20 Republican Politicians Brought Down By Big Gay Sex Scandals

She doth protest too much.

It seems like every time a Republican politician starts screaming about the gay agenda, we find out he has a Grindr account or a secret boyfriend.

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From small towns to the highest echelons of power, there’ve been a lot of closeted GOP officials caught with their pants down—literally, in some cases. (And that’s not even including the ones who never got caught.)

With the Republicans poised to retake the White House, it’s a good time to look back at right-wing hypocrites on the down low.

  1. Jon Hinson

    In 1976, when Hinson was an aide to Mississippi Rep. Thad Cochran, he was arrested for exposing himself to an undercover cop at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. Married at the time, Hinson blamed his actions on “personal turmoil” and alcoholism.

    He managed to keep his job and even won the election to be Cochran’s replacement in the House.

    Then in 1981, Hinson was arrested again, for performing oral sex on a young clerk in a House of Representatives bathroom. He was charged with sodomy (then still a crime) but received a suspended sentence and year’s probation. He resigned on April 13, 1981, calling it “the most painful and difficult decision of my life.”

    Soon afterward, Hinson came out and became an advocate for LGBT rights and fought against the ban on gays in the military. He died of an AIDS-related illness in 1995 at the age of 53.

  2. Troy King

    UNITED STATES - MARCH 23: Alabama Attorney General Troy King, left, and Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., held a news conference on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, to discuss Alabama's position and planned lawsuit challenging the health care reform legislation passed by Congress. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)
    Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images

    This former Alabama Attorney General railed against homosexuality, calling it “the downfall of society” in a 1992 op-ed about a college LGBT group.

    “The existence of the Gay-Lesbian Alliance on this campus is an affront to the state of Alabama, its citizenry, this university and its students.” (He also tried to ban the sale of sex toys in the state.)

    So it was a bit embarrassing when, in 2008, it was reported he was caught by his wife in bed with a male aide.

    Newspaper accounts pointed out the staffer was initially paid $39,456 a year as an “intern” while still in college, and then bumped up to $57,504. (King’s chief of staff said the aide traveled extensively with the attorney general and was “indispensable in terms of the many functions he carries out in this office.”)

    King ran for reelection in 2010 but was defeated in the GOP primary by Luther Strange.

  3. Roy Ashburn

    UNITED STATES - MARCH 12: Candidate Roy Ashburn, R-Calif. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)
    Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty

    California State Senator Roy Ashburn voted against every piece of LGBT rights legislation that ever crossed his desk. Then, on March 3, 2010, he was pulled over for drunk driving while leaving a popular Sacramento gay club with another man in his car.

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    The arrest sparked nationwide speculation about his sexuality and the hypocrisy of his voting record. Later that same year, Ashburn came out in a radio interview. He was later appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the State of California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and ran unsuccessfully for county supervisor.

  4. Richard Curtis

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    As a Washington State Representative, Curtis voted against same-sex domestic partnerships and against an anti-discrimination law protecting gay people.

    But he was eventually outed by a male escort who had been blackmailing him and threatening to tell his wife about their trysts.

  5. Ed Schrock

    UNITED STATES - JUNE 11: PROPOSAL FOR DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY--Ed Schrock, R-Va., questions witnesses during the National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations Subcommittee hearing on the President's proposal to create a Department of Homeland Security to address the threat of terrorism more effectively. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
    Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty

    From 2001 to 2005, Schrock served as U.S. Representative for Virginia’s Second Congressional District, and stood 100% against gay rights. He dropped plans for reelection, though, when a tape of him soliciting sex with men on a gay chat line surfaced.

  6. Jim Kolbe

    Rep. Jim Kolbe
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    This Arizona Congressman wasn’t exactly “taken down” by revelations about his sexuality—but he was forced to come out.

    After Kolbe voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, LGBT advocates threatened to out him—placing a full-page ad in the Washington Blade calling on closeted congressmen to “end your silence and defend your community.”

