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February 19th, 2012
11:55 PM ET

No Talking Points: Gay Skeletons In The Conservative Closet

Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu, a rising Republican star, publicly admitted he was gay on Saturday, in order to combat accusations from a former boyfriend. He joins a long line of conservatives who came out of the closet only after scandal forced them to do so.


Filed under: Don Lemon
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Freedom

    The freedom to privacy stills exist. No one should be forced to come out of the closet. Don addressed the story in a derogatory prejudicial tone.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  2. Von

    Thought the United States lived in a democracy. The right to choose. Most people choose to marry the opposite sex & start a family. Others choose to live in a same sex relationship....It is their right to choose without being harrassed about it. Any legal citizen has a right to choose, whether its to support the 2nd Amendment, their church belief whether it be Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Mormon, Quaker, Jehovah Witness, as they all believe in God. If you don't like the Constitution & the Amendments....move to Iran & become a Muslim. By the way I chose to have a family w/ the opposite sex,& don't label me as an activist. I believe in the right to choose.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  3. Alan

    By the way Von, being gay or straight is not a choice you make - its the way your sexuality is defined at birth

    February 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  4. Mark S. Hogan

    Don was talking about the hypocrisy of conservatives and the gay issue. Gays most often hide their homosexuality when part of the conservative establishment. They could move this evolution forward if they would be more vocal about it clearly not being a choice.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  5. Martin

    People wake up. Being gay is not a choice. You are born with it.

    February 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  6. tom-ay

    of course no one should be forced out of the closet, but lying has consequences too.

    February 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  7. bryan

    I agree that conservatives make a choice to keep a certain mask on and that many have skeletons in their closets. But forcing someone to out themselves is not right eitner. Maybe a no talking points on societal intolerance would be called for.

    February 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  8. Sheena

    I don't think coming out is about having the right to choose. People often don't come out because of the climate of intolerance that is associated with being gay. People have the right to know who they are voting for, and what their politician stands for. Becomming a politician is a decision to put yourself in the public arena. Obviously who polticians are romantically involved with matters because it has been a huge part of American politics. The choice to not share their homosexuality isn't based on equality but based on fear of not being accepted by the people they are trying to represent. If a poltician is running for office, it is important to consider aspects of their life might affect their chances of getting elected before they run. Running without disclosure of their orientation can be seen as a misrepresentation becuase people should have the right to choose who they are voting for. Even though I think it is awful that people would choose not to vote for a person based on this, it is their right to know and choose who they want to represent them. I applaud Don for his willingness to cover such an issue althought as seen by the comments, people would rather this issue be hidden as it has been for far too long.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  9. thom

    At this point in our modern civilization, with all the knowledge and the ability to communicate and understand each other, a person who is gay should not need to hide. Homosexuality is naturally occurs in a person. Gay people should not be burdened or made to be an outcast for no reason. It causes too many mental health issues and holds the person back for living the free live the work for and deserve.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  10. Juan

    Over the years I have known first hand many individuals whose same sex relationships were not a testament to the content of their earthy existenance. The GOP is not the group to represent those of a different sexual pursuation. We must move beyond short sighted opinions and prepare for the future. Look at the good things those out-of-the-closet are doing...Fighting aids, adopting children, providing safe haven for abused sexually challenged teenagers, williness to head activist goups against the supression of human rights, and standing strong for their personal convictions. Help them.

    February 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  11. Charlie

    I find it interesting that of all people, Don Lemon is doing a story on coming out when it took him so long to come out himself. If anyone should know the struggles gay people face before and after they come out, it should be Don–you don't just "come out" and several months later start passing judgement, sir. While I agree that the segment addresses a legitimate issue, it shouldn't have been Don (or Anderson Cooper).

    February 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  12. Sheena

    Who should it be? Apparently he knows about this first hand. If it is someone who just came out right away, how could the understand or appreciate the intricasies that come with waiting when you are a public figure. Ellen waited. Shoudl she be barred from addressing the issue?

    February 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  13. alan two

    Don Lemon: You allude in your report that Larry Craig was lying about his sexual orientation. In reality, he may only been guilty of omission. It is very possible that he did not think that a bi sexual orientation is the same as a gay sexual orientation. Therefore, when he stated that he is not gay nor was ever gay, he may have been telling the truth given his view of the difference.

    February 21, 2012 at 4:31 am |
  14. scotty501

    Cleary the ex went to a reporter to be vindictive. His story does not make sense. Its the typical petty witchy stuff. As a gay man i have seen a lot of that behavior. My opinion

    February 21, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  15. Juan Torres

    hates latinos but don't hate gays? not consistant.!

