Homophobic Montana GOP State Senator Jason Priest Struts His Stuff in Gay Comedy Troupe

Priest

Montana GOP State Senator Jason Priest (above, right) is being denounced for the "highest form of hypocrisy" by the blog Montana Street Fighter, which asks what a lawmaker with a dismal record on LGBT rights is doing performing with a gay comedy troupe.

They write:

Most Montanans became familiar with Priest’s abhorrent homophobia when he posted offensive slurs on Facebook.  While running for the Senate, Priest referred to economist John Keynes as “a big homo” and said that Democrats were giving Americans “the dry thumb.”…

…During the last legislative session, Senator Priest earned a 13% on the Montana Human Rights Network’s legislative scorecard.  Priest supported legislation that was aimed specifically at protecting bigots while limiting LGBT rights.

More recently, as Montana Street Fighter reported, Priest helped pass a motion aimed at gutting Planned Parenthood of Montana.  Planned Parenthood is one of the only affordable health care centers that provides hormonal treatments for transgender clients.  In addition to providing essential services to the transgender community, Planned Parenthood offers health education, resources, and service referrals to the entire LGBT community.

But apparently Priest has no trouble strutting his stuff with a gay comedy troupe called The Manhattan Prairie Dogs, the site continues:

On Sunday evening, Priest left a lengthy comment here on Montana Street Fighter.  The bulk of his comment did not address his attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and similar organizations.  Instead, Priest proclaimed that he was not a homophobe.

It’s safe to assume that Priest was responding to a photo of him posing with other members of a gay comedy troupe called the Manhattan Prairie Dogs.

Priest claims that he’s not a homophobe because he is “friends with gay people.”  That is the equivalent of saying, “I’m not racist – I have black friends.”

Cheer

Comments

  1. disgusted american says

    I’m more dissappointed in the gay comedy troupe for allowing this anti-gay politician to use them as a sheild.

    Posted by: db | Feb 27, 2013 11:22:18 AM

    I could not agree with you MORE!!!!!!

  2. james says

    “Jason Priest” sounds like a porn name to me.

    He’s kind of hot to me. I’d like the opportunity to persuade him to change sides.

    But, you know, if he had an ounce of policital sense he would avoid being photographed like this. If I were his opponent in the next election, I’d use these photos to show he’s an “embarrassment” to the people he represents. Wouldn’t have to mention his legislation at all.

  3. Jonathan says

    As long as we keep making it about animus and motivation people like Priest will continue to argue the irrelevancy of having gay friends, coworkers, family and pets.

    The issue is not that Priest is homophobic or anti-gay. The issue is that he’s taken significant action that makes life less pleasant, safe and free for LGBT residents of his district.

    It doesn’t matter how many gay friends he has. He’s made their lives less stable. That they choose not to hold him to account for it should not stop the rest of us.

  4. Dastius Krazitauc says

    I thought the Prairie Dogs were a country western dance performance group. I’ve seen them many times, and they are talented dancers and their routines are well choreographed, but I don’t get their “comedy”. As you can see by the photos on their website, they almost always dress in women’s clothes and priss around as they dance. Is a man in a skirt really THAT funny anymore?

  5. says

    So he’s a homophobe AND a hypocrite. Why would any self-respecting gay man or woman go see this group of quislings perform? (except maybe to throw rotten tomatoes). Unless they kick his ass out, they are doomed.

  6. Jay says

    James – I don’t think you or anybody else needs “to persuade him to change sides” if you are referring to his sexual orientation. He’s a self-loathing conservative a**hat. Now, if you can spend some time persuading him to drop the front, accept himself as he is and stop hurting his brothers and sisters to get votes and kickbacks…THEN you would be doig something awesome!!!

  7. Dastius Krazitauc says

    “Much like Marilyn Musgrave, this tool is trying to have his political cake and eat it too.”

    And sadly, in Priest’s case, you have the gay men at Manhattan Prairie Dogs baking him the cake and serving him up a piece.

  8. james says

    Since MPD is based in NYC, not Montana, I’m guessing Jason believed his affiliation with them would go unnoticed back home, being so far away and all that. Would further guess he had a “cover story” with MPD and another one for the folks at home. Since he doesn’t know who he is, why would anyone else?

  9. says

    The Manhattan Prairie Dogs are more of a country western dance performance group–they perform hilarious and well choreographed dance exhibitions all the time, with numerous costume changes. And very gay. I can’t imagine one having to do with the other.

    Is this the same guy? What’s a Montana state senator doing living and dancing in NYC?

