Right-wing group fears Sen. Graham’s ‘stealth gayness’

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 21:13 EDT
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According to the right-wing political action committee Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) needs to “make his homosexual lifestyle public knowledge in the interest of political integrity and national security.”

Or, in the words of one blogger, Graham’s “stealth gayness” might pose a danger to us all.

And it’s not the first, second or even third time rumors about Graham’s sexuality have surfaced. For the unmarried conservative senator who Jon Stewart once joked “looks like an old lesbian,” the question has become increasingly thorny for him.

“I’m a tolerant person,” ALIPAC leader William Gheen told a crowd in Greenville, South Carolina over the weekend. “I don’t care about your private life, Lindsey, but as our U.S. Senator I need to figure out why you’re trying to sell out your own countrymen and I need to be sure being gay isn’t it.”

The crowd of conservatives erupted into cheers.

“I’m-a take some heat about that one on Monday,” the speaker said, after suggesting that Congressman Barney Frank, an openly gay Democrat from Massachusetts, was “more honest” than Graham.

Approached by blogger Mike Stark in October, 2009 after the senator had read off anonymous insults about Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor during her confirmation hearing, Graham was not in the mood to comment on the rumors.

When GQ magazine asked a similar question in 2006, Graham reportedly dismissed the question and claimed he’s just a “loner.” A 2007 exploration of the topic by South Carolina’s Charleston City Paper also came away inconclusive but noted that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has always seemed to be “Graham’s Senate BFF.”

Snark politics blog Wonkette wasn’t so nice.

“Finally, some Wonkette agreement with the Greenville Tea Party of South Carolina: Why won’t unmarried ex-Sailor Lindsey Graham, whose super-gay voice and constant gayness with Joe Lieberman and Walnuts McCain make him seem gay, just tell us the truth about his sexual orientation?” they jeered. “Straight, or gay — which is it, Lindsey? (CAVEAT: it will only count as ‘truth’ if he says ‘gay.’)

“Ha ha ha no no no… we are just being dumb and mean. This speaker at the Greenville Tea Party event, though, is very seriously concerned that Lindsey Graham’s Stealth Gayness is causing him to (pretend to) work with Democrats on energy and immigration bills. IT’S NOT THAT HE’S HOMOPHOBIC THAT’S NOT WHAT HE’S… THAT’S JUST NOT IT, OKAY? He’s merely declaring that… if Lindsey Graham were gay… he wouldn’t vote for him? Eh? There, that should do it.”

“[Graham] is the lone Republican who’s trying to work with Democrats on immigration reform this year; Gheen appears to have decided that makes him fair game for, well, just about anything,” reported Mike Madden, writing for Salon. “The insinuation that he’s only supporting immigration reform because he’s trying to keep something hidden is pretty slimy, though, even by the standards of ALIPAC.”

Graham’s office had not commented on ALIPAC’s allegations at time of publication.

This video was published to YouTube by user 33ltHappens on April 18, 2010. A video of the complete speech is also available.

This video was shot by blogger Mike Stark, published to YouTube on Oct. 15, 2009.

This video is from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

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Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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