Saturday, 19 November 2011

Did a Republican member of Texas' State Board of Education just come out as gay?:

A Texas state board of education Republican seeking re-​election has come out as gay, and immediately lost the endorsement of a prominent conservative political activist known for her homophobic and religious views.

George Clayton, a Republican member of the State Board of Education from Richardson, sent an email to several news organizations last week that appears to confirm he’s gay.
Clayton is an academic coordinator at North Dallas High School, according to his bio on the Texas Education Agency website. He won the District 12 SBOE seat in 2010, when he defeated longtime Republican incumbent Geraldine “Tincy” Miller in the primary.
Clayton sent out his email in response to an apparent whisper campaign about his sexual orientation among Republicans in the district, which covers all of Collin County. Miller is trying to unseat Clayton and recapture her old seat in 2012."

The Dallas Voice says the e-mail "appears" to confirm he is gay. There's no need for this caution: Clayton's words are clear and unambigous - he has a live-in, male partner:
“So as to avoid the tyranny of misinformation and innuendo in this political race, I wish to say that I, in fact, do have a male partner who lives with me in my home in Richardson, Texas. I hope this frank announcement satisfies Tincy Miller and the ladies associate with the Golden Corridor organization. All of us can now move on with discussions concerning education instead of being overly occupied with my personal life.”
Clayton is paying a political price for his honesty. Since the announcement, he has lost the endorsement of a homophobic political activist:

Clayton’s email confirming that he’s gay has already prompted one right-winger, Donna Garner of Waco, to withdraw her endorsement of his re-election bid.

“If Clayton is indeed a homosexual, then we as voters must be concerned about re-electing him to the SBOE since the Board will soon begin the process of writing and adopting Health curriculum requirements for all Texas public school students,” Garner wrote.

Will this cost him? Garner is clearly hoping so, but the evidence so far is that most voters are no longer concerned about sexual orientation. Character, integrity and the ability to do the job are far more important. 

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