Ronald Reagan’s Daughter On The Time Her Dad Outed Rock Hudson

rock-hudson-reagansThough Ronald Reagan remains an icon of the Republican Party, his daughter Patti Davis claims he would have supported gay marriage.

In a New York Times profile, Davis remembers growing up up in an “era where your parents’ friends were all called aunt and uncle” and having an “aunt and an aunt” they saw “on holidays and other times.”

“We never talked about it, but I just understood that they were a couple,” Davis said.

Especially interesting is an anecdote Davis relates from her youth:

Once when she and her father were watching a Rock Hudson movie, Ms. Davis said, she remarked that the actor “looked weird” kissing his female co-star. She said her father explained that Mr. Hudson “would rather be kissing a man,” and conveyed, without using the words homosexual or gay, the idea that “some men are born wanting to love another man.”

Davis sings an all-together different tune from her older brother Michael, who made headlines earlier this week when he compared gay marriage to bestiality and murder.

However, she does concede that her father “did not believe that gayness was a choice” because “as a straight man and an old-fashioned man, it’s not like he understood it.”

As governor of California, Reagan joined President Jimmy Carter and other Democrats in opposing a ballot measure to bar gays and lesbians from working in public schools. But as president, he was heavily criticized for his slow response to the AIDS epidemic, even after his friend, Hudson, died from it in 1985.

Photo: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

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  • Caleb in SC

    Reagan was hardly the ultra-conservative Saint that the neocons have made him out to be. He never balanced the budget, greatly contributed to the national debt, and even signed an outright amnesty program for illegal immigrants. He was more of a “country club Republican,” nominally fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

  • MuscleModelBlog.com

    I’m too young to remember Reagan, but his daughter seems to portray him as a much more open-minded person than the image I have of him in my mind. Perhaps Caleb is right that he was a “country club Republican.”

  • Cam


    I think the issue is because for so long AIDS and gay rights were seen as the same thing as far as passing laws were concerned.

    The Tea Party can make whatever claim they want about Reagan, but anybody who had remotely similar opinions to him they have already booted from the party.

    McCain is MUCH more conservative than REagan and yet they attack him for being a fake republican. They wouldn’t even let somebody like Reagan or Dole in the GOP today.

  • Kieran

    Another heavy blow to the far-right religious homophobes. Jesus wasn’t a homophobe and neither was Ronald Reagan apparently. But atleast they still have Bill Donahue over at the ‘Catholic League’.

  • Caleb in SC

    @Cam: You are correct, Sir!

  • greyhound1954

    Not only wasn’t Reagan a saint of any sort, he was an American traitor. The hostage crisis was kept going to ensure Carter’s defeat, in return for which, Reagan sold Iran weapons systems that they wanted.

  • sfbeast

    Reagan’s lack of response to the AIDS epidemic ensured that thousands more gay men would die. I think that is pretty clear evidence of his homophobia, no matter what silly anecdote about him is being told now.

  • balehead

    Naturally they are trying to “Re-invent Reagan” for these more tolerant times…otherwise he looks like the douche he really was…

  • Billysees

    @balehead: 8

    I think you’re more or less describing things correctly.

Comments are closed.