Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Idaho Constitution Party Rejects Its Own Candidate For Governor Following Same-Sex Marriage Remarks

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 1:22 PM

click to enlarge Constitution Party of Idaho withdrew support for Steve Pankey (pictured) after the gubernatorial candidate indicated personal support for same-sex marriage in Idaho. - STEVE PANKEY FOR IDAHO
  • Steve Pankey for Idaho
  • Constitution Party of Idaho withdrew support for Steve Pankey (pictured) after the gubernatorial candidate indicated personal support for same-sex marriage in Idaho.
For a while, Steve Pankey was the Constitution Party of Idaho's candidate for governor. That was until he voiced his personal support of legal same-sex marriage in Idaho. Now, though still running for governor, he no longer has the support of his party or its acting chairman, Floyd Whitley. 

Pankey on May 23 released statements to the Idaho Statesman regarding his opposition to state efforts to preserve Idaho's constitutional ban on gay marriage. On July 28, he received a memo from Whitley chastising him for his position on same-sex marriage.

"The publicly stated, albeit personally held, opinions of Mr. Pankey are an outright defiance of the clearly expressed Platform of the Constitution Party of Idaho, which has, since the inception of this party, been clear as to its principled opposition to homosexual perversion," the memo read.

Pankey disagreed.

"I have not breached any Constitution Party rules. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail at Convention," he wrote in an email to Whitley, which he later shared with Boise Weekly.

At the Aug. 1-2 Constitution Party convention at the Ashley Inn in Cascade, attended by about 15 party members, Whitley and others stripped Pankey of their support in a 6-2 vote, according to the McCall Star News.

Pankey has since alleged that convention goers were openly hostile to him, and that North Idaho-based minister Scott Hensler was brought to the convention to exorcise him of his support of same-sex marriage. The accusation has been denied by both Hensler and Whitley, with Whitley describing Pankey's statements regarding an exorcism as "disturbed ... phantasmagoric allegations."

Though Pankey lost the Constitution Party endorsement for the November election, his name will still appear on the ballot, according to the Associated Press.

CPI went on to endorse the following candidates:

David Hartigan of Boise, lieutenant governor

Christian Fioravanti of Boundary County, Idaho State Senate

Raymond Writz of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho State Senate

Daniel Weston of Meridian, Idaho House of Representatives



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