Tea Party Leader Rich Swier Declares Anti-Gay Bullying “Healthy Peer Pressure”

Maybe it’s because we’re ramping up for an election year, but the number of douchebags garnering the spotlight seems to be increasing exponentially. (Seriously, it’s like it’s raining vinegar and water.) To “honor” the creeps, cowards, bloviators and egomaniacs who make us grab for the extra-strength Mylanta, we’re introducing a new weekly feature:

“Douche of the Week.”

Every Friday, we’ll post that week’s winner and a little explanation of why they deserve it. While politicians and pundits obviously have a leg up, anyone is eligible—entertainers, athletes, business leaders, schoolteachers and even supposed allies are potential candidates. (You better walk the walk, Mr. Obama.)

And we want your input: If there’s someone you think should be named Douche of the Week—whether they’re a national figure or someone in your community who’s making life hard for us homos—drop us a line at [email protected]

The inaugural Douche of the Week hails from the glorious state of Florida: Richard Swier is a retired Army lieutenent colonel, online entrepreneur, Tea Party Nation leader, radio host, blogger and all-around bigot. Through his blog, Red County, he advocates for the return of the House Un-American Activities Committee, demands the de-funding of the Sarasota Film Festival (for screening the veteran-hospital doc Happy New Year), “debunks” global warming and declares women were better off in the 1950s than they are today. But his recent shenanigans take the cake—and the prize!

In a recent email to Tea Party members, Swier explains that, “the problem is the entire bullying campaign is a sham… Homosexuality is simply bad behavior that youth see as such and rightly pressure their peers to stop it.” He believes that  LGBT youth are up to five times more likely to commit suicide because, “homosexuality, like drugs, harms young people if they experement [sic] with it.”

Well, only if they’re doing it wrong.

This isn’t the first time Swier’s verbally attacked the gays: Activist Stephen Warne tells The New Civil Rights Movement, “Rich Swier has written very hateful things for many years about GLBTQ people and attacked me personally while I worked at ALSO Youth.” You mean the queer-youth group Swier says “support[s] a behavior that is both a threat to the health of our children and can have long term consequences on our society”?

Just this week, Swier (who has no medical or psychological training) claimed the idea of a gay gene was an out-and-out myth. His source? “A good friend of mine.” (JAMA this is not.)

Last but not least, Swier also runs a blog called Man Up! which is “dedicated to men taking responsibility for their actions, behaviors and role in society.”

Not a bad thing, necessarily, but every single post is devoted to maligning some aspect of the LGBT community. In other words, his blog is dedicated to gay bullying.

What a douche.