The latest Republican to fall into Liberace's clutches is Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu, who once co-starred in John McCain's infamous "Built The Danged Fence" ad. While the issue of border enforcement is a perfectly valid cause, it turns out that during the entire time Babeu has been running on an anti-immigrant platform, he's been boning (I think that's the word the NY Times used) a young Mexican immigrant named Jose. True, nothing Babeu did seems to be anti-gay, but it certainly is hypocritical compared to his anti-immigrant views, not to mention his party's not-so-great record on gay rights.
Like something out of a telenovela (really, all that's missing is Salma Hayek as the maid who discovers the pair), Babeu had threatened Jose with deportation if he ever went public with their affair. Babeu, in a bitter and vindictive move, threatened to use his connections to make sure that Jose would never step foot in this country again. Jose, fearing for the worst but with nothing to lose, bravely went forward with the truth.
What really makes gay Republican affairs so intriguing is their constant moral superiority over Americans, while failing to practice what they preach. There is nothing immoral about being gay. There is something immoral about secretly being gay and then chastising others for their sexuality. There is nothing immoral about accepting that one is born gay. There is something immoral about telling someone it's a "lifestyle choice," all the while knowing that it is not.
Babeu is just the latest in a long line of sad tales of Donna-Summer-listening Republican hypocrisy:
- Larry Craig - the married senator from Idaho who supported DOMA, the failed federal marriage amendment which would have barred giving federal rights to gay couples, and who creepily said President Clinton was "a nasty, bad, naughty boy" for having an affair - was arrested in 2007 after soliciting sex from an undercover cop in an airport men's room. Larry denied the charges but pled guilty, like most innocent people naturally do when accused of an illegal act in a public place. He later blamed the whole thing on a simple misunderstanding, saying he has a "wide stance," which led to his feet touching the feet in the cube next to him. I think that's how Michele and Marcus Bachmann met, by the way. Larry initially offered to resign his position, but changed his mind and finished out his term.
- While not an elected official, minister George Rekers was influential in conservative circles. A leading advocate of ex-gay therapy, Rekers had been involved with the anti-gay Family Research Council, which has repeatedly attempted to tie homosexuality with pedophilia. Rekers even went to so far as to defend Florida's anti-gay adoption law, preferring to leave children alone rather than with a loving family of two moms or two dads. All that hard work left Rekers exhausted, which eventually forced him to hire a 20-year-old man named Lucien (I'm pretty sure that's not his Christian name) from a not-so-Christian website called Rentboy.com to - ahem - help with an overseas trip. George said he hired the boy to help carry his luggage, even though George is carrying his own damn Louis Vuitton in the airport surveillance footage. Lucien later said his other services included nude massaging and - after a quick glance at a picture of George - other things better left unsaid. DIOS MIO, as my mother would say.
- Former California State Senator Roy Ashburn was arrested in 2010 for drunk driving after leaving a popular Sacramento gay club (can't he just get drunk at home like the rest of us?). A divorced father, Ashburn had voted against every pro-gay piece of legislation that had come across his desk in Sacramento. He voted against recognizing all same-sex marriages conducted prior to the passage of Proposition 8, he voted against the resolution declaring the State Senate's opposition to Proposition 8, and he voted against recognizing Harvey Milk Day as a state holiday. When asked about his voting record after his scandal broke, Ashburn refused to answer. He did later finally admit to being gay, which is a bit like Michele Bachmann admitting she's nuts.
- Rick Santorum: You know it's only a matter of time.
True, there is no gloating to be done when someone's life seems to be shattering. It's quite sad, even. But when that person so vehemently votes against pro-gay efforts while secretly enjoying Britney Spears and man-love, you better be goddamned sure we're going to say something.