    He subsequently came out, and actually won reelection that same year. In 2000, he became the first openly gay person to address the Republican National Convention, although his speech did not address gay rights. (That same year, he informed the congressional page program about possibly inappropriate contact between Congressman Mark Foley and teen pages.)

    In October 2006, prosecutors investigated a camping trip that Kolbe took in July 1996 with two male pages, as well as National Park officials, staffers and his sister. He was accused of “acting inappropriately,” but was absolved of any wrongdoing.

    In 2013, Kolbe signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage.

  7. Jim West

    Jeff T. Green/Getty Images

    Two former Boy Scouts claimed West, the mayor of Spokane, Washington, fondled them and forced them to perform sex acts when they were minors. West confirmed he had offered gifts, favors and an internship in Internet chats with a man he believed was 18, but denied the molestation charges.

    Jeff T. Green/Getty Images

    West acknowledged he was gay but declined to step down as mayor, and was eventually removed from office by a special election. Before his death in 2006, he said he regretted voting for a bill that banned discussion of homosexuality or LGBT rights in schools.

  8. Paul Babeau

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    Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau was once considered a rising star in Arizona politics—until reports surfaced that he threatened an ex-boyfriend with deportation back to Mexico. The scandal eventually cost Babeau his congressional bid, as well as his role as Arizona co-chair of the Mitt Romney for President campaign.

    It was later revealed that when Babeau ran a private boarding school in Massachusetts in the late ’90s, the school had been investigated for abusive disciplinary practices.

    He re-emerged on the scene this year, when he became the Republican nominee for Arizona’s first congressional district, but was defeated in the general election by Democrat Tom O’Halleran.

  9. Robert Bauman

    As a congressman from Maryland, Bauman preached about the collapse of American morality and founded numerous conservative organizations, including the Young Americans for Freedom and the American Conservative Union.

    So it was quite a shock when, in 1980, he was arrested for attempting to solicit sex from a 16-year-old male prostitute. He, like others on this list, blamed alcohol for his indiscretion, but he lost reelection to Democrat Roy Dyson, who was previously not considered a serious contender.

    After the end of his political career, Bauman became legal counsel for a group dedicated to offshore banking and investments. His memoir, The Gentleman from Maryland: The Conscience of a Gay Conservative, was published in 1986.

  10. Mark Foley

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    Republican congressman Mark Foley served in the House from 1995 until 2006, and voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. But it came to light he had been sexting with two male pages, ages 16 and 18—and after they turned legal, reportedly having sex with them.

    Foley denied he “ever had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor in his life,” but his political career was over.

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    He resigned from Congress on September 29, 2006, after a request by Republican leadership. Foley resurfaced as a supporter of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.

  11. Bob Allen

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    Allen, a married Florida State Representative, voted against gay rights legislation 90% of the time. When he was arrested for offering a male undercover cop $20 to receive oral sex in a restroom, he claimed he only did it because he was afraid of black people.

    On November 9, 2007, Allen was convicted, fined $250 and sentenced to six months’ probation. He submitted his letter of resignation a week later.

  12. Chris Myers

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    In 2011, this married Republican mayor of Medford, New Jersey, was accused of having sex with a male prostitute in a California hotel—by the escort himself.

    Apparently Myers had paid him $500, but reneged on a car and other promised gifts. But the pro-life, anti-marriage-equality politician stonewalled for months before eventually resigning.

    He didn’t mention the accusations in his resignation letter, though, claiming, “my work commitments will not allow me to devote the time that is needed in the months ahead.”

    Myers was relieved of his position at Lockheed Martin shortly thereafter.

  13. Phil Hinkle

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    As a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, Hinkle voted for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. So he probably didn’t have marriage on his mind when he asked an 18-year-old male he met on Craigslist up to his hotel room.

    When the young man changed his mind about the encounter, Hinkle tried to pay him off, but word got out. Hinkle refused to admit he was gay, but declined to seek reelection. “I don’t know what was going through my mind,” he said at the time. “I don’t know why I did what I did.”

    We think we might know why.

  14. Bruce Barclay

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    Barclay, chairman of the Cumberland County commissioners office, spoke openly about his belief that homosexuality was a sin. But in 2008, he was caught with hundreds of tapes of him having sex with male prostitutes.

