Tuesday, September 23, 2008

McCain Chief of Staff Outed

Lovin' this. Also seen at The Advocate, here. See Michelangelo Signorile's post here.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain's chief of staff was outed Monday after radio host Michelangelo Signorile quoted additional sources to confirm the long-blogged-about rumors. Mark Buse, 44, previously served as a lobbyist for several large corporations including AT&T and ExxonMobil, the only Fortune 10 company without a nondiscrimination policy covering sexual orientation, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Signorile said on his blog that he had previously been contacted by three sources, all wishing to remain anonymous, claiming Buse is gay. The radio host says he was then contacted by 46-year-old Brian Davis, who claims to have had a past intimate relationship with the McCain staffer.

Davis claims he first met Buse at a Phoenix bar called Connections in 1986, around the same time Buse started work as a McCain intern during the presidential hopeful's tenure in the House of Representatives. Davis said Buse asked him to move to Washington, D.C., with him after a long-distance courtship taking place over several months. A year after moving to Washington, Buse left Davis for his current partner.

McCain has opposed several gay rights bills during his Senate tenure. He told the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in 2007 that the ban on openly gay and lesbian military personnel was necessary and that the legislation "unambiguously maintains that open homosexuality within the military services presents an intolerable risk to morale, cohesion, and discipline."

McCain also voted against two hate-crimes bills in 2000 and 2002 and did not cast a vote for the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2007. He voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 1996 and 2006, because, he said, current laws already apply to LGBT workers.

In 2003, McCain voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have federally banned same-sex marriage. Instead, he said, he favors states' rights to grant or deny same-sex marriage, and he supported Arizona's proposed (but failed) ban in 2006.

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