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.


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  • Benjamin Phillips

    Oh wow. Fuck this guy. I’m tired of all these assholes with magical insights into a situation they don’t understand having deplorable and damaging opinions on matters they have no stake in whatsoever.

  • brian

    I wish he would come to St. Louis, I’d give him some healthy peer pressure.

  • Daez

    I’m not sure how you can have a douche of the week without a hero of the week. The two just seem to counteract each other. I will never understand why some guys just get fixated on the LGBTQ community. This guy is so fixated that it is unhealthy. If he didn’t have half assed religion to back him up, he would be locked up by now.

  • inoits2

    A bully advocating bullying, who woulda thunk? What he fails to understand is that gay kids aren’t generally bullied because they are out and proud. They are bullied because they are perceived to be gay. A friend of mine thinks that in our ancient tribal mindsets there always has to be a designated fag or whore (easy girl). Somebody always ends up being just that, whether they are actually that or not.

  • Scott Rose

    Because Swier has called anti-gay bullying “healthy” peer pressure, LGBT youth in Sarasota and environs must know that they are not alone, and will be defended from all around the country if their schools don’t fully protect them against anti-gay bullying. While the Superintendent of the Sarasota Schools did tell me that the School Board doesn’t approve of Swier’s views, the Sarasota Schools anti-bullying policy does not mention sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression as a protected class. We see why sexual orientation should and must be mentioned, when we see influential local persons like Swier fraudulently alleging that anti-gay bullying is a “healthy” form of peer pressure. I encourage others to join me in outreach to students in the Tampa/Sarasota/Bradenton area, telling them that they should inform us if they are being bullied and that school officials aren’t doing enough to stop the bullying. Swier & Co’s greatest ally is secrecy – if the whole country knows that they are persecuting gay people, and that the authorities aren’t doing enough to stop the persecution, it becomes a whole lot harder for Swier & Co to continue the persecution. This past year, I was involved with helping a student victim of severe anti-gay bullying in Florida. The ACLU assured the student’s mother he had no case. The ACLU was in bed with the school! People bitterly criticized me for criticizing the ACLU. Even here on Queerty, I was attacked. But you know what? I found that student another law firm and now a huge civil case is being brought against that school district. Students around the country, and school administrators around the country must understand that they will no longer be able to persecute LGBT students with impunity.

  • shle896

    This fucktard is gayer than Marcus Bachmann. It’s almost always the case with hateful bigots like him. Maybe he and Mr. Bachmann can meet up at a bath house and just get it out of their systems already!

  • Kev C

    How is he such an expert on homosexuality if he’s never tried it? That’s like being an expert chef who never cooked a meal.

    If you ever see Dr. Richard Swier cruising public toilets in Sarasota, please remember he’s an expert and is doing legitimate research.

  • robert in NYC

    The Bachmann’s must be cheering him on along with the rest of the tea party scumbaggers!

  • christopher di spirito

    Oh, so the Tea Party’s claim that their agenda is only one of balancing the budget and slashing the debt is a lie? I’m shocked I tell ya’. Shocked!

  • robert in NYC

    Yep, and the Bush administration raised the debt ceiling 7 times. Not a peep from the likes of Bachmann, Pawlenty et al. Between Bush Jr., his father and Ronal Reagan, they took the national debt to $9 trillion, not including the wars which would push it higher. Obama comes along and inherits that debt and the republicans don’t want to pay for their own debt they created in the first place. It’s so transparent what this is all about…racism and the right wing agenda. None of them asked where all the job creation was under 8 years of Bush as a result of tax cuts for the wealthy, tax cuts that sent jobs overseas.

  • RomanHans

    Some smart people who can fight should peer-pressure him out of being stupid.

  • mike

    classic … another closet-case going to extremes to hide his love of dick.

    I’d like to go ahead and nominate him and LadyBird Bachmann for Douche of the Year.

  • shle896

    @mike: I second those nominations!

  • demandequality

    Now why would you call Sweir vinegar & water used to clean cum out of a vagina? I HATE HATE HATE IT when gay men think insulting people by using misogynist bullshit is okay. IT’S NOT – now call the guy what he is – A SCUMBAG – filled with useless sperm – use this picture





  • TMikel

    demandequality – my my, aren’t your undies in a twist! I will not call you a douche, but I will suggest you lighten up a bit. Perhaps you need a good cleansing enema? Yes, Sweir is a scumbag, a misogynist, and many other things, but I believe you are obsessing about a very minor point. People use derogatory terms because they have limited vocabulary and cannot come up with better descriptions. Be thankful that you are not so hindered.

  • Steve

    I’m sorry. Someone explain to me how any kind of peer pressure is healthy? Not to mention, bullying and peer pressure are two very different things. not sure why this nutjob is making them the same thing.

  • inoits2

    @Steve: Peer pressure is good! It separates the losers from the winners. It creates a competitive environment that produces excellence. Bullying and peer pressure are different. Bullying is teasing or violence and is not productive resulting in low self esteem for the bullied.

  • tjr101

    Swier is a shining example of what the Tea Party represents and what is wrong with America. It seems like these old bigots can’t die off soon enough.

  • Henry

    Yes, Swier, a lot of things have long-term consequences for American life. Like Congress or medicaid, those have long-term consequences.

  • Henry

    @inoits2: Did you buy a gun for protection yet? Or did you already have some in stock, redneck?

  • inoits2

    @Henry: You better fucking stop threatening me. I haven’t said anything out of line. I am going to report you to queerty.

  • inoits2

    @Henry: If you can’t take a differing view why dont you head back over to those whiney, pathetic queens over at joemygod…they all say exactly the same thing in their masterbatory chorus.

  • Brent

    @inoits2: Peer pressure is one reason gay people marry the opposite sex. You think this is good?

  • Elisabeth

    Anyone who spends that much time thinking about homosexuals and writing about homosexuals is clearly a closeted homosexual. Just come out, dude!!!

  • Henry

    @inoits2: “You better fucking stop threatening me.” Or what? You’ll blow my head off?

  • Not a whiny queen

    @inoits2: It seems to me that, if a person calls a minority group a bunch of degenerates, that person should accept the consequences of his or her actions. Is that untrue?

  • inoits2

    @Not a whiny queen: Hey whiney queen I didn’t call a minority a degenerate. I said that WE have no limits to OUR degeneracy. And the context was that the fact that gays think that prostitution is honky dory supports the xstian rights assertion that we are degenerates.

  • xander

    I find it incredibly telling that the likes of Swier, LaBarbera, and other full time homophobes spend so much time thinking about gay sex: possibly even more than I do!

    In a given day, I’m quite sure I don’t think about what acts heteros do in their bedrooms, unless it’s suggested in a film or a conversation. It’s not a repulsive or interesting thought, it passes quickly, and I move on with my life. Why can’t they?

  • Ruhlmann

    @inoits2: Just out of curiosity which were you? A winner or that other thing? Peer pressure is making choices you might otherwise have moral or ethical prohibitions towards out of fear of losing the favour of the group. It has nothing to do with competition.

  • Ted C.

    Wait, people douche with vinegar? Why have I never heard of that.

Comments are closed.