    Court documents indicate Barclay patronized a rentboy site and, at least twice, flew a 19-year-old to his home in West Palm Beach. Cameras were hidden throughout the house—in the bathrooms, bedrooms and “indoor recreational areas”—and recorded between 100 and 500 sexual encounters with other men.

  15. Larry Craig

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    In 2007, this Republican senator famously blamed his arrest for solicitation in an airport bathroom on having a “wide stance” and refused to resign his post.

    In 2014, the Federal Election Commission filed suit after discovering Craig had illegally used campaign funds to pay his attorneys during the whole ordeal. He was ordered to pay the Treasury Department $242,535 out of his own pocket. Craig appealed, but in 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against him.

  16. Steve Wiles

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    In 2014, this Republican Senate candidate campaigned heavily on his support for North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban. His supporters were shocked to learn, though, that Wiles had performed as Miss Mona Sinclair at a drag club in Winston-Salem.

    He was also a promoter for the 2011 Miss Gay America pageant.

  17. Randy Boehning

    Rep. Randy Boehning, R-Fargo, left, and Rep. Gary Kreidt, R-New Salem, both sport identical yellow smile ties at the Capitol in Bismarck, N.D., Thursday, April 10, 2003. The two men wore the ties to participate in daffodil day. On daffodil day legislators wear yellow in honor of spring and the end of the session. (AP Photo/Will Kincaid)

    Let this be a lesson: It was after Boehning, a member of the North Dakota House of Representatives, voted against gay rights that he was outed on Grindr with explicit photos and messages.

    He initially claimed it was political retaliation, but on April 30, 2015, he told the Grand Forks Herald he was “relieved to come out.”

  18. Mike Yenni

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    Yenni was mayor of Kenner, Louisiana—and married to wife Michelle—when he reportedly sexted 17-year-old Alex Daigle.

    Yenni, now president of Jefferson Parish, came to see Daigle at the mall where he worked. They reportedly met in a bathroom, where the mayor gave the teen some designer underwear and they briefly kissed. Yenni apparently asked to see the young man naked and told him that he wanted to perform a sex act on him.

    Daigle said he started to feel uncomfortable and ended communication a few weeks after the sexting began. “He asked me to be a secretary or assistant in his office; that way I could be with him and not be questioned.”

    While Yenni admitted to sending explicit texts to Daigle, he denies he is gay. “There are a lot of elements of that story I truly believe are certainly fictional,” he told reporters.

  19. Ralph Shortey

    Oklahoma City Police Dept

    Oklahoma state senator Ralph Shortey (R-Oklahoma City) was an early supporter of Donald Trump and served as a coordinator for his campaign in Oklahoma. In March 2017, though, Shortey, who is married, was caught in a motel room with a 17-year-old boy he had offered money for sex.

    The boy’s father called police and Shortey was arrested. An FBI investigation found that Shortey contacted numerous young men on Craigslist to send and receive pornography. He pleaded guilty to the child-sex trafficking charge, but avoided charges relating to child pornography.

  20. Wes Goodman

    Wes Goodman

    In November 2017, Goodman (R-Cardington) resigned from the Ohio House of Representatives after allegations surfaced he had sex with another man in his office. A married “family values” Republican, has previous claimed “healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio’s proud history.”

    Goodman touted religious liberty and voted to repeal Obamacare in Ohio. He also authored the “Enact Campus Free Speech Act,” to ensure speakers were allowed to speak on college campuses regardless of how odious their perspective.

    “We all bring our own struggles and our own trials into public life,” Goodman said in an apology. “That has been true for me, and I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service.”

    Rumors of Goodman’s behavior have apparently been swirling for years: In 2016, Goodman was accused of fondling an 18-year-old who was attending a fundraiser. Goodman allegedly force the teen to come to his hotel room and share a bed with him. The young man says he woke up in the middle of the night to find Goodman pulling down his zipper. He left the room at 4am, the Washington Post reported, “shaken, dazed, confused and very upset.”

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