What is the best form of irony? One of them has to be the particular hilarity that comes when an outspoken, hateful, homophobic politician is discovered to be gay. Many people believe that their bigotry, which they claim to be directing at others, is actually expressing distaste with their own desires. Whatever their hate means, it makes for a very interesting political scandal when their true sexuality becomes known to the public. We have compiled a list of the worst of the worst of these dastardly men.
1. Bob Allen, Florida State Representative
As a member of the GOP, Allen frequently voted against equal rights for homosexuals, including a vote for a ban on adoptions by same-sex couples. He would have been just another hate-spewing member of the Republican party had he not solicited a male prostitute in 2007. What Allen didn’t know, though, was that the man he approached in the park restroom was an undercover police officer. I know Republicans can be smooth talkers, but I’d like to see someone talk their way out of this one!
2. Steve Wiles, North Carolina state senate candidate
Wiles had a strong possibility of winning the mostly conservative District 31 in North Carolina. He had already voiced his support for the ban on same sex marriage currently in place in the state, an issue that matters a great deal to North Carolina voters. That is, until his past work at a Winston-Salem nightclub was uncovered. Wiles, or should I say Mona Sinclair, worked at Club Odyssey for eight whole years as a drag queen and female impersonator. Now that his political career seems to have taken a hit, maybe he could audition for the next season of RuPaul’s Drag Race?
3. Richard Curtis, Washington State Representative
This one is really a doozy. In his two years in the Washington State House of Representatives, Richard Curtis made it clear that he definitely did not have any love or support for gays in his district. Why, then, did he strike up a conversation with a man by the name of Cody Castagna at an adult bookstore of all places? After meeting Castagna, Curtis took him to a hotel to have sex, where Curtis revealed that under his clothes he was wearing— what else? — red lingerie. This is where the story gets a little confusing. Castagna claims that Curtis was aware that he was a prostitute and that there was an understanding that Curtis would be paying him $1,000 at the conclusion of the night. Curtis, though, claims that Castagna attempted to extort the money from him in exchange for keeping quiet about Curtis’ gay fling. We may never know what truly happened, but Curtis resigned from office in the face of the scandal.
4. George Rekers, advisor to Congress, White House, and other political bodies
They say that the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and that is certainly the case with George Rekers. Though he never held any actual political office, his presence was certainly felt in politics as he rallied intensely for the Christian Right. Rekers is probably the biggest homophobe on this list, as he authored a book titled Growing Up Straight: What Families Should Know About Homosexuality. The fun part of this story started when Rekers took a trip to Europe in 2010 after having some surgery, making him unable to lift luggage. He sought out a travel companion to assist him— a completely acceptable solution— but he found his new friend on a website called rentboy.com, a source for gay male escorts. Rekers maintains that nothing sexual happens and completely shirks the question when asked about how he came upon the website. I guess praying away the gay doesn’t work after all. Who would have known?
5. Troy King, Alabama attorney general
As is to be expected of a typical Alabama politician, Troy King is a conservative Baptist. Because of this, he openly opposed all bills regarding gay marriage during his term as attorney general. He even went so far as to try to outlaw sex toys in his repressive tyranny against the state. People’s suspicions were first pricked when they noticed that one of King’s aides, a handsome 24-year-old man, was getting paid much more than others in the office. The suspicions were blown into a full on controversy when King was found in bed with that very same aide by his wife.
6. Bruce Barclay, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Commissioner
Right wing politician Bruce Barclay did not have many opportunities to act on his anti-gay platform in his position as county commissioner, but he still expressed his opinions whenever he got the chance. This all came crashing down when he was accused of rape by a 20-year-old man. Police searched his home to look for evidence in the rape case, and while they did not find what they were looking for, they did find hundreds of tapes featuring Barclay engaging in sexual acts with other men, including the man who accused him of rape.
7. Phillip Hinkle, Indiana State Representative
During his time in office, Phillip Hinkle voted to ban same sex marriage and keep marriage “traditional,” as in between a man and a woman. Just because he wanted to marriage to stay between a man a woman doesn’t mean he wanted Craigslist sex propositions to stay that way. The family man reportedly contacted a young man through the website who was asking for a “sugga daddy,” and when the two met up, Hinkle’s impropriety intensified. The young man tried to leave when he recognized Hinkle, but according to the Indy Star, Hinkle “grabbed him in the rear, exposed himself to the young man and then later gave him an iPad, Blackberry cell phone, and $100 cash to keep quiet.” Too bad that didn’t work, huh, Hinkle?
8. Jim West, Spokane, Washington Mayor
During his tenure in office, West did his best to discourage homosexuality. He tried to pass a law that would prevent all people who identified as homosexual from working around children and in government agencies. Besides working against gay people, West also tried to make sexual activities of any kind between teenagers illegal. Uh, yeah, good luck with that one, Jimmy. His credibility was destroyed when it was discovered that he had many younger sexual partners of the male persuasion. He also reportedly visited a very discreet website for gay pornography— gay.com.
9. Roy Ashburn, California State Senator
Roy Ashburn voted against gay rights every chance he got, as do so many of his Republican comrades. The difference, though, between Ashburn and many of his GOP pals is that he prefers the companionship of men. In 2010, Ashburn got pulled over for a DUI with a male in his vehicle after leaving a gay bar. Unlike most of the men on this list, Ashburn handled the scandal with class, and instead of denying the allegations, he owned up to them and came out publicly. Way to go, Roy!
10. Ted Haggard, anti-gay activist
While Ted Haggard is not technically a politician, he definitely influenced the GOP. His credibility was essentially shattered when, in 2006, his long-term sexual partner and personal masseuse outed him as gay. This reveal also included Haggard’s use of crystal meth— which, of course, he blamed his gay activity on. The best part of this story? Haggard’s denial included his claim that he is just a “heterosexual with issues.” Good luck with that, Ted.