Tea Partiers Remain Supportive of Gay Arizona Sheriff

Interestingly enough, Paul Babeu just doesn’t seem to be facing the backlash you’d expect after coming out as gay and being accused of threatening a former lover with deportation if he revealed their relationship. While he’s stepped down from his position on the Romney campaign to focus on the allegations, he hasn’t withdrawn from the Arizona GOP congressional race.

And, surprisingly, he isn’t fairing as badly as you’d expect, despite coming out in favor of gay marriage and gays in the military. In an article published yesterday in the Arizona Daily Star, supporters gave supportive statements.

Bill Halpin, a former Air Force pilot and local tea party activist, told the paper, “I care less. I just care less. Don’t preach it on me. Don’t push it on me and, by golly, I respect your rights.”

The president of the group, Mona Patton, said, “I’m a Christian, but who am I to make a judgment about somebody else? I still believe in him. I still back him.” She elaborated, “I have many, many, many friends in my life that are gay … and I don’t have issues with it. But, you know, it’s a hurdle for a lot of people, and it’s, I think, a shame. … I think he’s going to have a hard row to hoe.”

The support online has been fairly positive as well, with comments on Babeu’s Facebook page calling him “the first gay man I can agree with.” A few people have expressed disappointment about the revelations. However, the mood seems to be more one of confusion, rather than outright anger or hatred.

Babeu reports receiving $17,000 in political donations since coming out in a press conference on February 18th. Is it a sign of progress that Babeu’s supporters are standing behind him, even though he’s now openly gay? Or is there something more troubling about the support he’s managed to maintain? After all, it’s one thing to be accepting and open-minded about homosexuality. It’s another thing entirely to sweep accusations of systemic abuse of power under the rug.


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Photo credit: Gage Skidmore


LMj Sunshine

Interesting article, thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Interesting article, thank you.

LD B.4 years ago

"The president of the group, Mona Patton, said, “I’m a Christian, but who am I to make a judgment about somebody else?"

Apparently Mona's didn't get the directive from God that so many of her fellow Christians claim to have received. :rolleyes:

Charles Temm JR
Charles Temm JR4 years ago

accusations = conviction?

LOL, of course it does if the accused is a liberal nightmare like this guy-a gay who is openly Repub AND popular with a political ideal you guys dislike.

Elizabeth M C.
Past Member 4 years ago

I would like to know Julie's definition of " Systemic" abuse.
This issue concerns a consensual relationship between two adults in which Babeu"s lover has accused Babeu of threatening him with deportation unless he kept the relationship quiet.
This is a single accusation, hardly systemic.
Is innocent until proven guilty a concept only afforded to certain people?

Doris Turner
Doris Turner4 years ago

What difference does it make if he is gay as long as he supports the backward tea party ideology. What difference does it make if he actually abused students. It's going back to the basics - spare the rod, spoil the child.

Elizabeth M C.
Past Member 4 years ago

.....no matter what the person's race, party, or sexual affiliation/orientation, or RELIGION - or lack thereof.

Elizabeth M C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Why would tea partiers support him just for being gay?
Is that some kind of gay affirmative action agenda you believe in?
I hope you can understand that tea partiers, by a large majority, are concerned with fiscal issues - not social ones. And they support people who support the same objectives, no matter what the person's race, party, or sexual affiliation/orientation.

Elizabeth M C.
Past Member 4 years ago

I have admired this guy's views for respecting our sovereignty to secure our border and protect us against those who could present physical and financial harm to America.
I never knew he was gay and could care less.
He's a good guy. It's no wonder tea partiers support him.

Mark S.
Mark S.4 years ago

They are not supporting him because he's gay, but because he's republican.