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A Gay ol' Time in Texas?
February 21, 2004 10:07 AM   Subscribe

RumorFilter: Gov. Perry of Texas in bed with his Sec. of State --for real! More on this brewing scandal here, here, here, here, and here. Perry in 2002 called Texas' then-existing/now-illegal sodomy laws "appropriate." And here's a rundown on the rumor and non-response (from the kos link)
posted by amberglow (70 comments total)

 
Poor man.
posted by Nelson at 10:11 AM on February 21, 2004


I've heard this rumor too, about how they're trying to silence the wife and bury her reasons for divorce from the press.

As seen with the Kerry rumors (which didn't seem to pan out), the press will likely jump on this like a piece of meat and we'll find out very soon if it was true or not.
posted by mathowie at 10:13 AM on February 21, 2004


One of the links says that it's actually specifically mentioned in the divorce papers that were filed, so if those are public in Texas, then we'll know really soon.
posted by amberglow at 10:15 AM on February 21, 2004


Sure hope Tom DeLay gets sucked into this somehow.
posted by mss at 10:18 AM on February 21, 2004


Oh the hypocrites
are full of shit...
Deep in the heart of Texas!
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:24 AM on February 21, 2004


Texas is a no-fault divorce state, meaning no reason is cited as a matter of public record in a filing.

To follow the story you've really got to be watching the Burnt Orange Report. Byron and the guys over there have been getting leads and tips from credible sources since it first came out last Monday. I know that at least two of the BOR team also do freelance work for Texas political organizations, so they've got better ears to the ground.

The whole town has been talking about this for a week, waiting to see what newspaper breaks it first. Thanks for the post, amber -- I was far too chicken-shit to do it myself.
posted by pineapple at 10:24 AM on February 21, 2004


Oh the hypocrites
are full of shit...
Deep in the heart of Texas!


Thanks, now know how to keep people's noses out of my business, make it stink. Seriously, people here can be so nosey which fits their small minds. After settling in Texas, this has been my biggest problem.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:32 AM on February 21, 2004


Sure hope Tom DeLay gets sucked into this somehow.
Pleeeeeeze rephrase that, mss...

I see a major firestorm this year for politicians who are using "family values" issues hypocritically. (I just read that gossip-queen Kitty Kelly will have a book on the Bushes published in September... should be too much fun.) Of course, if the hypocrites are deposed and the crusade against freedom in the name of "family" ends up being led by true believers who really do live like that, the rest of us may be in real trouble... (but then, MeFites may get some leeway if konolia ends up in charge...because I KNOW you're thinking I'm talking about you personally, dear...)
posted by wendell at 10:33 AM on February 21, 2004


pineapple, thomcat, do people in Texas think it's for real? or a slime? And thom, if a politician is actively hurting gay folks with his policy and positions, why not call him out when he's found to be gay himself? and burnt orange kept crashing my browser and wouldn't load, so i couldn't get to it and include it in the post. And I have no shame, so couldn't not post this juicy web tidbit. : >
posted by amberglow at 10:35 AM on February 21, 2004


I don't think that average Joe Bob Q. Texan is aware of it just yet. It's sort of radiating outward from Austin among the populace.

People in the media and political industry think it's for real, mostly because of the way the story hit. This wasn't a slow burn, whisper-here-whisper-there deal over several months, which is how gossip usually goes at the Capitol. I first heard at lunchtime on February 12 that Anita had moved out of the Governor's mansion (and from a Highly Credible Source), so my guess is that if it's true, that happened the day before. And everyone in the political community, on both sides, was talking about it over the weekend.

The Republican politicos I've talked to don't question it at all, leading me to think two things: 1) it hit so fast that the GOP didn't have time to get on cover-up/spin message, which would indicate truth over smear, and/or 2) they all knew it and figured this was inevitable.

The Republican citizens/voters I've encountered think it's a vile Democratic smear, wholly unlike Clinton/Lewinsky and shouldn't even be considered apples and apples. Which, all told, doesn't surprise me a bit.
posted by pineapple at 10:53 AM on February 21, 2004


Well, the governor didn't look like a bull to me..and you know whatthey say about Texas.
posted by jonmc at 10:56 AM on February 21, 2004


I wonder if the average repub texan will still think it's a dem smear when it hits the papers. If the wife is really furious about it (which would be surprising, since she must have known about him for years), then it'll get interesting.
posted by amberglow at 10:56 AM on February 21, 2004


And thom, if a politician is actively hurting gay folks with his policy and positions, why not call him out when he's found to be gay himself?

