Michelle Steel, president of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and a candidate in California’s 48th congressional district
A video has surfaced of a Republican congressional candidate bragging about pulling her daughter out of college because she supported equal marriage.
The video appears to show Michelle Steel, who is president of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and a candidate in California’s 48th congressional district, making inflammatory comments at a Tea Party event in 2014.
Steel can be heard in the clip explaining that she withdrew her daughter from the progressive University of California Santa Cruz after she began voicing her support for Barack Obama and equal marriage.
Republican candidate Michelle Steel told crowd she sent daughter for ‘brainwash’ over liberal views.
The candidate tells the crowd: “She chose the university, Santa Cruz, and then she started talking about, you know, ‘I’m going to vote for Obama.’ There’s a change. And then she said, ‘God gave us two men, what’s wrong with gay marriage?’”
Steel adds that her daughter was “brought back” from Santa Cruz and sent for “brainwash” at Loyola Marymount, a private Jesuit university, before finishing her degree elsewhere.
She continues: “We brought her back and we sent her to Marymount…. one year of brainwash, and then after that, we sent her to Vanderbilt. Now she’s working for Edelman, a PR firm in Washington, DC.”
Equality California’s managing director Tony Hoang said in a statement: “Michelle Steel’s tired brand of homophobia has no place in Orange County and no place in the halls of Congress.
“Michelle Steel says she wants to represent Orange County families in Congress, but she’s made her contempt for thousands of her would-be constituents crystal clear.”
He added: “Orange County families want and deserve a representative like Harley Rouda, who will fight to protect our civil rights — not someone who thinks LGBTQ+ people are second-class citizens.”
Equality California says the incident is “part of a pattern of anti-LGBTQ+ actions and statements” by Steel, who cast the lone dissenting vote against funding for a Human Relations Council in 2017.
LGBT+ people are not impressed with candidate’s equal marriage jibe.
Hans Furtado Laursen, a doctor who is raising a son with his husband in the 48th congressional district, condemned Steel’s remarks.
He said: “I’m on the front lines fighting COVID, but she wants to represent me by saying that families like mine don’t count.
“She’s saying that my 1-year-old son, my husband and I don’t really count as equal before the law in her eyes. The Supreme Court says we are, but she doesn’t.
“I know this — I’m going to work extra hard to make sure that someone like [Democratic incumbent] Harley Rouda, who values and fights for all his constituents, continues to represent me in Washington DC.”
The congressional district was won by Rouda in 2018 when he unseated the anti-LGBT Republican Dana Rohrabacher. Months before the vote, Rohrabacher had incurred a backlash by telling a group of realtors that it is fine to refuse to sell a house to LGBT+ customers.
Laursen said: “I know I would treat Michelle Steel fairly if she were my patient. But she wouldn’t represent me and my family fairly as our member of Congress. She is acting just like our last Congressman, whom we fired, who thought homeowners should be able to refuse to sell their homes to families like mine.”