ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended August 29, 1999 Posted 4 Sep 1999

Site Index Mormon Groups Local News Other Mormon Churches Internet People Business Sports Arts & Entertainment Politics Media Attention Service History & Scripture Finance & Legal Stake & Local CES/BYU/SVC Missions & Temples General Authorities Churchwide News Upcoming Events Home Site Index Archives



Mormon News By E-Mail!
About Mormon News by E-mail


List Rules

List Archives

About Mormon News

Reporting Bad Links

Finding Bad Links
Mormon lawmaker's orientation causes him trouble (Gay GOP lawmaker in hot water)

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Mormon lawmaker's orientation causes him trouble (Gay GOP lawmaker in hot water)
San Jose CA Mercury News (New York Times) 26Aug99 L5
By James Sterngold: New York Times


An Unlikely 'Don't Tell' Target: Lawmaker May Face Discharge
New York Times; page 1 26Aug99 L5
By James Sterngold: New York Times

PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- Arizona State Representative Steve May is a conservative Republican representing an affluent area of Eastern Phoenix. He carefully built his life to get credibility as a conservative Republican -- service as an Army officer, and current service as an Army Reservist, small-businessman running his family's herbal-tea and natural-foods company, and Mormon roots as the son of a former LDS Bishop.

But May's credibility is now under attack because he spoke-out on an issue close to his heart - gay rights. And because of it, other state republicans are looking to replace him, and the Army may discharge him from serving as a Reservist under the Clinton "don't ask, don't" policy because May is himself gay.

In February, May spoke out in the Arizona House on legislation that would have barred the use of public funds to pay for health benefits of same-sex partners. The legislation simply struck too close to home. May acknowledges that he should have kept quiet, "But when you attack my family and you steal my freedom, I will not sit quietly in my office. This Legislature takes my gay tax dollars, and my gay tax dollars spend the same as your straight tax dollars. If you're not going to treat me fairly, don't take my money." While the legislation failed, May's remarks about his sexual orientation were widely quoted in Phoenix and featured in a cover article in the Phoenix New Times, an alternative magazine.

Since he made these remarks in pubic, the Army has now opened an investigation of May, to determine whether his remarks will lead to his discharge from the Army Reserve. Reserve spokesman Col. John R. Hawkins III says that the case is quite clear, "I don't think that the individual has been, shall we say, keeping this under wraps, as to his sexual orientation."

May's sexual orientation first became known when he ran unsuccessfully for the Arizona State Senate three years ago. His family has known since May was 18. In the three years since the senate race, May has become more involved in gay rights issues. One of just 34 admitted homosexual state lawmakers nationwide, May is the only one that is a Republican. He is a board member of the Log Cabin Republicans, an interest group for gay and lesbian party members.

The fallout from May's remarks has probably not ended, either. May has clashed with state republican leaders, like speaker of the Arizona house, Jeff Groscost, and the additional publicity about his homosexuality will likely hurt his chances for winning re-election next year. Concerned that the party may not support his re-election bid, May is trying to raise a $100,000 campaign chest, a huge sum for Arizona.

Even state party chairman Mike Minnaugh says that May could be in trouble because of his remarks. "Steve May is a pretty good guy, to tell you the truth. As an individual, I do not endorse homosexual relationships -- it goes against my beliefs -- but I do respect his rights. As long as he doesn't go and talk a lot about his homosexuality, he can continue to get elected."

Reflecting on his experience, May blames religion for the attitudes of others about his homosexuality. "I've always been Republican," he said. "I believe in the core Republican principles. I also happen to be gay. But the party has been hijacked by theocratic fascists."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information