Agree, just for the fact you should not be hurting anyone you governor, regardless your personal position. Boy, what a scandal if true and following world new more, only heard this here yesterday in a thread.

I live near a large gay community, and rarely hear how he has hurt gay folks. But you do hear how he is hurting Texas. It's becoming increasingly more for me that the elected officials of this state "only" do "what will benefit me" rather than the good for all. Think that is becoming the main reasons they run besides power & money.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:04 AM on February 21, 2004


true thom, for all politicians sadly.

this is hysterical btw, from betty bowers. : >
posted by amberglow at 11:06 AM on February 21, 2004


First impression: Poor bastards. Second impression: If this causes people to question their attitudes toward homosexuality, I'm all for it -- but if this gets tarred as a "grotesque moral failing" by the people involved, this could become INCREDIBLY nasty, INCREDIBLY fast. The "good" news on that score is, we can at least expect a rash of truth-telling its wake -- the Dems never really did unleash the "You accuse our man of adultery, all yours are going down too" scorched-earth policy during Clinton/Lewinsky, but you can bet your ass that the Log Cabin Republicans will "go nuclear" (as somebody put it in a previous thread) and start naming names if this whole situation goes anti-gay on us.

The sooner it's confirmed or denied, the better... if it's allowed to stay as a rumor for too long, people aren't gonna believe the truth no matter what it comes out to be.
posted by logovisual at 11:28 AM on February 21, 2004


start naming names if this whole situation goes anti-gay on us

Interesting, and quite possible. I heard rumors at least a year ago about a few prominent politicians that were in the closet, including (I think, if I'm remembering it correctly) another governor. If this blows up and everyone gets outed, it'll be interesting to see what sense is made of the chaos. Eventually people just aren't going to care, right?
posted by mathowie at 11:36 AM on February 21, 2004


"Eventually people just aren't going to care, right?"
I seem to remember expressing similar sentiments back in the early 80's. I would never have thought then that in 2004 we would still be fighting over gay and transgender issues. Maybe in another 20 years?
posted by 2sheets at 11:48 AM on February 21, 2004


This is a moral failing on his part. The hypocrisy, I mean. I hope he gets hung out to dry, nastily.
posted by Hildago at 11:52 AM on February 21, 2004


"Eventually people just aren't going to care, right?"

Those who want to clinge to the idea that gay=bad have the most amazing ability to deny the world they live in when that world shows them how common and non-bad homosexuality is.

Most people already don't care. But those who do will ignore anything that challeges their world view. Since gay is bad for these folks, they will just "forget" that gays exist in every demographic, including their own.

"I hope he gets hung out to dry, nastily."

I hope the gay community embraces him and he starts allowing gay marriages in Texas.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:55 AM on February 21, 2004


This is what you get when you deny the fluidity of human sexuality, and utterly deny that male sexuality can be anything but directed towards procreating with a woman.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:09 PM on February 21, 2004


I hope the gay community embraces him and he starts allowing gay marriages in Texas.

Oh, the irony. It's too much. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

And, yeah, what WolfDaddy said.
posted by moonbird at 12:11 PM on February 21, 2004


y6y6y6, I would also like a box of pizza that is never empty, like they had in this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle story book I read as a kid. So I guess when I say that I'd like to see the protracted, poetic, public humiliation of someone I don't like, I'm really just choosing my battles.
posted by Hildago at 12:24 PM on February 21, 2004


Well, you may have a good reason to not like him. Whereas I really don't. I just see him as a great opportunity to turn someone from the dark side. He can now spend his days talking to his conservative friends and dispelling their gay steriotypes.

I've found that people who think gay is bad will do a 180 after they find out someone they've respected for years is gay.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:32 PM on February 21, 2004


Poor man.

