Anti-gay activists and lawmakers are hoping to strip the LGBTQ community of any and all protections with Trump’s pending Supreme Court appointment.
Trump started out his presidency weakening protections for members of the LGBTQ community by revoking President Obama’s guidelines regarding transgender bathrooms.
CNBC reported that, with the upcoming retirement of Anthony Kennedy, Trump has another opportunity “to fundamentally reshape the highest court in the land.”
Vox reported that: “Arguably, Kennedy’s greatest legacy on the Court — and certainly what he hopes will be his greatest legacy — are his decisions expanding the scope of LGBTQ rights,” adding that: “certainly a Court without Kennedy, and with a Trump-appointed successor, will be less friendly to LGBTQ causes than a Court with him around.”
Anti-gay activists and lawmakers are giddy at the opportunity to strip away those rights, or at least whittle away at them. At the same time, it is worth noting that several of these individuals have themselves been caught committing gay acts – oft times under the most embarrassing of circumstances.
Ranker published a list of 16 anti-gay activists and lawmakers who were caught being gay, noting that “This list will continue to grow as new anti-gay activists come out of the closet, albeit against their will (most of the time). Keep your eyes peeled for more!
Perhaps the most prominent and powerful legislator on this list, former Congressman David Dreier (R-CA) had a history of voting against same-sex marriage and gay adoption rights in his 32 years as a member of the House of Representatives.
Speculations about Dreier’s sexuality were always present, as well as accusations of having sex with staff members and residing with his male chief of staff – who was paid an unusually high salary.
In 2005, Dreier nearly became majority leader of the House, but was dismissed by the far-right members of his party who claimed his views were “too moderate.” When asked about Dreier’s being passed over for the job for being too moderate, (now former) Rep. Barney Frank, (D-MA) an openly-gay man, said “Yes, in the sense that I marched in the moderate pride parade last summer and went to a moderate bar.”
Dreier retired from Congress in 2013.
Former Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) is another lawmaker with a history of championing anti-gay legislation. One of the senators who enacted the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, he was also a supporter of the Federal marriage Amendment, which banned same-sex marriage and received a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign during his 18 year tenure in the Senate.
Craig was arrested in 2007 for soliciting a plainclothes police officer for sex in a bathroom at the Minneapolis-St.Paul airport. Investigating complaints of lewd behavior, including the exchange of money for sex, the officer took Craig into custody after he entered the stall next to him and tapped his right foot. Craig also swiped his hand under the stall divider palms up three times, which is used “as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct.”
Craig initially entered a guilty plea and paid a $500 fine, but later reversed course, stating “At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions. I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct,” Craig said. “I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously.”
Craig claimed that he had a “wide stance,” which is why his foot tapped the undercover officer’s foot.
He signaled his intention to resign from the Senate, effective September 30, but later recanted by issuing a statement refusing to resign after his attempt to withdraw his guilty plea failed.
The senator decided against running for re-election when his seat was up in 2008.
Former Republican Virginia state senator and United States representative Ed Schrock abruptly ended a bid for a third term in Congress after allegations regarding his sexuality were brought to light.
Gay activist Michael Rogers operated a website where he exposed legislators who held anti-gay views but were, according to Rogers, secretly gay themselves. He claimed on his site that Schrock, who is married and has a child, had been recorded several years earlier using a phone service that places ads to arrange rendezvous with other men.
“Why should my community protect him?” Rogers asked. “He’s the enemy.”
The hypocrisy alleged by Rogers comes from Schrock’s own words and voting record regarding gay rights. A former member of the Navy, Schrock spoke out in 2000 in favor of ending the Clinton-era “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding gays serving in the military.
“You’re in the showers with them, you’re in the bunk room with them, you’re in staterooms with them,” Schrock told the Virginian-Pilot. “You just hope no harm would come by folks who are of that persuasion. It’s a discipline thing.”
Although the allegations of Schrock’s participation in the telephone service were never proven, they were enough to have him come to the decision of ending his campaign to keep his congressional seat in 2004.
Former Indiana state representative Phillip Hinkle is yet another lawmaker who was a crusader against gay rights, voting in the affirmative for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
In 2011, emails were revealed between the Republican legislator and an 18-year-old man that Hinkle found on Craigslist. Promising to pay the young man–since named as Kameryn Gibson–up to $140 for a “really good time.” The Indianapolis Star published the correspondence between the two, in which a plan to meet at a downtown Indianapolis hotel was detailed.
Initially refusing to resign, Hinkle said “I’m not gay.” While not denying what had transpired, he said he was “aware of a shakedown taking place.”
Gibson (whose Craigslist ad said “I need a sugga daddy”) alleges that he met with Hinkle and attempted to leave once he found out he was a state representative. Gibson also claimed that Hinkle at first wouldn’t let him leave, grabbed his rear, and and later gave him an iPod, a Blackberry and cash in the amount of $100 to keep quiet.
Hinkle said that he did make plans to meet Gibson, but denied it was for the purpose of a sexual encounter. He relayed to a local Indiana news station that, while his actions were “stupid,” he did not break any laws. “I don’t know what was going through my mind,” he said. “I don’t know why I did what I did.”
Hinkle eventually decided against running for re-election in the next cycle.
The Remaining 12
Below are the remaining 12 individuals on Ranker’s list. You can read the full list of Ranker’s 16 here.
- Former U.S. Representative Mark Foley (FL), formerly in charge of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children
- Conservative California State Senator Roy Ashburn
- North Dakota State Representative Randy Boehning
- Former Washington State Representative Richard Curtis
- Former Florida State Representative Robert Allen
- Former Alabama Attorney General Troy King
- North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Steve Wiles
- Former Republican Chairman of Pennsylvania’s Cumberland County commission, Bruce Barclay
- Glenn Murphy Jr., former head of the Young Republicans and one of the (former) leading Republicans of Indiana
- George Rekers, a man who helped start one of the most powerful anti-gay lobbying groups in the U.S. during the 80s
- Georgia Pastor Eddie Long is a Baptist and famed televangelist
- Pastor Ted Haggard of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado