Film Aims to Push Gays Out of Political Closet

Politicians in the Closet

"Obviously," Dick said of choosing his subjects, "they had to rise to the level of hypocrisy. We didn't just out closeted politicians."

Besides Craig, the film villainizes Florida's Gov. Charlie Crist, alleging that the divorced politician became engaged to marry again in order to climb the political ladder. The film notes his 2008 marriage to Carole Rome when Republican presidential nominee McCain eyed him for the vice-presidential slot.

Crist, who supported Florida's anti-gay adoption law, recently announced his run for U.S. Senate and is considered a presidential hopeful for 2012.

Crist has denied published allegations that he is gay.

A Crist spokeswoman told that the governor was unavailable for comment, but his Republican primary opponent, Marco Rubio, told the Orlando Sentinel, "I'm not into that kind of politics at all. I don't want to even talk about it. I don't want to hear about it."

Florida Newspaper Reports 'Gay Rumors'

The same newspaper named the sitting governor in its article titled, "Movie revives gay rumors about governor despite his denial."

The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times, among others, offered names in their film reviews, but other respected news outlets did not.

National Public Radio censored the names of purported closeted politicians, citing their editorial policies, and the gay reporter who wrote the review, Nathan Lee, demanded his name be removed from the piece.

The Washington Post mentioned only the names of interviewees who were openly gay.

Michael Hoyt, editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, defended those ethical decisions. "I don't care what people do in the bedroom unless there is some issue that makes it relevant -- something illegal like having sex with a minor," he told

But, he added, "If somebody was on a virulent anti-gay crusade, it might be relevant."

Frank criticized the media for ignoring such hypocrisy.

"If the leader of the anti-abortion movement has an abortion, you write about it," Frank told "In general principle, John Locke [the 17th century thinker who influenced the Declaration of Independence] said the person who makes the rules needs to live under them."

Reporters often shy away from outing those politicians but, Frank said, "It's a recognition that being gay is such a terrible thing.

"A few years ago, it wasn't plausible [to come out]," he said. "But there are plenty of gays who are honest about their sexuality and survived."

Coming Out in Office

"I worried beforehand that I would suffer," said Frank, who came out to the Boston Globe. "I understand why people stay in the closet; I did for the first 15 years in office and then was out for 21 years. You have to decide. But I don't think you have an obligation to come out."

Frank, himself, wouldn't offer any clues to which politicians might still be in the closet. "I've got to work with them," he said, "I have a job to do. I don't think it's a legislator's job to out hypocrites. That's the job of the media or activists."

But former New York Mayor Ed Koch, who survived homophobic campaign slogans when running against Mario Cuomo for governor in 1982, said that public servants should never answer questions about their sex lives or be forced out of the closet, "unless they are engaged in hypocrisy -- demeaning homosexuals while being homosexuals themselves."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...