Activist outs second allegedly gay G.O.P. lawmaker
Rep. David Dreier, a veteran Republican lawmaker from California who has consistently voted against gay rights measures in the House of Representatives, has been outed as a gay man by BlogActive.com, the Web site run by Washington, D.C. activist Mike Rogers.
Several weeks ago, Rogers posted an audio clip of a sex message allegedly left on a gay telephone dating line by another Republican, Rep. Ed Schrock of Virginia, prompting the married former Navy captain to end his bid for re-election in November.
Dreier, a 52-year-old bachelor, is chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee. He voted for the anti-gay Marriage Protection Act this year and is opposed to both the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He also voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and opposed AIDS housing and drug assistance funding. Dreier has a 92 percent approval rating from the Christian Coalition.
At the Republican National Convention in New York this past month, Dreier was interviewed by gay journalist Michelangelo Signorile of Sirius radio who asked him to “clarify” whether or not he is gay. “I’m not going to answer that,” said Dreier. Signorile asked if he is heterosexual and Dreier again demurred.
At the RawStory.com Web site, John Byrne writes that Dr. Janice Nelson, who unsuccessfully challenged the 12-term representative in 1998 and 2000, “was aware that Dreier had been living with his male chief of staff during her 2000 campaign.” She did not make an issue of it, but it turns out that the man, Brad Smith, is making a salary of $156,600, more than the top aides to the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, and to Speaker Denny Hastert.
Nelson said she was coming forward now because Hustler magazine is about to publish a story “that the local papers in Dreier’s district had deliberately kept reporters from asking the congressman about his sexuality and his positions on gay rights.” Hustler’s larger story is about the apparent hypocrisy in how various politicians deal with sexual matters.
While rumors have circulated for years, Dreier’s sexuality has never been an issue in his San Gabriel district, northeast of Los Angeles, where the conservative publisher Dean Singleton owns a network of newspapers.
RawStory.com also reported that “another individual has come forward saying that she set up a liaison between the congressman and another man. She stated that he feigned interest in her and later revealed his true sexual interest was in men.
Rogers awarded Dreier his Web site’s “Roy Cohn Award,” named for the gay right-wing lawyer known for his homophobic remarks who died of AIDS, in recognition of Dreier’s “24 years of working against lesbian and gay rights while living as a gay man yourself.”
Rogers also cites Kitty Kelly’s bestseller, “The Family,” about the Bush political dynasty. “On page 491, Barbara Bush laments that her daughter’s ‘relationship’ with David Dreier is not going anywhere,” Rogers wrote. “Ms. Kelley, who is always proven right in the end, quotes Bar as saying that Dreier ‘never laid a hand on her.’” Rogers notes that Dreier also dated starlet Bo Derek and “that seemed to fizzle out.”
The gay Republican BoifromTroy.com Web site about California Dreier refused to comment on the matter.