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Posted at 1:57 PM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Loudoun official's comments linking pat-downs, 'homosexual agenda' go viral

By Caitlin Gibson

Loudoun Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) found himself at the center of a flurry of media attention this week after he authored a widely distributed e-mail claiming that the Transportation Safety Administration's pat down safety procedures at airports are part of a "homosexual agenda."

Delgaudio told The Post that he believes the resulting backlash (reports appeared on, DCist, and The Loudoun Times Mirror, among other sites and blogs) is really about the fact that he has two jobs -- one as the president of a deeply conservative organization that pays him a $150,000 salary, and one as an elected county official that pays $40,000. He said he is being "condemned" for his dual roles.

In the e-mail -- written for Public Advocate of the United States, a conservative nonprofit organization based in Sterling -- Delgaudio criticized TSA's nondiscrimination hiring policy:

"It's the federal employee's version of the Gay Bill of Special Rights. ... That means the next TSA official that gives you an 'enhanced pat down' could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission," Delgaudio wrote.

In online comments that ran with coverage of Delgaudio's e-mail, some of the most frequent criticisms were that it was an embarrassment to his constituents and the suggestion he primarily wrote it to get attention or appeal to specific voters.

Delgaudio told The Post that discussion of TSA's controversial security measures has dominated the media recently, with many others offering their thoughts on pat-downs and body scans, and many voicing opposition.

"They're against it," he said. "Well, I came up with a reason why I'm against it. Call it 'the Delgaudio version' of why one would be opposed to being patted down by a man ... they've only looked at one aspect of what's wrong with this. I'm looking at another aspect of it. I think it's my job to organize opposition to bad things and to seek the truth."

He added that there may be specific circumstances where he would understand the need for hands-on security measures.

"If there's probable cause, and the situation has to be investigated, okay," he said. "If you have real, serious reasons for it, fine, I'll get with the program."

But as for the flurry of attention surrounding his comments, he added, "it's all angst over a conservative having two jobs. A conservative should not be in public office, that's the attitude that I see here ... in my opinion, that's the motivation behind it."

Delgaudio, who has been known to make similar comments about gay and transgendered individuals in the past, maintained that his opinions should come as no surprise. After winning three elections, his constituents know that he's a "conservative's conservative," he said.

"They've heard it before," he said. "I think my constituents know that I have a novel way of looking at liberal orthodoxy."

By Caitlin Gibson  | December 3, 2010; 1:57 PM ET
Categories:  Caitlin Gibson, Loudoun County  
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