After the lengthy Washington Post interview with Newark mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker came out yesterday, mainstream and social media seemed to explode with predictable anti-gay hate at Booker’s ambiguous remarks regarding his sexuality. In the interview Booker mentioned that he doesn’t mind people thinking he is or calling him gay because it offers him a chance to challenge other people’s preconceived notions (that is to say, their homophobia).
“And people who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful. Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia. I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I’m gay, and I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight,'” he said to the Washington Post.
While standard social media wingnut reactions followed the story (such as this gem that Booker eloquently responded to
), the most surprising homophobic response (well, not too surprising perhaps) came from his Republican opponent Steve Lonegan (yes, that Steve Lonegan
). While speaking with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg yesterday afternoon Lonegan continually referred to “gay rumors” and “peculiar fetishes” when discussing Booker, commenting that “it helps get him the gay vote by acting ambiguous.”
Not to have his own heterosexuality challenged by gender-bending activities like manicures and pedicures, Lonegan proudly denounced personal hygiene and proudly proclaimed he is a “real man” because “as a guy, I personally like being a guy.” Keeping with the “peculiar fetish” motif in discussing Booker getting a manicure, Lonegan said, “I have a more peculiar fetish: I like a good Scotch and a cigar, that’s my fetish. But we’ll just compare the two.”
Booker responded to the hate-filled statements when speaking to Huffington Post Live today. In part, he said, “I mean that’s just sad. It’s just really sad.” Booker continued, “It’s just disheartening to hear somebody in this day and age..implicate that gay men are not men.” He added, “That kind of callous bigoted disrespect to gays & lesbians shouldn’t be tolerated…he really misses the boat.” Booker concluded by saying that Lonegan’s comments are “challenging the masculinity of millions of Americans. And that’s really unacceptable…He really misses the boat on what it means to be a man in America.”
It seems that Lonegan is two for two in the “typical right wing hate” department adding sexual orientation attacks to blatant racism. When he begins discussing how best to legislate lady parts and proves he also wants to wage a war on women, the trifecta will be complete. In the meantime, we have a lot more of this to look forward to until the election: