Closeted gay men lead US radical right?

November 08, 2006

Evangelist Ted Haggard
WASHINGTON DC — From today's headlines, says gay activist Mike Rogers, "it seems quite possible that closeted gay men have been holding the top jobs in both the anti-gay Republican party and the anti-gay national evangelical Christian movement."

It was announced Thursday that Rev. Ted Haggard of Colorado Springs, Colo., president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals and a leader in the get-out-the-vote effort for Republicans, has resigned his national post, after a male prostitute alleged on Denver television that Haggard repeatedly paid him for gay sex for three years.

Rogers, who has spent years documenting and exposing the hypocrisy of closeted gay politicians, has called on another Colorado Springs-based evangelical leader, James Dobson of Focus on the Family, to join him in investigating whether the leaders involved have been truthful and to demand new answers from them.

"It is time for everyone in America to realize that the two leading anti-gay forces in America – the Republican National Committee and the National Association of Evangelicals – could quite possibly have been under the leadership of closeted gay men themselves," Rogers said.

Rogers, gay activist blogger and president of the group Proud of Who We Are – on Tuesday released what has become one of the most-watched videos on YouTube, a parody about the "hypocrisy of Republican National Committee Ken Mehlman."
Republican National Committee Ken Mehlman

Mehlman remains on the job marshalling evangelicals in the GOP's vaunted "72-hour strategy" to drive right-wing voter turnout against the "pro-homosexual agenda," although Mehlman deflected a question about his own sexual identity as recently as 10 days ago on camera.

Also on Rogers' blog is the video of his question to Mehlman, at a Capitol Hill fundraiser on Oct. 23, about whether Mehlman's conflicting answers about his sexual identity might affect social conservatives' turnout at the polls.

Awareness of the potential political impact is growing in the mainstream media. On MSNBC's Decision 2006 program Wednesday, political analyst Sascha Burns said, "the evangelicals have started to think that the reason their social agenda's gotten blocked... is because of radical gay Republicans at the top of the party."

The Christian Defense Coalition put out a news release Wednesday in which its director, Rev. Patrick J. Mooney states, "If Republicans lose the House or Senate, they only have themselves to blame. They have failed to energize and empower faith and value voters which provide a critical base of support for the Republican Party. Many evangelicals I have talked with feel used and taken for granted by the Republican Party. Their feeling is the Republican Party courts them during elections and then abandons and ignores them after the election is over."

The video produced by Rogers this week parodies Mehlman's role in the NRC's now-notorious "call me" ad against Rep. Harold Ford, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Tennessee. The parody ad features a young man in a tank top inviting Mehlman to "call me." By Wednesday morning, a day after its release, it was the No. 4 Top-Rated Video among all videos on YouTube.

The website of the National Association of Evangelicals that Haggard headed until Thursday says, "homosexual activity, like adulterous relationships, is clearly condemned in the Scriptures... an abomination... a degrading and unnatural passion... a sin that, if persisted in, brings grave consequences in this life and excludes one from the Kingdom of God."

It also claims that, "the degradation of moral absolutes has led to recent debates over same-sex marriage." Haggard has been a vocal backer of a proposed amendment to the Colorado constitution that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, on the ballot. He resigned his national position Thursday afternoon, and said he would take a leave from pastoring his 14,000-member megachurch in Colorado Springs. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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