By Patrick Sullivan
Paul Nepote holds himself out to be something of an arbiter of morality when it comes to gay issues in TC politics. He opposes a nondiscrimination ordinance that offers some civil rights protections for homosexuals and he attacks gay rights activists as enemies of families and Christian values.
He campaigns against gay causes on his Facebook page and seeks to ridicule and shame gay activists.
On Facebook, he writes things like, When sodomy fills the national cup of mans abominations to overflowing, God earmarks that nation for destruction.
In his own life, however, Nepote is not a spotless supporter of family.
He filed for divorce from his wife of over 30 years in 2006 shortly after his wife and sister-in-law sought personal protection orders against him, alleging that Nepote attempted to break down a door as his wife dressed, threatened to shoot her, and had been emotionally abusive toward both women.
Nepote said he did not want to discuss the PPO because he questioned its relevance and said doing so would harm his children and ex-wife. The Northern Express will not name Nepotes ex-wife or other family members. Nepotes children are not mentioned in the court filings for the PPOs.
Nepote denies that he is a bigot and says he has nothing against gay people; he merely believes a homosexual agenda is behind civil rights movements for homosexuals.
Im doing this just so people can vote and whatever happens, happens, Nepote said.
In an earlier email Nepote wrote: If your publication wants to take the low road and turn this voters issue into a muck rake thats your choice. If you think it will hurt me personally or our campaign in any way you are mistaken.
He concluded the email by writing: The homosexual side will come out as mean spirited and hateful and will surely loose (sic) at the polls.
SHOOT YOU FROM 300‘ AWAY
In filings in the 13th Circuit Court, Paul Nepotes ex-wife depicts the anti-homosexuality crusader as an unstable, abusive and potentially violent person.
We have been married 31 years and our relationship has always been volatile, she wrote about her marriage with Nepote, who is 66 years old.
Nepote allegedly threatened physical harm to his wife, attempted to break down a door as his wife was getting dressed, and threatened to use a firearms, according to a personal protection order filed against him in August, 2004.
She wrote that Nepote had been verbally abusive and intimidating for the entire marriage, according to the file.
I believe he would follow through with these threats, she wrote in a letter to the court that accompanied her petition for the protective order. For example, when I told him I was getting a PPO yesterday, he said, you dont think I can shoot you from 300 away?
CHANGE OF HEART
Nepotes wife changed her mind on the same day the PPO was granted. She asked the court to rescind the PPO.
She wrote: I feel the need to give my husband, Paul, one last chance to show he intends to change his behavior. I have reason to believe Pauls sister, a devout Christian, is working with Paul to help him get the help he needs to change his life and stop the behavior that frightens me.
Nepote also filed a request to have the personal protection order lifted, asking that he be allowed contact with his wife so they could attend counseling and church services and attempt to reconcile their marriage.
Nepote wrote the court and claimed his wife had been convinced by counselors at the Womens Resource Center to file for the PPO and then decided against it after she learned what it entailed.
The court refused to immediately rescind the PPO.
WOMENS CENTER INTERVENES
At a court hearing, Nepotes wife was told she would need to go back to the Womens Resource Center for an assessment before the PPO would be lifted.
The result of the wifes meeting with counselors angered Nepote.
In a letter he wrote to the court, he said, In my opinion, the Womens Resource Center coerced my Wife using intimidation and scare tactics to prevent her from moving ahead with termination.
The court instead modified the PPO to allow some contact, including by mail, by phone, at church and in counseling.
Nepote wrote that he was upset that with a modified PPO in place, he could not possess firearms.
I believe that the PPO as it now stands is nothing more that (sic) a tool being used by the Womens Resource Center to intimidate and harass.
The PPO was terminated in January at the wifes request.
Nepote, who works in industrial sales, filed for divorce in August of 2006.
SISTER-IN-LAW FILES FOR A PPO
Nepotes sister-in-law also filed for court protection from Nepote. His wifes sister filed in 2005.
He has made no secret of his hatred toward me, the woman wrote in her petition. The PPO is no longer in place.
At the time, the woman alleged Nepote made threats and hostile and vulgar statements to her.
Copies of emails Nepote allegedly sent to the woman are included in the court file.
In one profanity-laced email, with a subject of You better rethink coming to Traverse City, Nepote apparently referred to disputes over money:
I will personally see to it that you never work in this town, the email says. I love (my wife) and will do anything to keep you from (effing) her over like you have everyone you come in contact with.
The email ends ominously: I do mean ANYTHING, Nepote allegedly wrote, with all my hate.
Interview with an Anti-Gay Activist
Paul Nepote answers (some) of our questions about his crusade against gay rights
by Patrick Sullivan
Paul Nepote has made a name for himself in TC politics recently, leading a successful petition drive against an ordinance that prohibits discrimination against gays and lesbians.
After Nepote turned in over 500 signatures and the city clerks office validated enough of them to uphold the petition, the city commission will have to decide this week whether to repeal the ordinance or, more likely, put the measure before voters in November.
