TV & Radio
Dreier, rumored to be gay, floated as DeLay replacement
By EARTHA JANE MELZER
Friday, September 30, 2005 - Blade
Shortly after the public learned on Sept. 28 that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay had been indicted for allegedly violating campaign finance laws, initial media reports suggested that his replacement would be Congressman David Dreier, who has refused to answer questions about his sexual orientation.
DeLay (R-Texas) announced Wednesday that he would temporarily step down from his post as majority leader, in accordance with House rules. Within hours, the Washington Post and other media outlets cited unnamed House Republicans to report that House Speaker Dennis Hastert has already selected Dreier, chair of the powerful House Rules Committee, to replace DeLay.
Dreier, now in his 13th term, has voted against most pro-gay legislation, though last year he opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have prohibited states from enacting gay marriage laws.
Last September, LA Weekly reported that Dreier has lived with his chief of staff, Brad Smith, and speculated that both men are gay and possibly a couple.
During an interview with gay journalist Michelangelo Signorile at the 2004 Republican National Convention, Dreier refused to say whether he is heterosexual, fueling longstanding rumors that Dreier is gay.
With media coverage focusing on Dreier, a number of gay bloggers and groups posted items questioning his sexual orientation in direct or indirect ways.
The Stonewall Democrats, a gay partisan group, issued a press release calling on Dreier “to be honest” and “openly discuss” his legislative agenda and whether he would allow the FMA to again come up for a House vote.
By late afternoon Wednesday, Hastert announced that Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) — not Dreier — would take over Delay’s leadership role and that Dreier and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) would share some of the responsibilities of majority leader.
Several prominent gay bloggers quickly speculated that the withdrawal of Dreier’s name for the top spot was related to the rumors of his sexual orientation.
The National Stonewall Democrats issued a second statement, criticizing Blunt as “flamboyantly out” in his opposition to gay rights and claiming Dreier was pulled from the position “after much speculation over [his] record.”
Asked to explain the coy language, the NSD’s John Marble said that when Dreier’s name was floated, there was a “moment of hope” that Republicans might head in a more moderate direction on social issues.
Now that Blunt will occupy the top spot, Marble said, “We know the Congress will continue the anti-gay tact of DeLay, and very well may take it a step to the right.”
The Log Cabin Republicans did not issue any public statements as of press time on Wednesday night.
Gay rumors apparently fostered GOP House revolt
Dreier’s chances to replace DeLay sunk by angry conservatives
By Dennis Vercher
Staff Writer - Dallas Voice
Shortly after he was indicted by a Texas grand jury, Represen-tative Tom DeLay announced Wednes-day that he was stepping down as House majority leader, as House rules require. Before the end of the day, several media outlets cited unidentified Republicans who said House Speaker Dennis Hastert would name Representative David Drier of Calif-ornia, chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, as De-Lay’s replacement.
Dreier, now in his 13th term, has steadfastly refused to speak about his sexual orientation in a number of interviews.
Last September, LA Weekly reported that the congressman, who had opposed most gay rights legislation that came before the House, was himself gay and lived with his chief of staff, Brad Smith, whom the newspaper speculated was Dreier’s partner.
As Dreier’s name hit the media Wednesday, a number of gay bloggers posted material questioning his sexual orientation.
Conservatives were angered that Hastert had not appointed one of their own to the temporary post. By late afternoon, the rising cloud proved too much for Hastert, and he announced that Representative Fred Blunt, a Republican of Missouri with impeccable conservative credentials who is serving his fifth term in the House, would temporarily replace DeLay, assisted by Dreier and Representative Eric Cantor, a Republican of Virginia.
Some prominent gay bloggers responded with speculation that Dreier fell from consideration because of rumors about his sexual orientation.
The National Stonewall Democrats issued a statement criticizing Blunt, whom the group said was “flamboyantly out” in opposing gay rights. The statement also claimed Dreier was removed from consideration “after much speculation over his record.”
This statement came after a previous statement the gay partisan group issued a day earlier, when Dreier was still considered the front-runner for the majority leader post.
In it, Stonewall Democrats leaders called on Dreier to “openly discuss his legislative agenda” for the House.
“As Majority Leader, Congressman Dreier will decide the fate of numerous pieces of legislation that impact the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Whether or not Republicans force the House of Representatives to take up a divisive anti-gay constitutional amendment is now up to David Dreier. Congressman Dreier should honestly answer whether he will continue to pursue the corrupt agenda of Tom Delay that sought to divide the American public and prohibit states from granting basic protections to millions of American families.”
A Harris County grand jury on Wednesday indicted DeLay and two associates on charges of criminal conspiracy. Because DeLay faces a potential two-year prison sentence if convicted, House rules required him to step down as House Majority Leader.