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Republicans trapped in the closet

By Matthew Romano, Columnist

How many Republicans can you fit in a closet? Evidently, a lot. The "holier-than-thou" party has spent an awful lot of time on their knees in recent years. They haven't been doing a lot of praying.

In the past, there have been several Republican gay sex scandals; most notably ones attributed to Representative Mark Foley, famed pastor Ted Haggard, and Representative Bob Allen. These scandals have ranged from paying male prostitutes for sex and crystal meth to sending sexual instant messages to teenage boys. Everyone was forced to resign.

After Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig dropped out of the 2008 elections because he solicited an undercover police officer for sexual activity, it seems like the Republicans keep sending these closeted men to the White House. Nobody's rushing them to come out, and there are many Democratic politicians who aren't out. But, the closeted Republicans are all against gay rights.

California Representative David Dreier has been under fire by many gay rights groups because of his hypocrisy and believed homosexuality. His voting record includes supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, voting against gay adoption, and against including homosexuals as a protected class in hate crimes. Dreier also voted against the Matthew Shepard Act and voted against the repeal of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask. Don't Tell" policy.

Dreier is believed to be romantically linked to his chief of staff, Brad W. Smith, who is overpaid by an outrageous $156,000. Whenever Dreier goes on vacation, Smith just so happens to arrive at the same location a day later.

At the age of 29, llinois Representative Aaron Schock has created much media excitement since he is the youngest member of Congress. However, he also stirred up the media because he is believed to be in the closet. He voted against amending federal hate-crimes laws to include crimes where the victims were targeted on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender. He also voted against the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in December 2010.

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist has been speculated to be gay for a long time. Although he denies the rumors, his various relationships with women—which have fallen conveniently during campaign periods—do not do him any good. But when reporters asked Kelly Heyniger (Crist's last girlfriend before marrying Carole Rome in the run-up to McCain's VP pick) what she thought of Crist's sexual orientation, she responded with "I think I'll just keep my mouth shut...call me in 10 years and I'll tell you a story."

Then there's California State Senator and father of four, Roy Ashburn, who has a 100% anti-gay voting record. He got pulled over and arrested after leaving "Faces," a gay bar in Sacramento.

It's a pity that the mainstream media isn't doing much to expose the hypocrisy of the many closeted GOP members, but there has been some effort. The 2009 documentary, Outrage, is about closeted Republican politicians and the way their hypocrisy damages people's lives—not only their personal lives, but also the millions of gays that their homophobia affects.

Its just politician after politician demonstrating deep contempt for the LGBTQ community, while spending years railing against their own demons, while painting gays as one. The truth is, it will not be long until the media reports on a new scandal and Republican getting kicked out of the closet.

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