GOP Senator’s Campaign Commerical Highlights Gay Hate Crimes

It’s not often that you see Republicans using gay rights as the positive foundation for a campaign commercial, but Oregonian Senator Gordon Smith is not your regular Republican.

The politico this weekend released an advert highlighting his support for gay-inclusive federal hate crime laws, measures Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy also supported.

Judy Shepard, whose son Matthew was murdered a decade ago, an event Smith’s commercial invokes, praised the ad, saying: “I support Gordon. He’s been with us on everything except the gay marriage vote. He has shown tremendous leadership and compassion for all of our legislation. To lose that would be terrible.”

Gay group Basic Rights Oregon, which has previously endorsed Smith, came out against the ad, and specifically took on the Senator’s opposition to gay marriage. “…Gordon Smith was a poster child for 2004’s Measure 36, a (state) constitutional amendment that made gay Oregonians second-class citizens under the law by denying committed couples the security and dignity of marriage,” said Basic Rights’ executive director, Jeana Frazzini.

The Log Cabin Republicans are backing Smith’s reelection.