CLIFTON PARK — A local Republican official is drawing criticism for online statements about gay people attributed to him, opening a new front in a local Senate primary fight that turns in part on the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Several people contacted the Times Union with online postings attributed to Brian Telesh, now chairman of the Clifton Park Republican Committee and a backer of Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione in her challenge to Sen. Roy McDonald.
Libby Post, a public relations executive and longtime LGBT activist who has aided McDonald, was one of those who came forward with the material.
Telesh acknowledged making some statements but denied others, suggesting someone had co-opted his persona digitally.
In 2003, Telesh wrote that gays “are no different than drug addicts, wife beaters, alcoholics or any other deviant behavior group” on a website opposing a federal amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The site is titled The Leviticus Files, a reference to the Old Testament book that Telesh quotes to say homosexuality is an “abomination.”
This week, Telesh said the Leviticus posting was from a private email exchange with campaign consultant Chuck Muth — “something I said over a decade ago that is not in context.”
Muth said he could not remember exactly how he came across Telesh’s quote.
In December 2009, someone identifying himself as Brian J. Telesh engaged in what started as a tongue-in-cheek exchange in a Facebook group about New Jersey, in which interstate bashing devolved after another poster mocked Telesh’s employment as a corporate-level employee of a fast-food chain and his support for the GOP, and repeatedly called him a “clown.”
“Yes I am proud to be Republican, just like your new Governor. The corrupt guy is gone and I’m sure you go to services in Hackensack to see your ex Gay Gov on Sundays ’cause you sound a little gay there,” said the person identified as Telesh.
Another poster named Eric Stein branded the posting as “homophobia” and called Telesh a “bad Christian.”
“Stein? Does that make you a
This article originally appeared on: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Gay-slurs-rise-in-race-3572710.php