A former Republican candidate and anti-masker from Alaska, Paul Kendall, who called an out gay politician a ‘cocksucker’ has died of COVID-19.
Warning: This story has details of homophobic conduct and language. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
Fellow Alaskan politician and anti-masker, Dustin Darden posted in the ‘Alaskans against vaccines* bioweapon injections’ Facebook group that Kendall is “now a victim of the global elite”.
“This man (Kendall) spoke bold words and His efforts were not in vain we will continue to fight in love with the word of God the pen and the laws on the books with the grit and vigour Paul carried,” the post said.
A History Of Homophobia
“Mr. Constant, I’ve got something to say to you. I wish you no ill will. I thought you were just a cocksucker, but you’re a coward.”
After Kendall made these comments there was a noticeable cheer and applause from some of the people in the crowd. In a video of the meeting posted by The Alaska Landmine, people could be seen patting his back and offering to buy him a beer as Kendall walked out.
According to the Juneau Empire, Kendall had a history of making homophobic remarks. During his 2009 run for mayor, he wrote a letter to Patrick Flynn, then a member of the Anchorage Assembly, with the heading “Acceptable speech in Homosexual, Queers, Fagots, Deviants.”
At the conclusion of the mask mandate meeting, Constant replied to Kendall’s comments saying he has “been called worse by better.”
The next night at another meeting, Constant said he was “shocked” by the crowd’s reaction to Kendall’s comments. “The part that in fact shocked me to silence was when roughly 200 people cheered zealously. That was the part that zinged me and really took my breath away for a minute.”
In 2017, Constant was one of two out gay politicians to be elected to the Anchorage Assembly. Of the 3,065 people that voted in the District 1 Seat B General election, Constant won 1,603 of those votes.
Mayor Dave Bronson said he was caught off guard by the crowd’s response and apologised to Constant for defending the Anchorage politician during the mask mandate meeting.
Scenes from the second day of a wild Anchorage Assembly meeting where a mask mandate was being considered pic.twitter.com/nvmQD5osU2
— Loren Holmes (@lorenholmes) September 30, 2021
“What was said was intolerable, and it shouldn’t have been said,” Bronson said. The mayor also apologised for initially supporting anti-mask protesters wearing yellow Stars of David, in order to compare mask mandates to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews.
“I want to apologize for any perception that my statements support or compare what happened to the Jewish people in Nazi Germany,” he said in a statement.
Alaska now has the highest case per capita of any state at any time during the US pandemic pic.twitter.com/Q8i61izCxO
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) September 29, 2021
In early October, Anchorage voted in favour of a mask mandate nine votes to one. With the state having the highest coronavirus case numbers per person in the United States in recent weeks, the order required everyone to wear a mask or face covering in public indoor spaces, with limited exemptions for younger children and for religious or medical reasons.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.