Activists are no doubt very passionate people. They have a cause that they’re willing to fight for, and will sometimes go to extreme lengths to ensure that their agenda is fulfilled. Issues that people campaign for and against tend to be very rousing, pressing and often divisive ones – abortion, women’s rights and gay marriage are a few of the most current and most discussed questions in North America today. The latter issue has stirred up some of the greatest political controversies in 21st century America.
LGBT rights have been a hot issue for quite some time, and things are quickly progressing in favour of the LGBT community. Yet, not everyone is ready to accept that same-sex marriage should be an accepted part of American life. The opposition, or the anti-gay right campaigners, in the U.S. are largely Republicans, and typically have strict religious backgrounds. The most high-profile activists are typically so adamant and even venomous in their opposition to same-sex marriage that it often leads the general population to wonder if there isn’t something else going on…
Well, for the angry activists on this list, there was something going on. The following are just ten (thought there are many more) of the most extreme homophobic activists who have either been caught in gay activity, or have eventually come out of the closet. Some have identified as gay in the past before, as they say, ‘reforming’. Whatever their reasons are for their homophobia and hate, we can only hope that as society inexorably progresses towards greater equality, the people on this list will not only learn to come to peace with marriage equality but will accept, embrace, and love themselves for who they are.
10. Ed Schrock
Ed Schrock served two terms in Congress, and was best known for his strong stance against homosexuality. It didn’t matter whether it was marriage equality, or allow the LGBT community a voice in the military – he was against it. Was he protesting just a little too much? Yep.
In 2004, a tape was released showing Schrock trying to solicit sex from a gay prostitute. Needless to say, Schrock dropped out of the race for his third term in Congress.
9. George Rekers
George Rekers was known in the eighties for creating a well-known anti-gay lobbying group and writing numerous articles and papers about the sins of homosexuality and how people can avoid it. After Rekers had surgery, he claimed to have hired an assistant to help him carry his heavy items. It eventually came out that Rekers’ ‘assistant’, named Lucien, came from a site called Rentboy.com.
Initially Rekers denied having an account on the site – but it was established that the only way Lucien could have been found was through that website. Also, Lucien admitted to having sex with Rekers. So that settled it.
8. Pastor Eddie Long
The story of Pastor Eddie Long is a tragic and even disturbing one. The Baptist minister was a strong opponent of gay rights and even led protests and a march to Martin Luther King’s grave in the name of traditional marriage. However, his reign would soon crumble down when three young men sued him for forcing them into sexual relationships. Long even bribed men into giving him sexual favors in exchange for gifts, trips, jewelry, more. Even though Pastor Long preached that homosexuals could be “delivered” with the power of God, he couldn’t deliver himself from a life of corruption – probably exacerbated by his denial of his sexual preferences.
7. Troy King
Troy King was a lawyer who became the Attorney General for the state of Alabama. Not only did he vehemently oppose gay rights, he even tried to get sex toys banned in the state. It seemed like he was really just waging war against everyone’s good time in the bedroom. However, King’s wife soon caught her husband in bed with his male assistant, a student at Troy University. When King tried to run for Attorney General again, he lost by a landslide.
6. Bob Allen
Bob Allen, hailing from Florida, was a politician and a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 thru 2007. 90 percent of the time he voted with the Christian Coalition. Allen consistently expressed his strong opposition to anything related to progressing the cause of gay rights. But in 2007, Allen was caught offering a man $20 to perform oral sex, and that man turned out to be an undercover cop.
5. Richard Curtis
Richard Curtis was a Washington State representative who was well known for voting against any bills that would give the LGBT community rights in terms of marriage and adoption. Then, in 2007, Curtis resigned after a male prostitute by the name of Cody Castagna revealed that he had sex with Curtis – and even had photos of him in women’s underwear.
4. Ted Haggard
Ted Haggard is an evangelical pastor who oversaw the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was an active and outspoken campaigner against gay rights. But all of that changed in 2006 when a male prostitute along with a male masseuse revealed that Haggard paid to have sex with them, and it came to light that he had been in a 20-year long relationship with a man. Even after being outed in his activities, Haggard still swears he is heterosexual, but just has some issues to work through. Clearly.
3. Glenn Murphy, Jr.
The story of Glenn Murphy, Jr. is not only strange but just plain disturbing. He was the head of the Young Republicans and a strong activist for traditional family values and opposing the LGBT community. Murphy was also a leading Republican activist in Indiana. But his reputation took an irrevocable hit when he was caught performing oral sex on another male member of the Young Republicans – while that man was asleep. Murphy was sentenced to jail in 2008 and became a registered sex offender.
2. Bruce Barclay
The story of Bruce Barclay, former republican chairman of the Cumberland County commissioner, is an ironic one. In 2007, Barclay was the suspect of sexual assault allegations, which led the police to search his home. While Barclay was found innocent of the original accusations, he found himself in another storm as numerous videotapes surfaced of the anti-gay rights activist having sex with male prostitutes and porn stars. He was later found guilty of hiring prostitutes.
1. Mark Foley
Mark Foley was the center of one of the most publicized scandals in history. He was a member of the House of Representatives from 1995 until 2006 when he formally resigned after allegations arose regarding his exchange of inappropriate instant messages with teenage boys. Given that Foley was a politician whose beliefs and policies were aggressively anti-gay, this disturbing tale of underage exploitation became a media sensation. After he resigned, Foley went into real estate and publicly came out of the closet.