This is what you get when you deny the fluidity of human sexuality

He can now spend his days talking to his conservative friends and dispelling their gay steriotypes

you fucking dupes. you think he denies "the fluidity of human sexuality?" not at all. he simply believes himself to be above the rules laid out for proles. knowing he is deserving of his status, privilege and wealth, he joyously celebrates living outside the barriers he helps erect (no pun) and the persecution of others (i think he JUST gave a nod to bill banning same-sex marriage) from which he draws deep validation and confirmation of his success and superiority. you think he yearns internally for the freedom to express his true sexuality, you see him caught in some horridly ironic trap between his natural drives and his public image? hogwash: ten to one he believes homosex is "evil", and his real fulfillment comes not in intimate congress with other men, but in his certain knowlege that he can engage freely in "evil" because he is one of the chosen. and you're not.
posted by quonsar at 12:40 PM on February 21, 2004


what quonsar said--see all the "family values" and "moral" congresspeople and public figures throughout the years and their private behavior (esp. Newt, and now Bill Bennett and his dominatrix).
posted by amberglow at 12:43 PM on February 21, 2004


quonsar, I said this is what you get. Not what they get. Let's not get into how power corrupts blather. We all know that. Or should.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:54 PM on February 21, 2004


What quonsar said.
posted by cookie-k at 12:54 PM on February 21, 2004


i wasn't specifically attacking you wolfy, it was just an opportunity to make the point.
posted by quonsar at 12:55 PM on February 21, 2004


what quonsar said--see all the "family values" and "moral" congresspeople and public figures throughout the years and their private behavior (esp. Newt, and now Bill Bennett and his dominatrix).

Yeah, it's funny that I have a 100% tolerance policy, but have a far more boring sex life than most of the social hardliners out there. I hate Bennett because he makes me uncomfortable with my own credbility as a freaky libertine leftist.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:02 PM on February 21, 2004


'kay, q, but I think your point would have been better made by stating how the people most likely to be caught in and affected by these little peccadilloes hold a text of historical barbarism as a manual to life more dear to them than the reality of life itself.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:04 PM on February 21, 2004


"the fluidity of human sexuality"

Gross!
posted by srboisvert at 1:14 PM on February 21, 2004


Not only the Texas Defense of Marriage Act the governor signed last May is at issue here.

The Texas GOP Platform* openly condemns homosexuality, and supports "sanctity of marriage". Further, the Texas GOP requires its elected officials to sign the platform, declaring that they support and promise to defend every part of it. Granted, this policy has come under fire from many Rs, legislators that I know of in particular, who think that this fealty oath to the party's every ideal is not in the best interest of representing their constituency, and some even refuse to sign it by just "not getting around to it." But, I seriously doubt that the Texas GOP would allow the highest Repub official in the state to skip out on that duty, so the fact remains that if the governor signed it, he went on printed record as condemning homosexuality.

That's where the real trouble could come in for the GOP, because I can see someone justifying his alleged behavior as not necessarily contraindicating the DOMA (which is all "man / woman only" but says nothing about adultery, naturally). But there's no way around the hypocrisy if Perry signed the platform.

* the platform link is to a PDF file of the original document at the Texas Democratic Party site, because the Texas GOP refuses to post theirs on their own website.
posted by pineapple at 1:16 PM on February 21, 2004


i think i know how this is going to play out: not too differently from what happens when a prominent republican or a family member of a prominent republican is revealed to have a drug problem.

we'll be told it's a personal matter and that we should respect the privacy of their families by never, ever, ever, ever, ever bringing it up again. the media and conservatives will comply, and whenever a non-republican brings it up, they'll be accused of character assassination and being unable to let go of the past or forgive past "sins" of republicans.

and then the republicans will conduct business as usual, dropping the hammer on the non-elite who engage in the behaviors they condemn.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:26 PM on February 21, 2004


"I don't want you to be impressed. I want you to understand. This is not sophistry. And this is not hypocrisy. This is reality. I have sex with men. But unlike nearly every other man of whom this is true, I bring the guy I'm screwing to the White House and President Reagan Bush smiles at us and shakes his hand. Because _what_ I am is defined entirely by _who_ I am. Roy Cohn Rick Perry is not a homosexual. Roy Cohn Rick Perry is a heterosexual man, Henry, who fucks around with guys."
posted by homunculus at 1:29 PM on February 21, 2004


Kevin Drum has a nice summary of the Texas GOP Platform.
posted by homunculus at 1:37 PM on February 21, 2004


I was wondering when this story would percolate to MeFi. I'm in Austin. Most of my friends (who are mostly liberals, and we're all engaging in a bit of naughty schadenfreude over this) know about it. I think everybody's withholding judgment on the veracity of the rumors, but the sheer prevalence of them and the multiplicity of vectors for the story--"I know this guy who knows this guy who knows this guy..."--amount to a sort of circumstantial evidence in favor of the story being true.

