US: Nevada Speaker-elect quits after claiming gays are more likely to molest children

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The Speaker-elect of the Nevada state assembly has quit, after revelations about a series of racist and homophobic rants.

Republican Ira Hansen had been set to take up his post as the Assembly’s Speaker in the next session – but has thrown in the reigns today blaming a “character assassination”.

An article published by the Reno News and Review recently brought to light his long history of sexist, racist and homophobic comments.

He once wrote: “The lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to.”

In another column, he said: “Considering only about 2 percent of adult males are homosexuals, the numbers show why homosexuals have been historically regarded as such a threat.

“Male homosexuals are grossly disproportionate in child molestation cases, and the youth orientation of male homosexuality drives this trend.”

In a statement, Mr Hansen said: “For the greater good of the State of Nevada and the cause I support it is necessary for me to withdraw as Speaker Designee.

“The deliberate character assassination and the politics of personal destruction have totally distorted my views and record.

“I have already served two terms as an Assemblyman without any of these vicious attacks. It was only when I had risen to leadership that this smear campaign occurred.

“That is the real reason for this and it is vital the public understands that.”

The former Assemblyman did not specify which part of quoting verbatim things he said constitutes a “character assassination”.

NCAAP area president Jeffrey Blanck told AP: “Now, they can choose someone who won’t be so divisive and who won’t have a negative or discriminatory agenda.”