Many things keep me from ever wanting to cast a vote for a Republican candidate for office but the most disgusting are the party’s unrelenting, unabashed homophobia and its inflexible belief that Christianity is the world’s only religion.

And this disgust comes from someone who, during a foray to the dark side of politics, worked for three GOP members of Congress and helped elect several more.

The party’s absolute intolerance towards gays surfaced in Floyd this week when the party of the elephant brought their slate of candidates for delegate and state senator to town and joined local candidates on the lawn of the county courthouse.

After rain chased the dog and pony show into the dryness of the circuit courtroom (and as a county resident I have to question the use of the courtroom for a political gathering), the candidates finished their spiel and then took questions.  There was only one: asking each candidate to take a stand on gay marriage and prayer at public meetings.

One by one the GOP candidates bragged about their support of the so-called "marriage amendment" which was nothing more than an anti-gay amendment that passed in the last election and defined marriage as a legal union only between a man and a woman. The claim that marriage can only be between two people of opposite sexes is, of course, garbage and such regulations have no place in the law.

Virginia has a long, and disgraceful, tradition of anti-gay attitudes. The Commonwealth’s anti-sodomy law is not designed to protect youngsters from sexual predators but was put on the books to give cops an excuse to bust gay couples. A court challenge is pending.

And, of course, the candidates were asked to reaffirm that they thought prayer at places like the beginning of the county supervisors’ meetings should include praying "to Jesus Christ."  A Roanoke Times columnist questioned the practice of prayer at a supervisor’s meeting earlier this year and the debate heated up last week when a Jewish woman attending a GOP gathering objected to the use of Christ in a prayer.

As a Christian, I have no objection to prayer in public gatherings, but I do believe that praying only to Christ is an affront to God and humanity.  The fact that Republicans tie themselves so closely to intolerant issues like this is why it will be a cold day in hell before I vote for one of them.