  10. Bill says

    Maybe this is a case where an individual should be described as anti gay rather than homophobic. The term “homophobia” describes a particular psychological problem. A politician may be publicly anti gay only because he thinks it will help him win an election and doesn’t care if anyone is hurt as long as he gets his. That’s a different psychological issue – people like that are often sociopaths.

  11. Moz's says

    DCinsider

    actually inviting hitler over for passover wouldn’t have been a bad idea if lets say the lights lowered for a moment and then back up with hitler dead on the floor

    Oh well, please pass the Gefilte fish

  12. SS says

    Just to clarify, Jason Priest has not been a member of the Manhattan Prairie Dogs for many years. He kept his politics well under wraps back then, and does not in fact commute from Montana to NYC to dance. Bashing the Manhattan Prairie Dogs is misguided. Put your anger where it belongs.

  13. Michael says

    The amount of hate reflected in some of these posts — not only for Jason, but for a performance group that you know nothing about — is overwhelming. I was a dancer and co-choreographer of the Manhattan Prairie Dogs for many years and knew Jason pretty well while he danced with us, along with his girlfriend at the time, many years ago! He was a kind, loving, funny and generous friend. I don’t know him now and am a bit surprised at his conservative bent, but then, perhaps he felt he had to do that in order to play the politics game (which speaks as much to the system as it does to Jason). I am in some ways sorry to hear about his platform… but I really don’t know the details, and neither do most of you posters, I’ll wager!

    Please try, though, if you can, to back off a bit on the judgement. The Manhattan Prairie Dogs are a fun-loving amateur country-western dance group based in NY whose only agenda is light-hearted entertainment — for those in the group and those who watch them. It’s a social club. Try to be kind!

    Thank you.

  14. Michael says

    The amount of hate reflected in some of these posts — not only for Jason, but for a performance group that you know nothing about — is overwhelming. I was a dancer and co-choreographer of the Manhattan Prairie Dogs for many years and knew Jason pretty well while he danced with us, along with his girlfriend at the time, many years ago! He was a kind, loving, funny and generous friend. I don’t know him now and am a bit surprised at his conservative bent, but then, perhaps he felt he had to do that in order to play the politics game (which speaks as much to the system as it does to Jason). I am in some ways sorry to hear about his platform… but I really don’t know the details, and neither do most of you posters, I’ll wager!

    Please try, though, if you can, to back off a bit on the judgement. The Manhattan Prairie Dogs are a fun-loving amateur country-western dance group based in NY whose only agenda is light-hearted entertainment — for those in the group and those who watch them. It’s a social club. Try to be kind!

    Thank you.

  15. Timothy Kincaid says

    Planned Parenthood is not a gay organization. And opposing the funding of Planned Parenthood is not an anti-gay position – even if transgender people get hormone treatments there.

    Unless they can come up with something better than “helped pass a motion aimed at gutting Planned Parenthood” their claim rings hollow.

  16. Dastius Krazitauc says

    Thanks for the context, Michael. But you have read no *hate* directed at anyone here. It has been harsh criticism based on the information that was presented. I’m glad to know that this was many years ago and that MPD doesn’t currently associate with someone who calls gay rights, “special rights”.

    And when it is our gay lives that is the football being kicked around in a political *game*, you can bet we are going to criticize people for the kicking. Jason Priest doesn’t get a pass because he was a nice person years ago.

  17. ble.d_out.color says

    Hrm…so is this him playing “gayface” as it were. As in blackface only gay lol, not gayface in the traditional sense. I have to wonder if it weren’t a comedy troupe and it was a group that expected him to take them seriously if he would be ok with having “gay friends”. With that said, I must shamefully admit that he is extremely attractive. All the hot ones are a**holes.

    *sigh* having self-rezpect is hard sometimes lol.

  18. andrew says

    Shocking! Do you think that there are closeted anti gay homos in politics? Just don’t tell me that there are also some in the College of Cardinals. I said don’t tell me .

  19. Bill says

    @Michael: the issue is whether, as a legislator, he was bashing a minority to get elected. If he
    had to deal with generally homophobic constituents, he could have just talked about issues that affected them directly and stated that those were the things he should be spending his time on.

