Openly gay Fred Karger has told the Los
Angeles Times that the suicide of his gay uncle continues to
Karger is profiled by the Times
in a story published on Wednesday.
The piece's overarching narrative is
that Karger's run for the White House as a Republican is a joke.
“Karger is gay, a fact he kept hidden
for most of his 61 years and his entire professional life, and if it
sounds like some kind of a joke (a gay Jewish Republican walks into a
precinct …) or strains credulity (a gay Jewish Republican
president?), Karger laughs right along. But he's not kidding,” the
The suggestion here might be that
Karger is unfit for office because he's gay or Jewish or both. And
the suggestion doesn't even come with a defense. (Just because he's
the first, doesn't automatically mean it's unfathomable. There was a
time in our history when women had yet to serve in Congress or we had
yet to elect a Black man as president.)
Later in the piece, Karger says the
suicide of his gay uncle at the age of 42 influenced him
tremendously. Karger, who was 21 when his Uncle Buddy killed
himself, shares the story on the campaign trail, saying it drove him
into the closet for most of his adult life.
Karger acknowledges that he's not going
to win the GOP nomination. Instead, his campaign is about raising
awareness about issues important to the gay community. As the
founder of Californians Against Hate, the group that held businesses
and civic leaders accountable for financially supporting Proposition
8, California's gay marriage ban, he's well informed on the subject.