Four term South Carolina Representative
Gresham Barrett announced his candidacy for Governor of South
Carolina Wednesday morning. Barrett, who has a long anti-gay voting
record, is considered a rising star in the Republican Party.
Voters first dispatched Barrett to
Washington in 2002, when he won the seat being vacated by Rep.
Lindsay Graham. A seat he successfully defended against Democratic
challengers Lee Ballenger in 2006 and Jane Dyer in November.
“I believe South Carolina has
tremendous potential, despite our serious challenges,” Barrett
wrote in an email to voters.
“I feel God has blessed me with
strong experiences – in running a small business, raising a family,
serving in our military, and leading in elected office – that give
me a unique conservative perspective on the challenges we face and
how to fix them,” he added.
Not included on his resume to voters
was his civil rights record. But there is no need to ask Berrett
where he stands on critical gay rights issues; one only needs to look
at his biased legislative voting record.
While in Congress, Berrett's voting
record is clearly anti-gay: Voted against prohibiting job
discrimination based on sexual orientation (ENDA), co-sponsored and
voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a
heterosexual union (the Marriage Protection Amendment), and opposes
legislation that would repeal the military's ban on open service
(Military Readiness Enhancement Act).
In grading members of Congress, The
Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights advocate, has
consistently scored Barrett at 0% for gay and lesbian rights.
In making his announcement, Barrett, a
Republican, remained firm in his conservative ideals, “There are
some things that we can improve, there are some things that we can
change and move our country forward with, but our conservative values
[we] will not compromise.”