Since it was reported that he was lending support to a virulent anti-gay initiative in Uganda, American Evangelical leader Lou Engle has found himself persona non grata among the crowd of socially conservative politicians he once counted as allies.
At the top of the list is Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), the evangelical Kansas Republican who was once a special guest at one of Engle's rallies and was reportedly once a roommate of the controversial minister.
Brownback's politics have long aligned with Engle's. The two both supported California's Proposition 8 initiative banning gay marriage in the state. Engle once said that he and the senator shared dreams of Brownback becoming president. Engle's involvement in and support of Uganda's anti-homosexuality law that critics decried as a "Kill the Gays" bill naturally changed those dynamics, making it unpalatable for Brownback to continue their association.
But for Brownback, who is now running for governor of the state, creating distance hasn't been entirely easy. The Kansas Democratic Party has dogged him with statements and petitions reminding voters about his ties to Engle. And now a Democratic source sends over recently shot tracker footage of Brownback seemingly admitting that he shared a room with the controversial minister -- though in the context of stressing that Engle's views do in fact concern him.
Voter: Hi Senator, thanks so much for coming out. It's great to meet you. Clarissa Unger.
Brownback: What's your name again?
Voter: Clarissa Unger. It's so nice to meet you. I just have to say that there's one thing that really concerns me about this race, and it's that a minister, Joe Engle has...
Voter: Lou Engle. Yes, I'm sorry. He claims that you have lived with him. And I was just curious, is that true? Did you live with him while you were in the Senate?
Brownback: Lou and I were...we...Lou and I were...we were...That's when I got burned out of an apartment, I was trying to think of the year...and then I subleased a place for a period of time. [Inaudible]...but yes.
Voter: You did?
Voter: Some of his positions really concern me.
Brownback: Yeah, I know, they do me too.
Voter: The views on [inaudible]. Great, well thank you so much again for coming.
Brownback: You bet, thank you.