Charges that Ron Paul is anti-gay have been addressed by former aide Eric Dondero.

In an op-ed published Monday on Right Wing News, Dondero, who worked for Paul during various campaigns going back as far as 1987, weighed in on the controversy of whether Paul knew about racist and homophobic writings in the newsletters he published in the 1980s and 90s.

“Is Ron Pual a homo-phobe?” Dondero rhetorically asked. “Well, yes and no. He is not all bigoted towards homosexuals. He supports their rights to do whatever they please in their private lives. He is however, personally uncomfortable around homosexuals, no different from a lot of older folks of his era.”

Dondero related two incidents to support his claim.

“In 1988, Ron had a hardcore Libertarian supporter, Jim Peron, Owner of Laissez Faire Books in San Francisco. Jim set up a magnificent 3-day campaign swing for us in the SF Bay Area. Jim was what you would call very openly gay. But Ron thought the world of him. For 3 days we had a great time trouncing from one campaign event to another with Jim’s gay lover. The atmosphere was simply jovial between the four of us. (As an aside we also met former Cong. Pete McCloskey during this campaign trip.) We used Jim's home/office as a 'base.' Ron pulled me aside the first time we went there, and specifically instructed me to find an excuse to excuse him to a local fast food restaurant so that he could use the bathroom. He told me very clearly, that although he liked Jim, he did not wish to use his bathroom facilities. I chided him a bit, but he sternly reacted, as he often did to me, Eric, just do what I say. Perhaps 'sternly' is an understatement. Ron looked at me directly, and with a very angry look in his eye, and shouted under his breath: 'Just do what I say NOW.'”

“'Bobby,' a well-known and rather flamboyant and well-liked gay man in Freeport came to the BBQ (in Surfside Beach). Let me stress Ron likes Bobby personally, and Bobby was a hardcore campaign supporter. But after his speech, at the Surfside pavilion Bobby came up to Ron with his hand extended, and according to my fellow staffer, Ron literally swatted his hand away.”

Dondero added that he would not describe the incidents as homophobic, “but rather just unsettled by being around gays personally.”

“Ron, like many folks his age, very much supports toleration, but chooses not to be around gays on a personal level. It's a personal choice. And though, it may seem offensive to some, he has every right in my mind to feel and act that way.”