An openly lesbian politician who came
close to unseating incumbent South Carolina Representative Henry
Brown in November has outed three Republican lawmakers.
Linda Ketner's narrow loss to Brown
heartened South Carolina gay politicos who never expected such a
tight race. A longtime businesswoman and community activist,
Ketner's clear leadership attracted strong support from a community
mostly cool to gay rights. In 2006, a large majority (78%) of South
Carolina voters approved a gay marriage ban in their state
Speaking to Howie Klein at Fire
Dog Lake, a progressive political blog, Ketner outed three
prominent South Carolina Republican lawmakers as gay.
“We have more gay people serving in
South Carolina than probably in any place in the United States,”
Ketner said. “They're just not out of the closet.”
Ketner gave three examples: U.S.
Senator Lindsey Graham, state Senator Glenn McConnell and Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer.
Graham is the senior senator from the
state and serves on the Armed Services and Judiciary Committees. The
nation's largest gay rights advocate, the Human Rights Campaign,
failed the senator on support of GLBT issues; scoring zero on the
group's 110th Congressional Scorecard.
McConnell is the current Senate
President Pro Tempore, a position he's held since 1980. A strong
supporter of “family values,” he has sponsored anti-abortion and
illegal immigration legislation.
Bauer calls himself “South Carolina's
hardest working elected official” and is considered a social
conservative, appearing often with anti-gay former presidential
candidate Mike Huckabee. He assumed office in 2003 after serving in
both chambers of the Legislature.
Ketner's claims come on the heels of
Director Kirby Dick's controversial documentary Outrage
which looks at the lives of gay politicians who remain deep in the
closet and actively support an anti-gay agenda.