William Dannemeyer, a seven-time period California congressman who exemplified the archconservative politics of Orange County, calling for a balanced federal price range even as making country-wide headlines for his assaults on “militant homosexuality” in the early years of the AIDS epidemic, died July 9 at his wife’s home in Thousand Palms, California. He was 89.
He had dementia, said his son, Bruce Dannemeyer.
Dannemeyer was “a symbol of the all-white, immediately, Christian Orange County,” which has become a nationally recognized bastion of conservatism inside the overdue Nineteen Sixties, said Fred Smoller, a political technology professor at Chapman University in Orange, California.
An attorney and former conservative Democrat, Dannemeyer served in the U.S. House as a Republican from 1979 to 1993, representing Fullerton and different southeastern suburbs of Los Angeles while the place becomes ruled by way of defense contractors and former Midwesterners.
A Lutheran elder who stated he noticed the little separation between church and country, Dannemeyer became frequently mentioned as one of the maximum conservative individuals of Congress and routinely took to the House ground to lambaste the “homosexual movement,” abortion rights activists, racy television programs and “environmental zealots.”
He preferred regulatory rollbacks, expansive offshore oil drilling, cuts to social applications, and a go back to the gold trendy.
And he embraced controversy by selling fake claims approximately HIV/AIDS, studying a picture description of “the common gay’s favored sports” into the congressional report, and likening Nelson Mandela to black militant H. Rap Brown and felon Willie Horton.
In 1990, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen dubbed Dannemeyer “the Renaissance guy of bigotry.” The Advocate, an LGBTQ magazine, later covered him on its listing of “the 50 biggest homophobes of the ultimate 50 years.”
Dannemeyer regularly broke with his GOP colleagues, which include whilst he voted against the Americans With Disabilities Act, and opposed law monitoring hate crimes because it located homosexuality on par with race, religion, and ethnicity as included classes.
His fireplace-and-brimstone rhetoric on gays made him a hero to the nation’s secular right and the main villain to LGBTQ rights advocates, with whom he thrilled in publicly debating, frequently maintaining, “God’s plan for man in this world is Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
In a 1989 e-book, “Shadow inside the Land,” he warned: “We must both defeat militant homosexuality, or it’ll defeat us.”
Dannemeyer received a large assist from his district, effortlessly prevailing reelection each year, however, he proved too radical to win statewide office. In 1992, he decided to compete for a Senate seat after the incumbent, Pete Wilson, a Republican, changed into the elected governor of California. He lost the number one to John Seymour (who fell in flip to Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat) and unsuccessfully ran once more in 1994.
The best son of German immigrants, William Edwin Dannemeyer, was born in Long Beach, California, on Sept. 22, 1929. His father, who changed into epileptic, ran a feed shop in Los Angeles earlier than shifting to a sanitarium in Nebraska. At the same time, William was a young boy, leaving his mom to take care of him and an older sister by using scrubbing floors.
“The closest aspect he needed to a mentor — or a father, for that rely on — became his scoutmaster,” said Bruce Dannemeyer. “Boy Scouts stuffed a big void in his life.”