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Remembering Rep. Jack Kemp, And Those Gay Rumors and Anti-Gay Stance


Dying from cancer? Terrible. Using your position of political power to deny gays and lesbians basic rights? Also terrible. So defines the life of Jack Kemp, who died at age 73 after serving as George H.W. Bush’s housing secretary and nine terms as a New York congressman. Oh, and after trashing gay rights. Oh, and after battling rumors he was a big ‘mo!

The gay rumors swirled around the married father of four, which were fueled after he was identified as a business parter, along with four gay men, in a Lake Tahoe ski cabin in the 60s. Kemp’s camp shot down the rumors, but they never went away.

Neither did the congressman’s predilection for intolerance. Though he “I believe in civil liberties for homosexuals,” he finished that thought with, “I guess I’d have to say I’d draw the line at letting them teach in the schools.” Kemp fought legislation that would protect HIV-positive Americans, going so far as to support a bill to require mandatory testing of those infected — a sort of chicken-and-egg scenario that didn’t pass.

Back in 1996, when Bob Dole chose Kemp as his running mate, Kemp’s reputation floated somewhere on the moderate side of things, but the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force noted Kemp “has a solid anti-gay record nonetheless. Though the move will be seen by many as a move to the political center, Kemp’s record indicates a continued trend to the hard right with the party firmly in the hands of religious political extremists.”

Rest well, Mr. Kemp.

On:           May 3, 2009
Tagged: , , ,
    • Joe

      Shocking, a self-hating closeted gay republican.

      May 4, 2009 at 12:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian

      good riddance

      May 4, 2009 at 12:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC

      Yep, good riddance to this piece of hateful trash. One less republican is always a good thing. As for those rumors about him, I wouldn’t mind betting they were true, classic and typically right wing like many in the Log Cabin. I think we can safely say, republicans have the majority lead on the double-standard, hypocrisy and bigotry.

      May 4, 2009 at 8:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Helga Von Ornstein

      He was one of the few politicians I felt sorry for. He never sounded convincing in his condemnation of anything gay related. He always looked and sounded pain to HAVE to do it because he knew he was screwed.

      Kemp was an eye catcher, have do doubt. That is why he was valuable to the GOP and to Dole’s desperate attempt at the presidency in 1996. At the same time he also showed just how pathetic the GOP had become even back them. The icing on the cake (or lid on the coffin) for the GOP was Bush. It took 8 years but by the end Bush had nailed their coffin shut.

      May 4, 2009 at 8:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • andy_d

      Remember, this is the same main stream media that is NOT reporting about the murders of gay men in Iraq and Iran. I’m not surprised at all.

      May 4, 2009 at 8:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LSUdabest

      You drama queens can’t even respect the dead. That is why the vast majority of straight folk tolerate you but will never accept you. You are all self-centered frauds…WHHHAAAAAAAAA.

      May 4, 2009 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec

      @LSUdabest: How is it disrespectful to point out the truth?

      Truth: Kemp was no friend of gays and lesbians.

      Truth: Kemp was plagued by rumors that he was gay or bisexual.

      Truth: Kemp died.

      Isn’t this similar to “loving the sinner” language we get all the time from the rabid right wing?

      May 4, 2009 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC


      Are you that naive to believe that republicans aren’t capable of digging up the dirt on a dead democratic politician or a living one for that matter who isn’t a republican? Do you really think they don’t? By the way, nobody has to be accepted to be tolerant just as we don’t give a rat’s ass about you or your kind. Its ok to dish out the dirt against gays when we’re being denigrated by the likes of idiots like you but its ok for your kind to spread hatred and lies about our lives and using religion as a front to justify it; but when we refuse to sit back and take it without any retaliation, then its not ok in your view. We see the double standard your side lives by as well as the hypocrisy. Jack Kemp said a lot of derogatory things about us for no reason. Again, good riddance!

      May 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC


      Andy, absolutely right. LSUdabest and his ilk would probably be glad about that. You can bet your bottom dollar that if it were blacks, jews or any other minority on the receiving end of any kind of discrimination, it would be a whole different story and front page news. These right wingers have a monopoly on the double standard, its their m.o. They’re just one big party of sore losers and racists, they can’t get over the fact that they lost the election big time and that a black man is in the White House. Most of them hope Obama fails.

      May 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • russrjn

      BOTTOM LINE to you who are gay, lesbian and tstv.
      Leave it alone and let the man rest in peace after a REAL and hard
      battle with cancer,that is even a GREATER struggle that what homosexuals have EVER been thru, regardless of Politics.

      Just for the sake of decency leave it be!!!

      God bless his family and may God give them comfort in their hour of need.

      May 4, 2009 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pornotension

      @russrjn: He’s dead now. Who cares.

      May 4, 2009 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bigjake75

      Ok it is totally fucked up to enjoy someone’s death. Outside of some murderer like Hussein, we should never rejoice in death. Many in his family loved him, and some of them, no doubt, are tolerant people. All the hate mongers need to do is cut and paste some of the hate on Queerty and use it as evidence that our community is as intolerant as any. Clean it up people.

      May 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pornotension

      I’m not exactly rejoicing in anyone’s death here, I just think it is extremely ridiculous to say something like “battle with cancer, that is even a GREATER struggle that what homosexuals have EVER been thru…” (as Russrjn did, probably trolling). Uh, newsflash, everyone is susceptible to cancer. People who suffer from and/or die from cancer are not discriminated in the same way as people who are based on race, gender, etc. I don’t think anyone should traipse around his grave spreading flower pedals hither and thither in some kind of mock-tribute, but honestly? Who cares. Another hypocrite homophobe bites the dust, good riddance, and if other people want to think that this sentiment is intolerant, let them. It’s not like this so-called intolerance is why they would hate our community, they would hate our community any which way. I’m sorry, I just have no patience for such blatant hypocrisy anymore in my life.

      May 4, 2009 at 3:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bigjake75

      @Pornotension: it is not hypocrisy to be decent and polite. there is a difference.

      May 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC


      Hey, what would you know about the real struggles of LGBT people? You know, if this were a gay celebrity who’d died of cancer, people like you and others of your ilk would be jumping for joy and invoking your sky guy as having given him his or her just deserts, just as they do when they use AIDS as sky guy’s punishment. Don’t be such a damn hypocrite and quite the double standard, you’re beginning to sound like Fred Phelps and his inbred brood with every comment you make.

      May 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nikko

      Evil bastard. Hypocrite. No pity, good riddance.

      May 4, 2009 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LSUEatsTulanesPussy

      At least we’re not protesting the man’s funeral as members of the Christian right have done to gays.

      May 4, 2009 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LSUEatsTulanesPussy

      Jack Kemp supported anti-gay witch hunts among school teachers. He was Anita Bryant in a Jockstrap.

      May 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      What the fuck is all this LSU shit?

      Roll Tide!

      May 4, 2009 at 5:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bigjake75

      the conversations on this site begin to bore me….

      May 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin57

      I think the site strikes a balance. Jack Kemp’s death should not be “celebrated.” It is not a decent thing to do. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with pointing out how he failed in upholding even basic rights for gays.

      I was saddened to read how homophobic he was. I had thought he was one of few GOP voices calling for a bigger tent in the party…I guess that didn’t apply to us.


      May 4, 2009 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JD


      May 4, 2009 at 11:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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