It’s time to out Lindsey Graham

BUMP: Now that Lindsey Graham is, as I write, whining about how helping gay couples in the immigration bill would someone make moral allegedly-heterosexual Christians like him vote for “gay marriage” – an absolutely ludicrous argument – I’m bumping this post, that was originally posted 11 days ago.  (Also note that Diane Feinstein, Dick Durbin, and Chuck Schumer all defected to the GOP side on this, helping to kill UAFA, the gay immigration provision.  And Democrats wonder why they lose when they up-front cave to GOP threats every time. I’ll be writing more on this later.)

It’s time to finally out Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Graham has had it coming for a while now. Not because he’s a Republican. But because he’s an anti-gay Republican. And while it’s one thing to be gay and a closet case, it’s quite another to be a hypocrite, an anti-gay gay, someone who uses his power to harm others in the name of morality, all the while knowing secretly that he is one of the others.

In this case, Graham’s hypocrisy that broke the camel’s back is immigration reform. I have it on good authority from someone intimately involved in the immigration reform process that Lindsey Graham is the central reason that the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), which would help stop the forced deportation of foreign-born gay spouses, is being blocked from being added to the immigration bill. While other Senators might be bluffing about their opposition to addressing the immigration needs of gay binational couples in immigration reform, I’m told Graham isn’t bluffing.

The obvious question arises as to why Graham is holding gays hostage in the immigration bill.

Jon-Stewart-Lindsey-Graham-syriaOne theory is that UAFA is Graham’s legislative beard. A beard is a woman a gay man socializes with in order to throw off suspicions that he’s actually gay. In this case, the theory goes, Lindsey Graham is using UAFA in order to throw off the suspicions of the Tea Party voters back home who are challenging him in a high-profile primary. Their suspicions are that: A) Graham is a liberal; and B) he’s gay.

Graham’s support for immigration reform is hardly helping him dispel the closet liberal image.  But his opposition to UAFA, the theory goes, is a two-fer: It let’s Graham oppose something, anything, related to immigration reform (his support for the measure has been a thorn in his side with the far-right back home), and it has the added benefit of bashing gays.  Everyone knows that a closeted gay man wouldn’t bash his own people, right?  So bashing UAFA “proves” that Graham is straight.

Roy Cohn, a closeted gay man who destroyed the lives of other gay men. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection/

Roy Cohn, a closeted gay man who destroyed the lives of other gay men. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.)

And that is why it’s finally time to out Lindsey Graham.

If Lindsey Graham thinks an open discussion about the evils of homosexuality is necessary to further our country’s, or his own, best interests, then let’s have at it.

Lindsey Graham voted against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, because he believed that gays should not be serving in the US military.  Yet Lindsey Graham himself is a colonel in the Air Force Reserves.  If Lindsey Graham thinks gay are unfit to serve in the US military, and he were in fact gay, then he’d be unfit to serve in the US military by his own definition, would know it, but would still be serving in spite of that knowledge.  That would make Graham a hypocrite, a liar, or both. (And let’s not even talk about the security risk people with dire secrets, and Senatorial security clearances, pose.)

The question facing us is not whether you or I think Lindsey Graham’s sexual orientation is relevant to a public policy debate.  The question confronting us is whether Lindsey Graham thinks one’s sexual orientation is relevant, and he does.  So by the Graham Standard, America deserves to know if Air Force Reserve Colonel Lindsey Graham is gay.

Lindsay Graham chick-fil-a

Lindsey Graham celebrating the anti-gay Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

And the same goes for Graham’s position on UAFA.

And it’s not just those two issues.  Graham has been terrible on gay issues for years.  In the last three Congresses, the Human Rights Campaign scorecard gives him a 0, a 13, and a 15 out of 100.  Graham also famously participated in Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, in order to show solidarity with the chicken-chain’s anti-gay views.

Lindsey Graham clearly doesn’t believe that sexual orientation is a non-issue.

Graham is a queer duck. He’s what I like to call a closet heterosexual: Somehow who avers to being straight, but does so in such a diminutive, and odd, manner so as to lack all credibility.

Straight people aren’t normally shy about being straight.  Usually, they don’t even realize the degree to which they “flaunt” their heterosexuality.  They bring dates to public events, go on vacations with their significant other, and more generally have a public record of people they’ve gone out with.  Everyone does, gay or straight.  So you start to ask questions when you find someone like Lindsey Graham, who’s 57 years old and says he’s straight, but for whom the entirety of his Wikipedia “Personal Life” section reads:

Graham has never married.

It makes a girl wonder.

I don’t know if Lindsey Graham is gay.  But I’m having a difficult time believing that he’s straight (and I’m clearly not the only one). And what’s more, he seems to be having a difficult time proving it, or even explaining it.  Even Graham’s full-throated denial came off to many as incredibly gay:

During a South Carolina Tea Party rally this spring, one speaker created an uproar by postulating that Graham supported a guest-worker program out of fear that the Democrats might otherwise expose his homosexuality. (Graham smirked when I brought this up. “Like maybe I’m having a clandestine affair with Ricky Martin,” he said. “I know it’s really gonna upset a lot of gay men — I’m sure hundreds of ’em are gonna be jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge — but I ain’t available. I ain’t gay. Sorry.”)

Lindsey Graham decided long ago that one’s sexual orientation was fair game for politics, then so be it.  It’s time someone did an in-depth investigation of whether Lindsey Graham is gay, straight, or asexual, because under the Graham Standard, America has a right to know.

If Lindsey Graham wants to make his primary about being gay, then it’s time to click his heels three times and give him his wish.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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