Saturday, September 15, 2007

Now It's Condi's Turn

Secretary of State Condoleez Rice is yet the latest Republican to face questions about contradictions in her public and private lives. A diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post offers details in a new book questioning Rice's sexual orientation. John Byrne writes:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice co-owned a home and shared a line of credit with another woman, according to Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Glenn Kessler, who reveals the information in his new book, The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy.

Kessler discussed the revelations with talk-show host and gay author Michaelangelo Signorile Friday on his Sirius Radio show.

According to the book, Rice owns a home together with Randy Bean, a documentary filmmaker who once worked with Bill Moyers. Kessler made the discovery by looking through real estate records. The home is located in Palo Alto, California.

Bean explains the joint ownership and line of credit in the book by saying she had medical bills which left her financially drained and Rice helped her by co-purchasing the house along with a third person, Coit Blacker, a Stanford professor. Blacker is openly gay.

Blacker later sold his line of credit to Rice and Bean.

Kessler mentions rumors about Rice's sexuality and notes that many older single heterosexual women have been "unfairly" targeted with regard to their sexual orientation. He also says Rice has been the focus of "nasty attacks."

When asked about the revelations on Signorile's show, Kessler "said he did not know if this meant there was something more to the relationship between the woman beyond a friendship." Perhaps the most popular remaining high-profile figure in the Bush Administration, Rice was put forth as to succeed Bush by many of her backers. She declined, repeatedly, offers to run for president in 2008, and will return to Stanford upon her departure from the White House. Rice faced attacks from liberals in the gay community over the State Department's silence to rebuke Iran for the hanging of gay teenagers. The gay rights lobby Human Rights Campaign called on Rice in 2005 to condemn Iran's human rights abuses after the hanging of two gay teenagers, and to express indignation over "other horrific human rights abuses against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people across the globe."

Rice did not.

The Secretary has remained silent on whether gays should be allowed to serve in the military and has not commented on the permanent partners immigration act. Andy Humm, a New York gay journalist who discussed the Iran hangings on his TV show Gay USA, says Rice's silence gives "consent."

"Condi Rice works for an administration that uses attacks on gay rights to win votes," Humm told Raw Story. "She has stood by silently while the President has proposed writing anti-gay discrimination into the Constitution of the United States. Whenever she is given the opportunity to distance herself from their anti-gay polices she punts."

"Silence," he added, "gives consent."

Signorile excerpted a brief quote from Kessler's book on his blog.

"After she became secretary of state, she came to a party at Blacker's house, kicked off her shoes, and began dancing through the night to rock and and roll," Kessler wrote. "Blacker, who is gay, wanted to show his partner how tight her behind is; he postulated that if he aimed a quarter at her butt, it would bounce off like a rocket. He was right. Rice, who was dancing, didn't realize what he had done until everyone began laughing hysterically. She was flattered -- and proud."

The blogger who first posted emails about former Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL) solicitation of male Congressional pages, Lane Hudson, also questions Rice's silence.

"Secretary Rice has typified the juxtaposition that many Republicans have between their public and private lives," Hudson said. "Privately, she is very supportive of gays. However, she heads a State Department that has done little to move foreign governments around the world in the direction of equal rights for their citizens."

Steve Clemons, who blogs at The Washington Note -- and who travels in high-level foreign policy circles -- told Raw Story that "Condoleeza Rice may or may not be gay but that she is in a relationship which legitimately raises these kinds of questions. Before he took office, the president and first lady had close relationships with a number of gay men, including Charles Francis, whose brother managed Bush's reelection campaign for Texas governor."

This story is not likely to disappear. Rice will eventually have to confront this issue with reporters. It will be interesting to see how she responds.


Anonymous said...

I really don't care what Rice does in the privacy of her own home. I am SO tired of everyone guessing who is what. As a single woman, and have both male and female friends of all sexual orientation I have no doubt many people are trying to put a label on me.

I would love to meet Condi, so if I do I am sure some nutterball will be quick to label me and I say BIG WHOOP!

Anonymous said...

The problem is not that she is a lesbian but that she has spoken out for so many anti gay initiatives and remained silent when our community needed a voice. I dont believe in outing someone as I believe that is a private decision but when someone becomes a demagogue and a hypocrite then I think outing is appropriate. Ron Gibson is a good example.

Anonymous said...

it's rude to talk about other people's sex lives, let alone your own. Have some class.

Anonymous said...

I wish people would talk about my sex life. Too bad it would be a VERY BORING conversation.

Anonymous said...

Because Condi presides over a foreign policy that shoves the Bush administration's philosophy down the throats of other nations, especially in the dispensing of foreign aid, her "hiding", if she is doing that, is pertinent.

And, does anyone else get this--I hate to go to the pun card, but, it's so obvious: does anyone else see the unfortunate irony in the naming of this book? (Given the subject of this post)

Never mind that she is an unindicted co-csnsipirator in the worst war America's ever fought. She is extremely bright, and she knew, as national security advisor, that this path was frought with contradiction and error. Yet she kept her mouth shut. She lent a feminine, and some would say "softer" side, to the initial war discussion, and to its ongoing prosecution. As well as her immense made this war seem less stupid than it is.

She should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

it is not the sex lives of these people that is being talked is their hypocritic attitudes

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gary R. Welsh said...

Not here, anon 1:25.