Nepote agreed to answer questions by email from the Express about his views.
However, he refused to answer specific and general questions about his personal life.
He did not answer the questions, What other hobbies and interests do you have? and Please tell us about your background.
He also ignored questions about a personal protection order his now ex-wife sought against him in 2004 that included allegations that he harassed her and threatened to shoot her.
Finally, he ignored this question: You wrote on Facebook: Hundreds of Traverse City voters ignored the Homosexuals warning and threat of retaliation by signing the petitions to allow TC citizens to vote on the ordinance that bestowed Special Protections to homosexuals in Traverse City. Specifically, who made threats and what were the threats?
Below are answers to the questions to which Nepote did respond. His answers have not been edited or abridged in any way.
Northern Express: Some people say you just simply hate gay people. How do you respond to that?
Paul Nepote: I love gay people more than gay people do. I want them to live happy lives here on earth and then to live with God forever. Their worldly anthropology argues that we are our own gods and we dont owe any allegiance to a creator. Immediate satisfaction of carnal desires is paramount to them. Both reason and revelation argue that they are wrong. Using reason we can see that, on average, active homosexual men die 20 years sooner than non active homosexuals. Suicide, STDs, and homosexual on homosexual murder are the leading causes of death. Does that sound like a wonderful life?
(Editors note: There is no valid scientific study that concludes homosexual men currently have a life expectancy 20 years shorter than other men. Authors of an International Journal of Epidemiology study often cited in support of that assertion actually published a follow-up article in 2001 to debunk the use of the study to support that conclusion, saying the study was based on data from the early 1980s to the early 1990s when death from HIV infection was far more prevalent.)
NE: You have strong opinions about homosexuality. Where do those come from?
Nepote: Once again, reason and revelation inform me of the great risks of promoting homosexuality in our schools at the expense of real families. By real families I of course mean heterosexual families that produce loved offspring and supply the foundation of healthy society.
NE: Have you always had these beliefs? Have you become more extreme as youve gotten older?
Nepote: I would argue that I have always appreciated the value of families but over time the attacks on families have become more virulent. I am merely reacting to those attacks.
NE: Do you believe employers and landlords should have the right to discriminate against homosexuals?
Nepote: Should Catholic priests be forced to perform homosexual marriages? If you think they should, then obviously we have irreconcilable points of view. If you think not, then lets agree that a reasonable discussion is in order. What is happening though, is that there is no reasonable discussion. The activists go right to name calling about homophobia and bigotry because they refuse to engage in an honest debate because they can see they will lose every time.
NE: You say youre opposed to the TCAPS anti-bullying policy, in part because it would prevent kids that in a compassionate way may want to pass on the dangers of that lifestyle in a loving way to save them from the kind of unhappiness, unhealthiness and early death that theyll surely face. Do you really believe there could be anything compassionate or loving about one kid bullying another kid for being gay?
Nepote: Why should the new policy have to out the victim as a homosexual? Dont you see the risk in such an identification as tagging that child as a target for a homosexual predator? Why not just stop the bullying behavior without outing the childs sexual proclivity. What is horrendous is that many children are not homosexual by nature but are made to believe they are by predators who often use pornography and drugs to snare new prey. In my view, the new school policy is nearly criminal.
NE: In another Facebook post from March, you wrote, Gays are just as welcome as anyone else, but stay out of our local politics, and our School System. We Will teach our children about the dangers of the Queer Lifestyle. Do you believe that homosexuals should be treated as second-class citizens?
Nepote: Do you believe that heterosexual families, Christians, and businesses should be treated as second class citizens?
NE: You argue that homosexuality undermines families, but doesnt divorce do more damage to families?
Nepote: Yes, divorce does tremendous damage to families. But two wrongs dont make a right.
Some comments from Nepote on homosexuality
Nepote claims he is not a bigot, that he loves gay people, and he merely opposes what he believes is an insidious homosexual agenda and he wants to promote a reasonable political discussion.
Some of Nepotes comments posted to his Facebook wall indicate more extreme views on gay issues, however:
From a post on June 8, Nepote wrote: I know for a certain fact at least a half dozen seminarians from various dioceses whom the Church will ordain in the next weeks and who have no problem displaying their homosexual disposition. One even parks his car with his rainbow fag sticker in the seminary parking lot. And, yes, both his bishop and rector know.
From May 3: Screw The Homosexual God Haters, Recite The Pledge.
From March 16: We must battle those who promote Homosexuality and stop their agenda in a effective yet civil effort. However, never expect civility from a homosexual activist, they are masters of lies and deception.
From February 13: Commissioner (Jason) Gillman should be commended for being true to his personal beliefs. Those are the qualities once known as integrity, honesty, and morality. Its because of those very values that young Commissioner Jason Gillman is being attacked by a hateful homosexual activist group lead by Homosexual activists such as Lesbian advocate Mylnn Hartwell and Gay City Commissioner Jim Carruthers.
(Gillman raised controversy in February after he called homosexuality a perversion.)