    For example, the deeply closeted Roy Ashburn (before being outed via a DUI) voted the Republican party line against gay rights in the California state senate, but never introduced any anti-gay legislation and never said anything in favor of anti-gay legislation. Possibly this was because he was so scared of being outed that he was afraid that he’d sound so nervous that he would inadvertently out himself, but during his term in office, his vote never changed the outcome, primarily because the Republicans plus a few socially conservative Democrats were outnumbered. Ashcroft attended one rally supporting Proposition Eight, but he did such a poor job of rallying the homophobes that some of the organizers wondered if he might actually be gay. He probably came across like Otto Preminger did while comically playing an SS officer who would say “Heil Hitler” while half yawning and looking like he was about to fall asleep.

  20. db says

    Micheal, if he hasn’t worked with the group for a long time then I apologize. The article did not make that clear. Even so, I don’t think there was a large amount of “hate” directed at the group. Any concern could easily be alleviated with a statement.

    As for Jason (who you seem to know personally) he’s only getting what he’s given.

  21. James says

    I have no idea who this guy is, but frankly I’m not seeing “homophobia” in what he said. Conservative, anti-Obama stuff, yes, but anti-gay? How? He calls Keynes “a big homo,” which you can overhear at any gay bar. “God, Travolta’s such a big old homo.” Not PC, perhaps, but really I’m not hearing the hate some of you do. The Planned Parenthood cuts, while I find odious, are typical anti-government spending, and not specifically anti-gay. In other words, I’m sensing more a Log Cabin type than a hater. Now, we can argue whether there’s much difference in those two things, but that’s another story…

  22. CharginJordan says

    SHAME ON this group. New York LGBT should hold them accountable for basically surrounding themselves with a homophobe who wants to now exercise his homophobia as a political leader.

  23. Steve-ATL says

    @ Michael
    Oh STFU! You’re complacent about homophobia..live a privileged life..and are what we call an apologist crowd member. You’ll make ANY excuse for homophobia because someone (and their girlfriend) was sweet to you. Get over yourself. The rest of us refuse to be as accepting of homophobia as you clearly are.

  24. Martin says

    May this homophobic fool feel the hurt that he has caused gay people. I wish him nothing but bad karma.
    And Jason Priest…vile hatersexual breeders like you sure love pretending to be our friend in public, but cowardly behind our back exposing your homophobia. Just know, homophobia will NOT be accepted in society anymore. KNOW THAT. And know what you’re up against as society progresses on our rights.

  25. Stephen says

    Not news? Seriously – An elected Montana State Senator gay bashes on facebook, doesn’t believe we should be able to marry and secretively has a life that involves dancing in a gay group? Hypocrit? No, liar and a living, breathing reason why we are suffering as humans. Apologize and verbally work around – no deal. Yes, he’s hot. I wonder what he smells like.

  26. Jason Priest says

    Let me get this straight, no pun intended, I’m either a closet gay or homophobe? There is no room in this narrative for a politically incorrect libertarian who likes all kinds of people?

    Please, take your blinders off.

    I didn’t dance with the MPDs hoping no one would know. They are my friends and I’m proud of my association with them. They are, after all, wonderful people. I appreciate that they let me in their circle as a straight man. I appreciate that they accepted me for who I am and they were never ignorant of heterogenous views. After all, that’s what many of them hope for acceptance of in this world.

    I apologized for using coarse language but I won’t apologize for being conservative and friends with gays. Do all my friends share my politics? No. Do all my friends share my religious views? No. Do all my friends share my tolerance of gays? No. That’s true of my friends straight and gay.

    BTW, and I know this won’t satisfy the haters; I voted twice in the last legislative session to decriminalize homosexuality. I know that’s not enough for some but I put my votes where my heart is – tolerance.

    I have less tolerance for people who are so tribal that their minds are not open to the very thing they say the wish for: acceptance by a diverse group of people who don’t always share all of their values.

    Nothing stinks quite as much as hypocrisy and the hypocrisy is not mine.

    Jason

  27. Last Word says

    Seriously – the last word on December 1st prior to announcing you might run again?

    To the fine, tolerant Senator Priest: Why exactly do you prefer violence, manipulation and doing the filthy bidding of “secret” donors who make our votes null and void in the state of Montana – you have substantially aided the successful election of a Federal Judge.

    You are all things Tea Party. Anything but tolerant. You are a discriminator.

    You are not about equality – you prefer greed, wealth and preference for those that don’t fit into your “circle”. Forbid it if anyone would be different from your norm or get in your way.

    How did you get elected? Have you ever had fine intentions? Good luck with the Department of Justice in Helena this month.

  28. Sergio says

    Down with Jason Priest. No one gave this man the right to use homophobic slurs with impunity – may he and the Manhattan Prairie Dogs reap what bad karma they sow.

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