    February 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  16. pm

    I agree with Mark S. Hogan...my question is why would any LGBT person associate with these hate peddlers anyway?

    February 22, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  17. pm

    Charlie...the point is that in the poitical arena, you are representing the people who vote for you and if you aren't the person you are protraying, you are basically lying to the people to get voted in. It's ok to lie to yourself and even friends and family, but when you are going to get elected to public office, people don't like to be lied to.

    February 22, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  18. Cheyenne

    This fellow is coming out because his hypocrisy has been exposed, not his gayness. If he wasn't a Republican, it wouldn't be anybody's business. When you vote for Republicans you are supporting GayBashing, and by hiding his sexuality he became a lying hypocritical scumbag. By the way I am LGBT as well, but I've never voted knowingly for a homophobe. All Gay Republicans need to face the facts, Democrats are plenty conservative enough for ANYONE nowdays thanks to the Republicans' relentless pushing of the Overton Window, look it up.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  19. Dean

    I dont see how not adopting the label "GAY" means one is in the closet. Ive lived in Florence for a decade. The sheriff's sexuality was never hidden, it just wasn't announced from the loudspeakers. Babeu has been popular because of his deeds and views, not because of his sexuality. Its a sad state of affairs if we all have to live with labels attached. I know lots of gays who dont feel compelled to advertise it – they just are and they are accepted. As for this ex-boyfriend "Jose" – who apparently doesnt have the guts to reveal his real name – they have a word for an ex who creates a fake persona and "courts" someone on-line as a ruse to get them to meet: cyber stalker.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  20. Jon S.

    "Being gay is not a choice. You are born with it." I am so tired of this line. It is a total FICTION. There is no scientific basis for this argument. None. No one is born with a sexual preference. You are not born heterosexual any more than you are born with a predilection toward S&M or an appetite for pornography or an appetite for sexual aggression or misogyny. We are all born sexual beings, YES, that is correct. But our sexual appetites are informed and shaped OVER TIME through nurture (or lack of nurture), relationships, trauma, abuses, experimentation, curiosities, etc.

    This ridiculous argument that people are BORN with a sexual appetites already determined (even though common sense tells us that newborns have no discernment, understanding, or "knowledge" of gender or genitalia, for that matter) has no bearing in SCIENCE. The only reason people keep repeating this foolishness is for POLITICAL purposes. Unfortunately, the more you repeat something, the more likely people are to start believing it.

    March 4, 2012 at 2:31 am |
  21. OKC

    It is a choice....it is a behavior..........I will not die if I don't have straight sex and guy people will not die if they don't have homosexual sex.
    Being bormn that way is not an excuse for sexual behavior. If sexual wants and desires are born into people then there should be no sex crimes at all because they were born that way and can't help it.
    It is a behavior.

    March 5, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  22. Jonathan Swede

    Mirabile dictu: "To be or not to be Gay", seems to be a very important issue in the US. "Coming out of the closet" or respond to claims of alleged "same sex attraction" in Prime Time TV. Hm... Strange times we live in. "O, tempora, o mores".

    March 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  23. Todd in DC

    Jon S. being gay is not a choice. that fact has been determined by psychiatrists, neurologists, and behavioral scientists. So what scientific bases do you have that it is a choice? That all people are 100% bisexual and are equally attracted to both genders? Please state your references. You can check the American Psychiatric Association as a start to check my conclusion.

    OKC: there are no sex crimes anymore where BOTH PARTIES ARE OF AGE AND GRANT CONSENT. THis was not always true. SCOTUS overturned all sodomy laws back in 2003.

    Which sexual activities are you addressing?

    Religion is a choice. Are you suggesting that if gay sex is a choice, gays do not deserve to have anti-hate laws, but then since religion is a choice, we should be allowed to discriminate against christians?

    So tell me, how do you justify your opinions?

    March 16, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  24. Joe Sixpack

    Being a gay republican doesn't make any sense. Republicans hate gays and discriminate against them all the time. Hypocritical closeted Republicans should be outed.

    March 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  25. Truth

    @Joe Sixpack

    I am a republican, and I do not hate gays or anyone else. Understand something, the fact that I do not approve of certain behaviors DOES NOT EQUAL hate. Get real.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  26. Gurwinder

    "well, in that case I'm quite sure I will never get married then" as in [you've got to do it yusloerf to get it done correctly kind a gir] not really true but that's what I felt reading it. I dunno, maybe we're just too progressive and don't understand that everyone else want the world to stay the same as the last hundred/thousand years /bitter woman without a ring who still thinks we can change the world, maybe if we have a lot of money and wack out all those mindless tv reality shows with "winner gets a RING and a husband to take care of you"

    May 11, 2012 at 12:24 am |

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