Thursday, details began to emerge from a meeting held last weekend between Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry and a collection of influential conservative Christians. At that meeting Perry assured potential evangelical supporters that he is not gay.
At the secretive, off the record meeting held at the Hill Country spread of mega-donor James Leininger, Perry told a collection of deep pocketed evangelicals and Tea Party supporters that “I can assure you that there is nothing in my life that will embarrass you if you decide to support me for president.”
Influential blog Joe.My.God. reports:
While Perry didn’t actually use the word “gay,” everybody knows very well what he’s talking about.
And Americablog reports:
Rick Perry tells evangelicals, in code, that he’s not gay.
There is a sense of anxiety among some conservative Republicans about this candidate who jumped in late, who hasn’t been fully vetted and who seems almost too good to be true in a GOP primary.
Rumors questioning Perry’s sexuality have been circulating around Texas for more than a decade. While running for Governor in 2004 Texas state Democrats forced Perry to address the rumors. In a press conference Perry denied the rumors that he was gay, yet for many his denial raised more questions than it answered.
Noted investigative blogger Mike Stark reports:
I repeatedly heard detailed rumors of a past gay relationship between the Governor and his former Secretary of State, Geoff Connor. A version of this story included Perry’s wife, Anita, catching Connor and Perry in the act and screaming at him the next day from her office phone. The most common retelling has it that the Governor was caught, struck a quick (and expensive) deal with his wife that allowed him to avoid an immediate trip to divorce court, and swore everyone involved to secrecy.
I also learned of a new rumor making the rounds. Several sources told me they had heard that the Governor is in a current gay relationship with one of the two (male) chefs that Perry he keeps on staff at the tax-payer funded ($10,000 a month) temporary governor’s mansion.
In the past Perry has been described as “homophobic.” His conservative, anti-gay, Christian posturing has offended many liberals and others concerned with equal treatment under the law for the gay and lesbian community.
Yet despite a rather virulent anti-gay public posturing, it would surprise few if Perry is gay and in the closet. Over and over again anti-gay Christian conservatives have been exposed as self-loathing, closet homosexuals: Hence, the very real concern of powerful potential supporters committed to an anti-gay, conservative Christian agenda.