Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Republican Elector Criticized For Comments About Gay People

A 92-year-old man casting one of Montana's electoral votes has been criticized for his comments about gay people.

The Billings Gazette reports elector Dennis Scranton suggested in a 2010 Facebook conversation that gay people should be hanged. When Scranton spoke to the newspaper on Monday, it wasn't clear whether he remembered the Facebook comments. Scranton also misstated his age twice and offered two different versions of how he became an elector.

He didn't back away from his opinion about gay Montanans, however, saying he was "raised with good morals" and didn't hear of anyone being gay until he joined the U.S. Navy.

State GOP Chairman Jeff Essmann says the remarks don't represent the Republican Party.

"We are where we are. People who find his remarks objectionable — which I think is most people — are going to continue to feel that way. Three months from now, I doubt this will be remembered."

Essman says being an elector is a "ceremonial function."

The executive director of the Montana Democratic Party, Nancy Keenan, released a statement saying, "with Congressman Zinke and Senator Daines at the top, it's become a troubling pattern for the leaders of the Republican Party to defend small-tent values that hurt Montanans, threaten jobs and our economy, and jeopardize the rights and freedoms we must never take for granted."

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
(406) 243-4065
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information
Related Content