Senator Lindsey Graham says he's not gay in a new profile published in the New York Times.

Graham's denial comes after an unidentified speaker at a Tea Party rally in South Carolina last March questioned whether the senator's support for a guest-worker program was hush capital for Democrats threatening to out him.

“Barney Frank is more honest and brave than you,” the speaker told the crown. “At least we know about Barney Frank, and nobody is going to hold it over his head. And we got to just … Look, I'm a tolerant person. I don't care about your private life, Lindsey. But as a U.S. senator, I need to try and figure out why you're trying to sell out your own countrymen. And I need to make sure you being gay isn't it.”

Gay rumors have dogged the unmarried Graham for years. Last year, openly lesbian politician Linda Ketner outed Graham in an interview published on the progressive political blog Fire Dog Lake.

“We have more gay people serving in South Carolina than probably in any place in the United States. They're just not out of the closet,” she said, then gave the examples of Graham, South Carolina State Senator Glenn McConnell and Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer, who is running for governor. Ketner, who came close to unseating incumbent S.C. Representative Henry Brown last November, later apologized for her remarks. Bauer has denied he's gay – calling the rumor “silly” – after blogger Mike Rogers outed him.

Graham has racked up an impressive anti-gay voting record while in Congress, including a recent vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee against repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay troops from serving openly.

In Thursday's profile, Robert Draper reports that Graham simply smirked and denied he's gay when asked about the Tea Party incident.

“Like maybe I'm having a clandestine affair with Ricky Martin,” he said. “I know it's really gonna upset a lot of gay men – I'm sure hundreds of 'em are gonna be jumping off the Golden Gate bridge – but I ain't available. I ain't gay. Sorry.”