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)?

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  • Lee

    The Falwells, the Warrens, the Bushies, the inbred Phelps brood, Focus on the Pseudo Family, Maggie “Stinks” Gallager, the Mormons, the Catholics, Miss Not Miss California … their “liberal” enablers like Obama and Pelosi and the Methodists and some Episcopalians…none of these people are the reason we are still second class citizens…why some of us are still physically attacked, others murderered, and some 11-yr. olds would literally rather die than be called fag….

    It is gays like this.

    A plague on their house!

  • Sam

    Giuliani’s a bastard. When he had to get his cheatin’ ass out of the house, these guys were there for him. Now that it’s not politically convenient, he turns his back on them. What a prick.

    I hope that this story reveals him to straight folk as the two-faced lying bastard that he is.

  • ajax

    What kind of friend would put Mr. Koeppel in this position?

  • Chitown Kev

    Giuliani called Koeppel and Hsiao called them friends. Rudy’s support of them at this most intimate time would be nice.

    If you throw your friends under the bus at an intimate time like this, this is not a friend. And for Koeppel and Hsiao to accept this type of utter and complete disrespect…I don’t think a whole lot of them either.

    Still, congrats on your nuptuials, guys!

  • Robert, NYC

    And this is the same man who divorced his first wife, had two affairs while getting rid of the first and married the second of the affairs. This man claims he’s a catholic but since divorce in the RC cult is forbidden, I fail to see if he ever actually filed for an annulment of the first. And this is the same man who professes to believe in the sanctity of marriage amidst all the philandering while denying us the same rights? Please….if this is not hypocrisy, I don’t know what is. Notice how silent the RC cult remained after his first divorce?

    While we’re on the subject of the RC cult, check this out for light relief…


  • stephen kay

    hell no. I want tolerate any one opposing my cvil rights in my personal group of friends.Once I am equal then I can tolerate them..but until then I will remain oppressed and pissed off.

  • JR, NYC

    Actually, his first wife was his cousin. He had two affairs while getting rid of the second, la Hanover, before marrying wacky Judy. And even if he were a paragon of fidelity, he still is, was and always will be a despicable toad.

  • Alec

    @JR, NYC:

    And even if he were a paragon of fidelity, he still is, was and always will be a despicable toad.

    Vice President Biden killed him with the “verb, noun and 9/11” quip. I think he’s toast, unless the New York Republicans are extremely forgiving.

  • Mass

    One of my husband’s friends from high school, her then-fiancee didn’t attend our wedding. We weren’t close or anything so I didn’t care, but I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s leaving the door open to someday run for office on the Republican ticket and doesn’t want it to come out that he attended a gay wedding, regardless of his personal stance on the issue (which I am pretty sure is tepidly anti-gay marriage). Never was a fan of him, and glad to save the $ on the extra plate.

  • John K.

    Hell no! If he’s a friend, he supports my rights. If he is willing to throw me under the bus for political gain, he is not friend, and I would never refer to him as such again.

  • Chris

    Plus — he had his sec’y call them!!…two days before!! He didn’t even have the balls to call them himself.

  • bobito

    I can only assume that Koeppel and/or Hsiao are deriving, or perceive themselves to be deriving, some sort of social or financial advantages (maybe Rudy’s name is useful for dropping in business negotiations) on the basis of their friendship with Giuliani. Or they could actually consider him a friend, which would mean they come from the highly moneyed caste of people who only associate with other obscenely wealthy types, because they have absolutely no concept of what it would mean to be or have a friend who valued them for anything other than their wealth or their usefulness. And since their gay marriage currently makes them counterproductive to Giuliani’s political ambitions, it would not be unforgiveable of him to snub their wedding, but rather perfectly understandable.

    The bubble in which these people live could even seem pitiful, because they are so impoverished in qualities like human decency or compassion, but I wouldn’t advise pitying them too much.

  • sparkle obama

    it’s not that simple & you know it.
    most of you right-on-every-issue-except marriage equality types would sell out your own grandma if it meant you could pay less taxes.
    quit being fake; it’s not going to work!

  • Robert, NYC

    Maybe we as a group should start by calling Giuliani on his own hypocrisy relevant to his divorces, philandering and marriages with regard to his opposition to same-sex marriage. Seems to debunk that entire sanctity of marriage mantra doesn’t it? The procreation mantra is also lost. If they want to use that as the primary reason for marriage, then they’ll have to ban straight childless marriages or straights who choose no to breed or can’t. Notice how the religious right remains silent about that?

  • Steve

    I believe it was NY1’s Andrew Kirtzman who nailed him: “A small man in search of a balcony.”

  • Steve again

    Oops. If Kirtzman said that, he was quoting Jimmy Breslin. Regardless: “A small man in search of a balcony.”

  • Robert, NYC


    Bobito, I totally concur with your views. I suspect the two he stayed with are Log Cabiners, many of whom don’t give a damn about equality as long as they have their wealth, deluxe health insurance policies, a second or third home, two or three cars and unlimited resources at their disposal. In spite of the downturn in the economy, the revamping of health care, national security, if those weren’t high priorities, you can safely assume that Log Cabiners still would not consider equality that important. Since their party doesn’t believe in full equality for LGBT people and has no place for them, why would any self-respecting gay person want to support a part that clearly doesn’t want them, Giuliani included? These people are our enemies too, don’t lose sight of that. They continuously vote for their party even when it includes a ban on marriage equality in thirty states. That alone proves they don’t care as long as their status quo remains intact.

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