Gay activist Mike Rogers delivered his Roy Cohn award to Senator John McCain's Chief of Staff Mark Buse at his Washington D.C. office on Monday. The award recognizes high-profile gays and lesbians who work against the interests of the gay and lesbian community.

In making his case against Buse, Rogers said: “Mark Buse is not just a chief of staff for a homophobic United States senator, but he is helping that senator get elected to the White House.”

Rogers wrote on his blog Monday that three sources have confirmed to him that Buse is gay and in a long-term relationship with another man. And an ex-boyfriend of some twenty years has also stepped forward, speaking to satellite radio host Michelangelo Signorile.

Brian Davis, a forty-six year-old Arizona truck driver, said he lived with Buse for about a year in the late 80s. “We met in June of 1986. It was a bar in Phoenix called Connections,” Davis told Signorile.

Davis, an openly gay man, who claims he has voted for McCain as Arizona Senator and in the Republican presidential primary, says he came forward after McCain picked a clearly anti-gay running mate, Governor Sarah Palin. After that, he says, he no longer believed McCain's long-standing rhetoric of being a centrist Republican.

The ex-lover also said he believed McCain was aware that Buse was gay.

A commenter going by the username JamesR wrote on Rogers' blog about the Buse outing, “[When it was reveled that Buse was gay] McCain was supportive and decent ... Everyone on the Hill and beyond knows Mark is gay. What is surprising is how long it took for someone to complain to eager bloggers about it.”

Rogers is best know for calling Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) a hypocritical gay man when he accused him of sexual encounters with men in a Washington D.C. public restroom long before his infamous 2007 arrest in a Minneapolis airport restroom sex sting operation.

The Roy Cohn award is named after a central figure of the 1950s McCarthy hearings. Senator Joseph McCarthy started a wave of panic when he claimed the State Department had been infiltrated by communists. Cohn helped McCarthy prosecute the alleged communists, which fueled the hysteria and blacklisting that followed. McCarthy and his team also targeted gays and lesbians. Cohn denied rumors of being gay even after he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1984, claiming he was dying of liver cancer.

Buse's years on K Street lobbying Congress for special interest groups is another contentious point for the McCain campaign. After serving McCain for seven years, Buse left in 2001 to lobby for telecommunications companies, reports the New York Times.

For a campaign that bills itself as free from special interests and is attempting to jockey an anti-gay right-wing conservative power play, Mark Buse is fodder for progressives who endeavor to call out the McCain campaign as hollow, hypocritical and insincere.

The McCain campaign has not commented on this issue.

On the net: Mike Rogers' BlogActive blog is at