Nativist leader William Gheen routinely demonizes undocumented immigrants, whom he portrays as violent, disease-ridden criminals.
Now he’s targeting Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), saying the longtime Washington politician should acknowledge that he’s gay. “The national border security organization known as Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) [Gheen’s group] is officially calling for [Graham] to make his homosexual lifestyle public knowledge in the interest of political integrity and national security,” Gheen wrote in a news release today.
Graham, a 54-year-old bachelor, has previously denied rumors that he’s gay. Though it’s difficult to see how his sexual orientation relates to national border security, Gheen claims the link is perfectly clear: Graham could be collaborating with Democrats on immigration reform because they’re using his sexuality to blackmail him. “Graham is gay and while many people in South Carolina and Washington D.C. know that, the general public and Graham’s constituents do not,” he wrote. “I personally do not care about Graham’s private life, but in this situation his desire to keep this a secret may explain why he is doing a lot of political dirty work for others who have the power to reveal his secrets. Sen. Graham needs to come out of the closet inside that log cabin so that the public can rest assured he is not being manipulated with his secret.”
Gheen, 41, made similar statements on Saturday at a Tea Party protest in front of a cheering crowd in Greenville, S.C. “Sen. Graham, you need to come forward and tell people about your alternative lifestyle and your homosexuality,” he said. “I need to figure out why you’re trying to sell out your own countrymen and I need to make sure you being gay isn’t it.” For a while, the keyword tags to a video of his remarks on YouTube included “fag” and “queer”; Gheen denied using those words, saying they were the work of an unidentified hacker. They have since been removed.
Gheen’s comments about Graham’s sexuality have been covered heavily in the blogosphere. They’ve also led talk radio host Lou Dobbs to call for Gheen’s resignation on Twitter. Dobbs, formerly a darling of Gheen, lost favor last November after he told Telemundo interviewer Maria Celeste that “we need the ability to legalize illegal immigrants under certain conditions.” Gheen is scheduled to appear on Dobbs’ show tomorrow afternoon.