Clutching a picture of his late daughter and a sign by his feet with a strong and clear message, a peanut farmer urged fellow voters not to elect Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore — and his heartbreaking reason is touching many beyond Monday night’s rally.
Nathan Mathis, 74, called out Moore’s history of homophobia and bigotry while speaking about his gay daughter Patti Sue, who committed suicide at age 23.
“My name is Nathan Mathis, my daughter was Patti Sue Mathis — that’s her right there,” he told reporters outside Moore’s rally in Midland City. “Judge Roy Moore called her a pervert on one reason, because she was gay. If he called her a pervert, he called your child a pervert if she was gay or your son was gay. This is something people need to stop and think about: You’re supposed to uphold a Constitution. The Constitution said all men are created equal, well how’s my daughter a pervert just cause she was gay?”
Moore has repeatedly voiced his opposition to LGBT rights, appearing on a radio program hosted by a controversial pastor who has preached the death penalty for homosexuality and sharing an article praising Russia’s anti-gay laws on Facebook in July 2015.
At November campaign event, CNN reports he said, “I oppose transgender rights. There is no right to believe you’re a person of the opposite sex or opposite gender.”
Mathis admitted that he once shared anti-gay beliefs.
“I said bad things to my daughter myself, which I regret,” he said. “But I can’t take back what happened to my daughter. Stuff like saying my daughter was a pervert, I’m sure that bothered her.”
He continued, ” Judge Moore didn’t just say my daughter — he didn’t call my daughter by name — he called all gay people are perverts. Abominations. That’s not true! We don’t need a person like that representing us in Washington.”
Mathis’ sign read, “Judge Roy Moore called my daughter Patti Sue Mathis a pervert because she was gay. A 32-year-old Roy Moore dated teenage girls ages 14 to 17. So that makes him a pervert of the worst kind. Please don’t vote for Roy Moore!”
RELATED VIDEO: Sen. Al Franken Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations But Says: ‘I’m Not Giving Up My Voice’
The Alabama election was thrust into the national spotlight after the Washington Post reported last month that Moore, who was expected to cruise to victory in the overwhelmingly conservative state, had pursued several women when they were teenagers and he was in his thirties. Leigh Corfman claims Moore pursued her when when she was just 14, while Beverly Young Nelson, says Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16, groping her against her will, and — after she resisted—“squeezing my neck and attempting to force my head into his crotch.”
Moore has repeatedly denied all claims of sexual misconduct against him.
“These allegations are completely false. They are malicious. Specifically, I do not know any of these women nor have I ever engaged in sexual misconduct with anyone,” he said at an Alabama rally in late November.