Mother Jones' David Corn and Suzy Khimm took a social networking approach to reporting when rumors emerged today that Christine O'Donnell, the GOP's Senate candidate in Delaware, may have a gay sister. The Daily Beast published a story asserting as much this morning, sourced to a gay man who says he worked with O'Donnell spreading the message that homosexuality can be cured by faith. When he reneged on this idea, he says, she abandoned him.
Since O'Donnell's campaign wouldn't comment on the claims to Mother Jones, Corn and Khimm took to Facebook and LinkedIn. They did not find definitive proof that O'Donnell has a lesbian sister, but they did locate a sister of hers in Los Angeles who is a gay rights advocate and says that she lives with her girlfriend:
On her Facebook page, Jennie notes that she "live [sic] in west hollywood ca with my girlfriend and my dogs. just try to keep it simple and live!" She notes she is self-employed as a "spiritual psychologist, actor, meditation teacher." She describes her political stance as "conservative liberal." As for religious views, she says she is "into spirituality, not one religion, study all religions, take what i like, leave the rest." Her long list of Facebook "likes" include "The word 'Fuck,'" Christine O'Donnell for US Senate, the No H8 Campaign (which opposed a 2008 California ballot proposition to ban gay marriage), the Dalai Lama, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Jennie has been campaigning for her sister, which Corn and Khimm find inconsistent given O'Donnell's history of gay-bashing:
As a Christian right activist, O'Donnell has decried homosexuality, condemning the sexual orientation as a "perversion." SALT not only campaigned against masturbation; it crusaded against homosexuality and other "un-Christian" sexual behaviors. O'Donnell, according to The Daily Beast, would go on speaking tours to discuss "sexual purity and curing homosexuality. Along with other Christian groups, SALT protested when President Bill Clinton appointing a gay man to an ambassadorship, citing the nominee's alleged "ties to the pedophile-rights movement." O'Donnell also blasted the federal government for giving too much money to AIDS patients. And earlier in her career, she worked as a press secretary for the Concerned Women for America, which has long railed against "the homosexual agenda." Yet according to Richards, she had an openly lesbian sister.
Read the full story at Mother Jones.