News & Politics

7 Gay Sex Scandals of Career Anti-Gay Crusaders

From white supremacists to right-wing politicians, we have watched an impressive number of vehemently anti-gay folks get caught up in gay sexscapades.

From white supremacist to right-wing politicians, we have watched an impressive number of vehemently and vocally anti-gay folks get caught up in gay sexscapades. Homophobia is in itself insanity. But being homophobic and gay, and building your career around that homophobia, well that seems like a bit more than just your run-of-the-mill self-hatred.

1. George Rekers 
The most recent gay sex scandal is that of Dr. George Rekers, a psychologist who claims that homosexuality is a “gender disturbance” that can be cured. And he has built his career apparently doing just that. He was an expert witness in the Florida ban on gay adoptions. He is an advisor at the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality.

Well, I guess there is one gay he can’t cure and that’s himself.

Last week, Rekers was discovered returning home from a trip to Europe with a male prostitute, whose services he purchased from a gay escort service called Now, Rekers claims he purchased the young man to help him carry his luggage, but the rent boy in question, Lucient, has exposed a facebook exchange which proves that’s a lie.

"He's told me that he's hired other escorts, and it's never really worked out. They don't talk enough, or they've had very weird circumstances... Basically, he's never been fully comfortable with the situation, or they've jipped (sic) him. Jipped him of time or money."

2. Roy Ashburn, Republican - California State Senator
Then, just a few months ago, there was the arrest of State Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-California. He was pulled over for drunk driving near a gay bar in Sacramento driving a state-issued vehicle. In the car with him was an unidentified man. Ashburn has been a fierce opponent of gay rights, supported Prop 8, etc. Ashburn, to his credit, within days came out as being gay. But he had a rather ridiculous explanation for having such a staunch anti-gay voting record.

"I'm gay," Ashburn told local radio host Inga Barks before returning to the Senate for the first time since his arrest. "Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long."

Ashburn, a 55-year-old divorced father of four, claimed his 15-year crusade against proposed gay-rights laws in the California statehouse stemmed from following the wishes of his conservatives constituents.

3. Eric Massa, Democrat - U.S. Representative, New York
There was also Eric Massa, a certifiable whack job. This guy was apparently running around groping and harassing his staff for months. And when he got caught, he claimed Rahm Emanuel went on a locker room tirade against him for voting against health care -- so they were coming after him right? Well as weird as Massa is, he does not appear to be overtly hypocritical. That is, he’s not lobbying against gays while in the closet. So, I’ll give him pass.

4. New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, Democrat
There was also New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey's surprise resignation. This guy was lobbying against gay folks while having an adulterous affair with a gay man. But he also dragged his wife out in public to help him shoulder the scrutiny.

But to his credit, he did fess up in the end. Remember his famous coming out line? "At a point in every person's life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one's soul and decide one's unique truth in the world, not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as it is," McGreevey said. "And so, my truth is that I am a gay American."

5. Mark Foley, Republican - U.S. Representative, Florida

Now Foley was found to be sending sexually explicit messages and emails to teenaged boys in the Congressional page program for the better part of 10 years. At one point, he’s asking these boys by email how big their members are. When one responds that he doesn’t know. Foley quips back, “get a ruler and measure it for me.” Many Florida Republicans knew about Foley’s proclivities but covered it up. Actually, it was later found out that one of the boys mother’s gave some of the emails to the local newspaper, they, too, ignored it. But it’s not just the repression and the child pedophilia of this case that bothers me, it’s the hypocrisy. Foley was one of the foremost opponents on child pornography in the Senate. To expand on the hypocriciy, he was Chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.

6. Ted Haggard, Leader of the National Association of Evangelicals

Ted Haggard, as head of one of the most vehemently anti-gay national organizations in the U.S. was caught paying male prostitutes for sex and snorting crystal meth back in 2006. In his mind, homosexuality is an abomination and he used his position as President George W. Bush’s “spiritual advisor” to lobby religiously against gay rights. He taught that homosexuality was an abomination and actively lobbied against gay rights.

7. Larry Craig, Republican - U.S. Senator, Senate Liaison for Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign
Now, Craig, the poor guy, was caught trying to solicit sex in an airport bathroom in 2007. Only problem is the guy he’s trying to pick up on happens to be an undercover cop. I would actually have some sympathy for this guy if he had not twice voted against adding the words “sexual orientation” to the federal hate crimes law. Craig also voted to give states the right to refuse to recognize gay marriage performed in other states. He called Bill Clinton a “naughty boy” when he went through his own sex scandal and said he wanted to put Clinton on his lap and give him a spanking – maybe we should have known something was up?

But, here again, the innuendos about Craig had been ruminating around Idaho since 1967. It was believed at that time that he had sexual relations with several pages, one of whom wrote a book about it. Reacting to one charge that Craig "cruised" a man at an REI store in Boise in 1994, Craig said, "I've been in this business 27 years in the public eye here. I don't go around anywhere hitting on men, and by God, if I did, I wouldn't do it in Boise, Idaho! Jiminy!"


Devona Walker is a veteran print journalist. She has worked for The Associated Press and the New York Times company. Currently she is the senior political and finance reporter for She lives in Columbia, Missouri where she is working on a Master's in Public Policy and her first novel.
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