A City Council candidate from Indiana who opposes LGBT protections maintains a profile on a gay dating website.
Brent Randall, 53, a Republican who’s running for City Council in Goshen, Indiana, confirmed to the local newspaper that a profile on Adam4Adam.com belongs to him, and that he’s used it to connect with gay men.
Randall, the radio voice for Goshen High School football and basketball as well as the school’s head golf coach, is against amending the city’s civil rights ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity. From The Goshen News:
“I don’t know if I thought this wouldn’t come up or would (when running for office),” Randall said. “But I still believe in my heart of hearts that our gay and lesbian communities are protected currently under the law. If there are cases that need to be brought, let’s bring them. I don’t know why they feel they need special protections when there are other categories that might need protections. My little experimentation over the last six years hasn’t changed my view on that.”
Contrary to Randall’s statement, neither federal nor Indiana law explicitly protects LGBT people against discrimination. Randall’s opponent, Democrat Adam Scharf, supports an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance.
Randall’s Adam4Adam profile reportedly contains some explicit information in addition to non-pornographic photos. Randall, who works as a relationship development manager at a Ford dealership, was married for 22 years until 2009. From The Goshen News:
“My life has changed a lot over the last six years since my divorce,” Randall said. “… (The profile page is) still active. I do check it. I do talk to people. I’ve never met anybody from that profile. I do enjoy meeting new people of all different walks of life. …
“I don’t even know if I consider myself bisexual or not. I just experimented a little since I was single again.” …
“In the back of my mind I knew that profile was out there,” Randall said. “I really didn’t think it would come out. … It’s a bridge I really didn’t want to cross. The other side of that is I’ve been dating women too. It’s just something I’ve opened myself up for.”
The Terre Haute Tribune Star reports that Randall is receiving support from other Republican candidates:
“He is the same person today as he was yesterday and is the right person to serve on City Council representing District 5,” said Goshen Republican mayoral candidate Mary Cripe Friday afternoon. “We are deeply saddened to see someone’s private personal life be exposed, by no choice of his own, for what can only appear to be political motivations. His entire life is turned upside down. Our only hope is that this is not some type of political tactic by the opposing party, as we all signed the Fair Campaign Pledge.”
The Goshen News reportedly learned of Randall’s Adam4Adam profile from a source not affiliated with either party. And Randall’s opponent said he believes it’s a non-issue:
“I and Brent both signed a campaign pledge that committed us to keeping the discussion in the public realm of relevant issues to the City Council, and both of us have done that and will continue to do that,” Scharf said. “I think that there are a lot of important issues — traffic and urban planning and many others — that we need to keep our focus on as we approach the election.”