Rumors that Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is secretly gay are persistent, but they normally are not given voice outside of some rowdy political blogs. Yet, every once in a while, someone down in South Carolina can’t help themselves. Back in 2010, William Gheen went there:

William Gheen, head of the conservative, anti-“amnesty,” anti-illegal immigration group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), spoke at a Greenville, S.C. Tea Party rally this weekend and called for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to “come out of that log cabin closet.”

According to Gheen, being gay is “a secret that Lindsey Graham has.”

Gheen told the crowd: “I hope this secret isn’t being used as leverage over Senator Graham, so today I think Senator Graham, you need to come forward and tell people about your alternative lifestyle and your homosexuality.”

“Barney Frank is more honest and brave than you,” Gheen continued, referring to the openly-gay Massachusetts congressman.

That spectacle even made it onto The Daily Show, where Jon Stewart noted that Graham was being accused of importing immigrants from Gaysylvania over a rainbow bridge.

Coming, as it did, amidst the debate over the Senate’s immigration bill, the seemingly unrelated issues (of immigration and Graham’s sexual orientation) became fused in some people’s minds. Gay activist John Aravosis accused Graham of opposing a provision in the law called the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) (that would have protected foreign-born gay spouses from being deported) as a kind of compensation for the perception that he is gay.

The obvious question arises as to why Graham is holding gays hostage in the immigration bill.

One theory is that UAFA is Graham’s legislative beard. A beard is a woman a gay man socializes with in order to throw off suspicions that he’s actually gay. In this case, the theory goes, Lindsey Graham is using UAFA in order to throw off the suspicions of the Tea Party voters back home who are challenging him in a high-profile primary. Their suspicions are that: A)Graham is a liberal; and B) he’s gay.

Mr. Aravosis headlined his piece: It’s time to out Lindsey Graham, which kind of made sense until Aravosis said this: “I don’t know if Lindsey Graham is gay. But I’m having a difficult time believing that he’s straight…”

It seems that everyone is certain that Senator Graham is gay, but no one ever provides any proof. And now we have this:

Four of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s announced challengers in June’s Republican primary pledged support for each other Thursday if any of them end up in a runoff with the Seneca incumbent.

But a news conference announcing their alliance on the State House steps took an unexpected turn when the most minor of the candidates, Dave Feliciano of Spartanburg, took the podium and called Graham “ambiguously gay.”

Feliciano said, “It’s about time that South Carolina (says) hey, We’re tired of the ambiguously gay senator from South Carolina. 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.”

A former police officer from Spartanburg with no political experience who recently announced he’s running for Senate, Filiciano signed the pact with state Sen. Lee Bright, Easley businessman Richard Cash and Orangeburg Attorney Bill Connor before the news event began and each candidate gave a statement.

Dave Feliciano and John Aravosis are attacking Lindsey Graham for being gay, but for diametrically-opposed reasons. And, yet, neither of them know what Graham likes to do in the privacy of his own bedroom.

I don’t know quite how to deal with a situation like this. It seems like bullying behavior, first of all. But the hypocrisy of closeted gay Republicans opposing gay rights is infuriating. But no one has any proof that Graham is a hypocrite on this issue. If someone is going to out him for being a hypocrite, I am fine with that. But you have to have proof to do something like that. Otherwise, I think you are just being a prick.

But, then, he’s Lindsey Graham, one of the most dishonest and bloodthirsty politicians in the U.S. Senate. When has he ever been careful about the truth?

I don’t know. He doesn’t deserve it, but I think people should leave him alone on this issue.

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