Unconditional Support

Are Rudy Giuliani’s Gay Friends Crazy for Standing By Him?


A “last minute” no-show at the 10-guest wedding of Howard Koeppel and Mark Hsiao in Connecticut over the weekend, Rudy Giuliani probably didn’t surprise many with his empty chair. Though he believes in civil unions, the New York gubernatorial hopeful says he’s TOTALLY AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE, and planned on making it a big issue when he faces off with Gov. David Paterson in 2010. Except all of a sudden he recognized the tides were turning, and perhaps even Republicans were turning off voters with all this gay marriage repudiation nonsense, and he decided to sort of let the issue go. But not enough to support his two gay BFFs, who he stayed with in 2001 while divorcing Donna Hanover. Not that they’re sweating it:

“I understand why he’s doing what he’s doing. If he decides to run for governor . . . he’s a Republican, and he’s taking a Republican stand [against gay marriage,” said Koeppel at his nuptials, adding, “I danced at his wedding with [his wife] Judith [Nathan], and it would have been nice if he’d danced at mine.”

It’s quite a sacrifice to make. For both parties.

Giuliani believes he needs upsate conservative voters (which he does) to win the Governor’s Mansion on a Republican ticket, which means he has to hide his New York City liberal lifestyle, where he’s free to have playdates with gays. And Keoppel and Hsiao want to keep Giuliani as their friend (because maybe he is a nice guy?), despite his using their civil rights as a way to drum up votes.

Lest you ever find yourself in a position where one of your best friends happens to be a high-profile politician, which way would you swing? Would you set aside your own civil rights struggle to maintain your friendship (and even defend your homo-hating friends in the press)? Or would you be unwilling to make that compromise for any friend (and keep your inner circle comprised only of folks who don’t discriminate)?