Dr. Mehmet Oz, a noted New Jersey resident and the Republican nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania, bills himself as a “moderate” who will combat the partisanship and “extremism” in Washington, D.C. He’s even publicly supported federal legislation to protect same-sex marriage. But on Wednesday evening, he’s set to appear at a rally hosted at a venue that bans same-sex marriages.
Per Oz’s campaign website, the rally will take place at 7 p.m. at Ironstone Ranch on the Stone Gables Estate in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The estate—which also features the popular wedding venue, Star Barn Village—prohibits same-sex marriage due to the owner David Abel’s religious beliefs. The venue’s website states that it “reserve[s] the right” to restrict events that aren’t “God-honoring” and don’t adhere to its “core values.”
Oz’s Senate campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Previously, his campaign event venues included a museum where he stood in front of Hitler’s car. Notably, the $5,000-a-plate event was hosted by Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) in-laws.
“Oz is currently on TV lying to the people of Pennsylvania that he is a moderate, but now he is holding a campaign event at a venue that bans same-sex couples, has January 6th marchers on his staff, and is rallying with Trump and Mastriano this weekend,” the campaign for John Fetterman, Oz’s Democratic opponent and Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor, said in an emailed statement to Jezebel. “How are you going to ‘reject extremism’ in DC if you won’t reject it right here in PA?”
Oz’s Wednesday event at the Stone Gables Estate is billed as a “get out the vote rally,” featuring the Republican candidate himself. Abel, a Republican donor who maxed out donations to Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, will also be in attendance.
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Abel’s attendance further highlights the close links between Oz’s campaign and Mastriano’s. Contrary to Oz’s self-identification as a moderate, Mastriano has called restrictions on LGBTQ conversion therapy “disgusting,” and expressed support for a total abortion ban in Pennsylvania and for abortion patients to be charged with murder. A recent Daily Beast report found Mastriano’s official Facebook account remains an administrator of the Facebook group “Mastriano Memes,” which is brimming with racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ memes.
Of course, it’s not just Oz’s Mastriano links that should cast serious doubts about his “moderate” credentials. On Sunday, Rolling Stone reported that his campaign employs several people who either supported or attended the Jan. 6 insurrection, despite Oz’s public skittishness on the Big Lie. Oz narrowly won the Republican nomination earlier this year, relying largely on former President Trump’s endorsement. Oz has called abortion at any stage “murder,” and at last week’s debate with Fetterman, Oz famously insisted that decisions about abortion should be made between “women, doctors, [and] local political leaders.”
Oz’s decision to host a major campaign event at Ironstone Ranch marks a glaring hypocrisy—but at the same time, he’s hardly an LGBTQ rights advocate. More recently, Oz has spoken out against transgender athletes and backed legislation that mimics Florida’s dehumanizing “don’t say gay” law. Even while hosting the Dr. Oz Show, he platformed advocates for gay conversion therapy, which actual medical experts have pointed out amounts to the abuse and torture of LGBTQ children. All content pertaining to conversion therapy has since been scrubbed from his website—the latest act of political flip-flopping from Oz on abortion and LGBTQ rights.
Oz and Fetterman are currently polling neck-and-neck with less than a week out until their election day.