There’s been no shortage of vitriol aimed at Steve Hickey since the South Dakota lawmaker framed his public opposition to same-sex marriage around his disgust with anal sex.
The criticism kept coming on Tuesday, when an openly gay former Obama campaign aide called out Hickey on Twitter.
Steve Hildebrand, a South Dakota-based Democratic operative who served as Barack Obama’s deputy campaign manager in 2008, told Hickey that he is “becoming a huge joke in this state – huge.”
From there, the exchange took a surprisingly peaceful turn, with the two ultimately making arrangements for a coffee summit.
Hildebrand told TPM in an email the two “haven’t firmed up a time yet,” but he expects the meeting to take place early next week.
“Not much to talk about until after we meet,” Hildebrand, a former campaign manager under both Tom Daschle and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), said in the email.
Hickey said last week that he was flooded with negative feedback after his letter to a newspaper about the dangers of “gay sex” made him an object of national ridicule.
“I’ve received hundreds of emails, lots of tweets. My wife is getting calls, my kids are getting calls,” he told TPM. “I’m getting calls at all my phone numbers, home and work, which are public. So this is not a crowd that will tolerate any conversation about what they want to legitimize, what they want us to legitimize.”
The Argus Leader newspaper declined to publish the letter, but Hickey posted it on his Facebook page. He called on South Dakota doctors to “attest to what seems self-evident to so many: gay sex is not good for the body or mind.”
“Pardon a crude comparison but regarding men with men, we are talking about a one-way alley meant only for the garbage truck to go down,” wrote Hickey, a pastor in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Hickey was at it again this week when the Argus Leader invited him to participate in an online video chat. He used the interview to respond to Dr. Kevin Weiland, a South Dakota Democrat who rebutted Hickey with a letter to the editor that was published last week by the newspaper.
“I hesitate to get crude again, but Dr. Weiland, is it OK for, you know, eight of your friends that you’re in love with to take a dump in your bed and then you can sleep in it all year long?” Hickey said during the online chat.