I've been speculating: how long before GW needs to publicly distance himself from Rick Perry? Not that it should really have any impact on his administration, but if it's true, it will marginally nibble away at his public image.
posted by adamrice at 2:12 PM on February 21, 2004


Anyone else think it's a shame that a completely unsourced rumor is on the MetaFilter front page? I guess I should abandon the quaint notion I had last week that left-wing partisans would be more circumspect than the right-wing toadies that gleefully spread the Kerry/Polier smear without knowing -- or caring -- if it was true.
posted by rcade at 2:51 PM on February 21, 2004


yeah, rcade, I've been wanting to post this, but was waiting for a more credible source. But I am in Austin, too, and the hearsay is getting louder and louder. The divorce papers will show up on the Smoking Gun if there's any "interesting" content, I'm sure.
posted by whatnot at 3:12 PM on February 21, 2004


amber your emails down .
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:12 PM on February 21, 2004


i don't think so--i emailed you...try again sgt
posted by amberglow at 4:34 PM on February 21, 2004


I was wondering when this story would percolate to MeFi.

Rules for Having an Affair:
1. Don't be a Texan Republican governor....
posted by dash_slot- at 10:50 PM GMT on February 18

I'm not often ahead of amberglow, forgive me for pointing it out...
posted by dash_slot- at 4:38 PM on February 21, 2004


oop...sorry dash (gossipy minds think alike?) : >
posted by amberglow at 4:40 PM on February 21, 2004


plus - I agree with rcade - we could blur more lines than we want on this. I can see this being spun by Rove in Dubya's favour...

On Preview: I'm sure you're right amberglow - it really piqued myu curiosity. I am not sure it's true ... yet.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:42 PM on February 21, 2004


This discussion, especially quonsar's initial comment, really reminds me of the thread some months back about the African-American men who have sex with other men, then go home to their wives and families, but don't consider themselves bi or homosexual.
posted by billsaysthis at 4:56 PM on February 21, 2004


All rumors have been debunked.
posted by homunculus at 5:28 PM on February 21, 2004


ooo, that's good, homunculus
posted by amberglow at 6:33 PM on February 21, 2004


Does the idea of posting unconfirmed political rumors from Indymedia to the front page not strike anyone else besides rcade as being just a terrible, terrible post, even by, say, Fark's standards?

It's incredible how some of your are speaking so authoritiatively on the subject despite being so utterly DEVOID of hard information. For a second I thought I was reading a Free Republic thread about the Kerry peccadillo-that-wasn't.
posted by dhoyt at 8:29 PM on February 21, 2004


it's clearly labelled RumorFilter. You're free to skip over it if you're not interested, or take it to MeTa.
posted by amberglow at 8:41 PM on February 21, 2004


Yes, dhoyt. It bothers me quite a bit, too. This rumor was mentioned on WatchBlog in comments about Kerry affair rumors and I've been holding off until it's been verified. We chide Drudge here; we don't emulate him. Perhaps the discussion of what newsworthiness threshold should be necessary for a front-page post is a good topic for MetaTalk?
posted by stevis at 8:52 PM on February 21, 2004


it's clearly labelled RumorFilter. You're free to skip over it if you're not interested, or take it to MeTa.

That's not exactly the point, amber. I think it's really more of an issue of conscience.

If you feel it's fair & just to help perpetuate a potentially career-destroying story that may or may not be true regarding someone you don't know, that's best left to your conscience--MetaTalk doesn't settle affairs of the conscience.

You've posted nine times in this thread already. Clearly you take it quite seriously. I'm just wondering if that's because you want the rumor to be true for political reasons vs. whether you believe it actually is.
posted by dhoyt at 9:07 PM on February 21, 2004


I think it's fun, and immensely interesting.
posted by amberglow at 9:14 PM on February 21, 2004


If it's on the internet, it must be true!
posted by homunculus at 9:31 PM on February 21, 2004


I think it's fun, and immensely interesting.

