Friday, August 12, 2011

Guest Editorial- Republican Politician Caught with His Gay Pants Down: Whose Shame Is It?

Dan Savage ("It Gets Better") wrote, “John Shore is the opposite of a NALT. ('NALT' stands for 'not all like that,' the phrase you hear from liberal Christians whenever you bitch about conservative Christians, i.e., 'We're not all like that!') Liberal, progressive, and tolerant Christians who wonder what they can do to counter the power and the hatred of the religious right should follow John's example. At the very least all you NALTs out there should be reading John's blog." Rob Bell ("Love Wins") has declared Mr. Shore "awesome," and "a brilliant writer." Tony Jones ("The New Christians") says, "John Shore is funny as hell and smart as hell." John is the author of “I’m OK-You’re Not: The Message We’re Sending Nonbelievers and Why We Should Stop,” “Penguins, Pain and the Whole Shebang,” and “10 Ways (We) Christians Fail to be Christian.” He blogs at ( and for “The Huffington Post.” He invites you to “Like” his Facebook page.
By John Shore | SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- So this morning we have a story in the The Indianapolis Star about Republican state representative Phil Hinkle (above). Mr Hinkle is married with two children. He is a good, staunch, anti-gay, anti-Planned Parenthood, pro-”family values” Republican.

Which, of course, can mean only one thing: he’s also a profoundly clueless and closeted gay man. (Kidding! No excuse. Sorry.)

At least, he was closeted. But then, last Saturday night, Mr. Hinkle got horny. Really horny. So horny that he went up into the man-to-man “Casual Encounter” listings on his local Craigslist. There he found a picture of shirtless hottie Kameryn Gibson, his pants pulled provocatively down below his underwear. Gibson’s age was shown as eighteen. (Gibson later told The Star that his true age is twenty.)

“Email me and I’ll tell you everything you need to know!” said Gibson’s ad.

So Hinkle (and this is where the “profoundly clueless” part kicks in) emailed the guy from his publicly-listed personal email address.

“Cannot be a long time sugar daddy,” typed Hinkle, “but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?” He also wrote, “I am an in shape married professional, 5’8″, fit 170 lbs, and love getting and staying naked.” He promised to make the visit worth Gibson’s while “in cash.”

Here’s part of the ensuing email exchange between State Representative Hinkle and young gay prostitute Gibson:
Hinkle: “What will make you happy for giving me a couple hours of your time tonight?” 
Gibson: “Wat [sic] can you give me?” 
Hinkle: “How about $80 for services rendered and if real satisfied a healthy tip? That make it worth while?” [Eighty dollars? Talk about proof we're in a depression. Still, it's good to see that Hinkle was taking pains to remain fiscally responsible.]
After the two of them reached a financial agreement (“For a really good time,” wrote Hinkle, “you could get another 50, 60 bucks. That sound good?”), all that was left was for Hinkle to drive his white car over to Gibson’s place, pick him up, and take him to a nearby Marriot hotel.

Oh, one last detail: “If u want to consider spending the night,” Hinkle emailed his paramour, “u might tell ur sis so she won’t worry. Would have u back before 11 tomorrow. No extra cash just free breakfast and maybe late night snack.

”Yes, nothing says romance like, “You can sleep here if you want, but I ain’t payin’ to feed ya. And you’re outta here by eleven.

”Once in their hotel room (which, of course, Hinkle waited to enter fifteen minutes after Gibson), Hinkle, in an act of sheer moronacy, showed Gibson his ID.

Gibson freaked. It’s hard to be sure exactly why, but it could have something to do with discovering that he was about to commit prostitution with a lawmaker.

“Yeah, I don’t want to do this,” said Gibson.

Hinkle’s response (according to Gibson) was, “You need to do this, because I came and got you, and I’m not taking you back until we do what we need to do.”

Ah, love.

Gibson excused himself to the bathroom. From there he phoned his sister, Megan, to come get him the hell out of there.

State Representative Phil Hinkle (R)
Photo via official state webpage
Again, from the The Star:
“When Gibson came out [of the bathroom], he said Hinkle told him he couldn’t leave. Gibson called his sister again. This time, Megan [his sister] told him to put her on speakerphone. 
“I started cussing him,” Megan told The Star. She also threatened to call the police and the local media. 
“He said, ‘I’ll give you whatever,’” Megan said 
But when they hung up, Kameryn Gibson said Hinkle grabbed him by the right arm, just below the shoulder. Gibson said it was then that Hinkle grabbed him in the rear, dropped his towel and sat down on the bed — naked.”  
So you can see that, despite Hinkle’s winning ways, this wasn’t going well. And from there it only got worse.

Kameryn’s sister Megan comes to the room; she turns out to be an outstanding person not to cross; Hinkle offers his iPad, his BlackBerry, and $100 cash if the two of them will go away and forget they ever met him.

While Megan and Kameryn were driving home from the hotel, guess who called them on Hinkle’s BlackBerry? Hinkle’s wife, Barbara.

“Your husband is gay,” Megan informs Barbara. Barbara insists that Megan has mistaken someone else for her husband. Megan then reads her Hinkle’s email address, right off Hinkle’s BlackBerry.

What Megan hears next is a lot of silence.

Finally, Megan says, she heard Mrs. Hinkle say, “Please don’t call the police.”

To The Star one more time:
Megan Gibson said she then began receiving a series of calls from various family members — including from Hinkle’s son-in-law, demanding that his wife see proof of the emails. 
Megan Gibson dropped off her brother then returned to the JW Marriott, where she showed Hinkle’s daughter the emails. 
Megan Gibson said on her way back, she received another call from Hinkle’s wife. 
“The first thing she said, she was like, ‘OK, we will give you $10,000 not to say anything,’ ” said Megan. 
Gibson, who said she was now becoming scared. “I was like, ‘OK,’ and I hung up the phone.” 
She soon got another call — from the Marriott hotel. It was Hinkle. Megan Gibson told Hinkle that she had informed his wife and family that he was gay. 
Megan Gibson said Hinkle’s response was:  “You just ruined me.”
When first contacted by The Star about this story, Hinkle would say nothing more than, “I am aware of a shakedown taking place.” He directed further inquiries to his lawyer.

While Hinkle’s closeted homosexuality may not be sufficient cause for all this horrendousness, it is, I believe, a necessary condition for it. The shameful behavior for which Hinkle is certainly culpable grew from a shame for which he is certainly not. That shame—the great, burning inner shame that every gay and lesbian person is forced to overcome if he or she is ever to claim for themselves the same righteous pride of self that straight people so easily accept as their birthright—should be the shame of everyone who is not today working toward full LGBT acceptance and affirmation. And that holds especially true for Christians, who for far too long have used the Good News of the Gospels to bring nothing but terrible news to homosexuals, who, just like them, want nothing more, and nothing less, than to be loved for who they are.