Yesterday, four South Carolina Republican candidates running to replace incumbent GOP Senator Lindsey Graham held a press conference in Columbia where they pledged to support each other if any of them ends up in a head-to-head match with Graham in a runoff election.
And then things got awkward: Dave Feliciano, who The State calls "the most minor of the candidates," referred to Graham as "ambiguously gay."
Raw Story reports:
"It's about time that South Carolina (says), 'Hey, we're tired of the ambiguously gay senator from South Carolina, " Feliciano said. "We're ready for a new leader to merge the Republican Party. We're done with this. This is what it's about, all of us coming together and saying, one way or the other, one of us is going to be on that ballot in November'."
Questions about Graham's sexuality have arisen previously but the senator has dismissed them...
After the event, attorney Connor disavowed Feliciano's comments as a personal attack and said that each candidate's comments were their own.
Stating that he believes in free speech, Cash added, "but I also believe in being civil and respectful. Mr. Feliciano's comments were inappropriate and I disavow any association with them."
However, both Cash and Connor said they still would honor the agreement, which they signed.
Although he has vehemently denied it, Graham is widely believed to be a closeted gay man. And he's not just closeted, he's actively worked against equality: Graham voted against the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell; he is a self-professed "strong supporter" of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, and he blocked the Uniting American Families Act, which would have helped prevent the deportations of a U.S. citizen's foreign-born same-sex spouse, from being attached to the immigration bill.
So while I'm not a fan of politicians making their opponent's sexual orientation an issue in a campaign, a.) it's 2014 and it's high time we stop viewing "this person's gay" as an insult, and b.) in Graham's case, if he is in fact gay, that's actually highly relevant because it speaks to his character. After all, if someone's willing to throw their own people under the bus, is there anything they won't do?