality. “What helped me really come to grips was that her sister is an open lesbian and was living in L.A. and was in a long-term relationship and was working with a youth organization,” he says. “By hanging out with her, I saw, wow, she has a pretty normal life.” Being gay, he started to realize, needn’t condemn him to a life of seedy anonymous hookups, drug abuse, and nihilism.

For some Republicans (see: Dick Cheney) having a gay sibling is enough to give them a moral conscience. For others (see: NY State Sen. Ruben Diaz) it doesn’t mean anything.

Except Richards’ experience with O’Donnell doesn’t end there. On his journey to denouncing his ex-gay status, with the help of Truth Wins Out’s Wayne Besen, Richards (seen here in the 90s) started working for the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality — a connection he made through Delaware’s possible future senator.

Still, it took Richards several more months before he was ready to become ex-ex-gay. First, he went to work for a group called Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, whose founder, Peter LaBarbara, he’d met through O’Donnell. LaBarbara is among the most virulent anti-gay activists in the nation, famous for his prurient obsession with the outré corners of the gay sexual demimonde. After going undercover at an “International Mr. Leather” convention, for example, he appeared on Concerned Women for America’s radio show to regale his interviewer with tales of “grotesque hard-core homosexual pornography,” including urine fetishes and something called “pig sex.”

Richards was unnerved when he went into Americans for Truth About Homosexuality’s “media room” and found copious hard-core porn—for research, naturally—as well as leather bondage gear for undercover work. “The sad thing was, there’s that 80-year-old grandma in Wichita, Kansas, thinking she’s donating this money to a good cause, and it’s going to who knows what kind of ‘research,’” says Richards. “As someone struggling with same-sex attraction, I thought, this is really not a place I need to be hanging out in.”

And now Richards knows: The place he needs to be hanging out in is the press, sharing the stories about his former boss.

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  • ewe

    I hate men and women who use the bible as their chastity belt.

  • ewe

    bang bang, knock knock. ooh now thats hard.

  • ewe

    I have no doubt Ruben Diaz is getting his dick sucked by a crack hoar for two dollars. Just a thought.

  • Bareback Hussein Osama

    Praise Jesus!

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    I remember seeing O’Donnell on PI, and her telling Clive Barker that his idea of heaven was Hellraiser.

    Funny thing is, she claimed her “organization” was international, with thousands of follwers. And yet she was a one woman operation, working out of her apartment. God, these anti-gay fundies love to lie. Anything to make themselves seem more important than they really are.

  • Bob

    Wade Richards may be openly gay now but I will not applaud him after the past damages he has done. It takes courage even today to come out of the closet. It was much worse for those of us who did so in the 70’s and earlier. Grow-up, come out and be proud. Stand up to bullies like this hateful Christine O’Donnell and her evil band. We must not let ourselves give-back what we have gained. We must move on and fight these bigots!!

  • NAP79

    It should not come as a shock that someone that Shitforbrains Palin endorses is a complete asshole.

  • GayGOP

    Hey Queerty, don’t put Ruben Diaz in my party. He’s a Democrat!

  • Bareback Hussein Osama

    @GayGOP: And my supporter too!

  • SouLKid

    Oh! A white homophobe. I ‘didn’t know’ they existed.

  • BillCooney

    Ms. O’Donnell also opposes masturbation. My mother told me it would lead to my going blind. So, I thought I’d do it just until I needed glasses. Fortunately, my eyesight is still 20-20, so there!

  • David

    You can’t tell me she’s never rubbed one out with those giant man hands. Those things were made for rubbing a pussy.

  • robert in nyc

    Isn’t it revealing that the majority of these vile homophobes and closet cases are to be found in the GOP? I wonder why? Why would any sane gay man or woman persistently support and vote for a party that doesn’t want them or their equality? The Log Cabin group is delusional if it thinks it can change its party from within. How many senators and congressmen in the GOP support full equality I wonder? Why are we not represented at their conventions and allowed a place on the platform to address equality issues if it maintains its the party of inclusion?