Then you're right on par with the muckrakers at Drudge and the vapid, People magazine-reading masses. Enjoy.
posted by dhoyt at 9:44 PM on February 21, 2004


Damn, homunculus, look at the size of that unit. Leader of the free world indeed.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:53 PM on February 21, 2004


Maybe the governor was just choosing to be gay that day. I understand from my Christian friends that's how it works.
posted by Slagman at 10:01 PM on February 21, 2004


If this is just a rumor it won't destroy anyone's career, or harm it in the slightest. He's in office already. There are dates attached for confirmation. We'll know soon enough if it's true. Spreading rumors that can't be debunked about candidates running for office is very different. This is harmless schadenfreude.


"the fluidity of human sexuality" = Santorum?
posted by alms at 10:06 PM on February 21, 2004


When all is said and done, this will be a non-issue. Perry will admit that he was merely auditioning for the new career makeover show entitled Queer Love for The Straight Gov, and all will be forgiven.
posted by Danelope at 11:44 PM on February 21, 2004


Poor bastard, etc.

Can all you hypersensitive fools please not forget that he was (allegedly) caught by his wife in the act of fucking another guy. Whether it's another woman or another man, the (alleged) fact (possibly) is that he was cheating on her.

Guys who get caught cheating get dragged through the coals by their Texas wives, believe me. If everything's all "cleared up" by say, Wednesday, you can assume the "mutual separation" check cleared.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:50 PM on February 21, 2004


Do you suppose these good ole boys have a craving for Texas Soufflé?
posted by liam at 10:08 AM on February 22, 2004


Quick, any and all Gay advocacy groups should adopt him as man of the year quickly.
posted by CrazyJub at 10:20 AM on February 22, 2004


Then you're right on par with the muckrakers at Drudge and the vapid, People magazine-reading masses.

mr. clinton flips you the bird.
posted by quonsar at 11:07 AM on February 22, 2004


can all you hypersensitive fools please not forget that he was (allegedly) caught by his wife in the act of fucking another guy. whether it's another woman or another man, the (alleged) fact (possibly) is that he was cheating her.

That's true, Civil Disobedient, and yeah, what he did was wrong. I feel bad because I assume -- and this is an ASSUMPTION, I'll freely admit -- that he's someone who always wanted to be in government, but knew his homosexuality would be a liability, and so he made immense personal compromises that no doubt left him very unhappy in the name of trying to keep it suppressed -- and now, it's all coming crashing down around him. That's tragic no matter how you slice it; you could be cold-hearted and say "He knew what he was getting into," but no, I don't think that's true, or fair to say.

And yes, all this is assuming (a.) that the story is true and (b.) that Governor Perry is in fact gay, and was not, say, drunk and horny. If he was drunk, well, then, OK, he's kind of an idiot. If he's gay, then yes, I think it's sad. Obviously I'm sympathetic because I'm gay myself, but still.
posted by logovisual at 11:45 AM on February 22, 2004


that he's someone who always wanted to be in government, but knew his homosexuality would be a liability, and so he made immense personal compromises that no doubt left him very unhappy in the name of trying to keep it suppressed

Right, except in addition to these noble personal sacrifices he also sacrificed other people — i.e. his wife (and Secretary of State) — to his own ambition. I'm not feeling the sympathy here.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 1:50 PM on February 22, 2004


Today's Austin American-Statesman has a huge photo on the back of the A section showing Gov. Perry and his wife attending the opening of Austin's new arena football team this weekend.
posted by chipr at 8:25 AM on February 23, 2004


Arena football? Dude, he is gay. (heh)
posted by ColdChef at 9:05 AM on February 23, 2004


and it finally hit wonkette, but she doesn't say who it is.
posted by amberglow at 11:43 AM on February 23, 2004


Some students are apparently going to force the issue tomorrow....
posted by pomegranate at 1:13 PM on February 23, 2004


Bedfellows make strange politics.
posted by SPrintF at 6:29 PM on February 23, 2004


Get 'em while they're hot.
posted by emelenjr at 11:51 AM on February 25, 2004


Austin Chronicle weighs in.
posted by amberglow at 8:03 AM on February 29, 2004


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