    O’Donnell actually equates masturbation with adultery. She’s proof positive that devolution exists just like the bulk of her party. Still, I’m glad these tea party wackos and psycho-talkers are out there because its only going to alienate independents, moderates and others away from the GOP. Lets hope that continues.

  • ousslander

    @robert in nyc: What’s the big deal if she thinks jerking off is wrong or a sin? people in the gay coimmunity thinks it’s ok and fun to sticka fist and arm up one’s ass. do you consider them just as mental?

  • ousslander

    She’s a somewhat of a nutter but going after the masturbation thing is ridiculous.

  • robert in nyc

    Ousslander, I didn’t say it was a big deal, what I was implying was the absurdity of her statement when she equates masturbation with adultery. I don’t give a flying f-ck what she says or any of the other nutjobs on the right for that matter. Its the lies and the hate that people of her ilk spread about us, including closet case La Barbara reputed to have the largest gay porn collection in the country, all in the name of “research”. More about prurient interest than anything else. Who is he kidding?

    FYI, fisting Idon’t think is so common in the gay world but of course exists, and I wouldn’t claim to speak for the entire gay community as you seem to imply to draw a comparison to O’Donnell’s comment about masturbationn. I don’t paint the entire gay community with the same brush. Anal sex too is not confined to the gay community either, its been practiced by straights for millenia, but the likes of O’Donnell and La Barbara igore it but make outrageous statements to suggest that the entire gay community behaves that way. Personally, I don’t agree with fisting and would never indulge, whatever floats your boat. O’Donnell should accompany La Barbara to some of the straight swinger clubs for a change, get their own filthy houses in order first. Truly revealing why he’s so addicted to gay venues.

  • Barry G.Wick

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: you got that right…in spades.

  • ousslander

    @robert in nyc: Apologize for misreading.

    But if it was no big deal why bring it up? It is absurd, however. I was trying to say how we look at that as absurd and apparently useful enough to discredit someone but on the other hand if we or anyone was to criticize people who fist or enjoy tying someone up, gaggin them and inflicting pain for sexually gratification then that’s homophobic and such rot. There’s a double standard.

    I know straights do everything too, but I’m keeping my comments about gays.

  • robert in nyc

    Ousslander, I frown upon fisting personally, not my idea of a meaningful sexual relationship and quite frankly, I think its wrong and yes it does play into the hands of these homophobic bigots, I do not condone fisting whatsoever. My point is, O’Donnell and LaBarbara et al use the actions of a minority within our group to paint us all with the same brush in order to dehumanize, denigrate and legislate against us. They don’t want us to have any rights, none and they will resort to anything hurtful to make that happen. That to me is pure homophobia and hatred. I don’t find this to be a double standard at all. If anything, its one sided on O’Donnell’s and La Barbara’s part. They NEVER target their own, ever and there’s lots of dirt to go around. Just look at the hypocrisy of their sanctity of marriage and pro family nonsense while their politicians are philandering or soliciting prostitutes. Not one word out of them because they’re “straight”.

  • Andrew Caldwell

    “For some Republicans (see: Dick Cheney) having a gay sibling is enough to give them a moral conscience.”

    Which Dick Cheney is this you speak of? The one who ran for re-election in 2004 on a gay-marriage-bashing campaign? Who’s party platform remains squarely anti-LGBT? Who never lifted a finger to pass a single LGBT equality law or executive order? THAT Dick Cheney?

    What exactly qualifies as “a moral conscience”? A debate answer? Or a track record?

  • bisexualinwashingtonstate

    OK I want to know what is wrong with fisting?
    My wife and I do it and it is enjoyable and no one is hurt or abussed. It is just something we do that is somewhat kinky, but last I heard kinky is not against the law.

  • thousandfold

    I find it funny that any LGBT person should think that particular sex acts between consenting adults are “wrong” or “playing into the hands” of homophobes. We’re fighting against people who believe our actions are immoral and wrong simply because they’re different from the norm, so shouldn’t we fight the urge to moralize about others’ deviancies?

    Anyhow, what’s more “wrong” about putting your fist up some guy’s ass than putting your dick up his ass?

  • Mav

    I feel really bad for her sister.

Comments are closed.