Inside the hypocritical personal lives of the Republicans who voted against gay marriage

HUNGER investigates the hypocritical and controversial past of those who rejected the bill.

On Wednesday 20 July, the US House passed a bill to protect the right to same-sex and interracial marriage. This vote came after concerns that the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade could impact other rights, including that of the LGBTQ+ community. While the bill, which would boost legal protections for same-sex nuptials, was passed, not everyone was in support of the bill. The Republicans who rejected it, though, did not provide particularly shimmering examples when it came to their own personal history — much of it being in contrast to the values they’re allegedly seeking to protect. 

Although 47 republicans supported the Respect For Marriage Act, over three-quarters of House Republicans voted against the bill. The bill is expected to be blocked by Republican opposition despite all 220 House Democrats voting in favour of the act. Republican politicians in both the House and Senate have claimed that the legislation is nothing more than political posturing from Democrats, claiming that same-sex and interracial marriages are not actually under attack. “We are here for a political charade, we are here for political messaging,” said Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the judiciary committee, who voted against the Respect for Marriage Act.

Below, HUNGER shines a light on some of those Republicans who have gone against the bill, exploring their controversial, concerning and hypocritical histories. 

Madison Cawthorn (North Carolina)

Madison Cawthorn is a strong advocate for nuclear families, even going as far as to claim that “the left wants to destroy nuclear families.” The term “nuclear family” is traditionally considered to refer to a family of two heterosexual parents and their offspring. Despite Cawthorn’s belief in nuclear families, perhaps in his case, it may not be the ideal foundation for a family after all. In 2021, a statement was released on Twitter by his communications director that he and his wife Cristina Bayardelle were divorcing after just eight months. The former married couple also had no children.

Also in 2021, Cawthorn was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. The allegations were reported to CNN and The Washington Post by Cawthorn’s former classmates. The alleged victims recalled the congressman would offer to take them on “fun drives” while he was a student at Virginia’s Patrick Henry College, where he would proposition them. “His MO was to take vulnerable women out on these rides with him in the car, and to make advances,” his former classmate Caitlin Coulter told CNN. She claimed that Cawthorn asked her about her sexual experiences and purity ring. She shut down the conversation allegedly sending Cawthorn into a frenzy of road rage. “He got really upset. And he whipped the car around and started going back to campus at 70-80 miles an hour on these one-lane roads,” she continued. “And it was – it was really scary.”

Another accuser, Katherine Krulikas, claimed that Cawthorn drove her into a deserted part of town and tried to kiss her without consent. “I definitely would classify it as sexual assault because he knew I said no,” she said. Another classmate, Leah Peetree told The Washington Post that Cawthorn would insist on going on a “fun ride”, where she said he “insinuated some sexual activity.” After rejecting his offer the then-student allegedly screamed at Peetree after she implored him to stop asking another female student questions about sex. “He got really angry and looked at me and screamed at me with a lot of anger.” The North Carolina Republican reportedly called her “ ‘just a little, blonde, slutty American girl.”

“I have never done anything sexually inappropriate in my life,” Cawthorn said at the time. “If I have a daughter, I want her to grow up in a world where people know to explicitly ask before touching her. If I had a son, I want him to be able to grow up in a world where he would not be called a sexual predator for trying to kiss someone.”

Lauren Boebert (Colorado)

It’s probably no surprise that Lauren Boebert voted against marriage equality as she’s been incredibly outspoken about the LGBTQ+ community in her career. Recently, the republican claimed in a tweet that the left is “grooming” children. The statement was in response to a North Carolina teacher resigning after using LGBTQ+ inclusive flashcards. On Twitter, Boebert drew attention to the North Carolina incident. She claimed the teacher was using flashcards with a “pregnant man” to teach kids colours. “We went from Reading Rainbow to Randy Rainbow in a few decades, but don’t dare say the Left is grooming our kids,” Boebert said on Twitter. The Tweet came just one day before the start of Pride Month.

Despite her clear concern for the safety of children, Boebert is currently married to Jayson Boebert, who was arrested for exposing his penis in a bowling alley according to an arrest affidavit. After being arrested, her husband pled guilty and served jail time for public indecency and lewd exposure.

Clay Higgins (Louisiana)

Clay Higgins is a strong believer in the biblical definition of marriage, describing the law binding partnership as “between one man and one woman.” Higgins is such a lover of this premise that he’s done it four times over 30 years. He first married in 1983 and divorced in 1991, then swiftly remarried in the same year. The second marriage didn’t last all that long either and he divorced in 1999. His third marriage came in 2003 and ended in 2007, while his fourth and current marriage seems to be going strong by Higgins’ standards. 

Higgins recently caused controversy when he tweeted: “You millennial leftists who never lived one day under nuclear threat can now reflect upon your woke sky. You made quite a non-binary fuss to save the world from intercontinental ballistic tweets.” Although it seemed like a jab at the non-binary community, Higgins’s tweet is completely incoherent, which provided us with a hilarious response from The site’s official Twitter account replied: “We’re not entirely sure what this tweet is supposed to mean, and we’re literally the dictionary.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia)

Marjorie Taylor Greene recently claimed in an episode of her MTG: Live broadcasting channel that straight people will soon be extinct. “They just want you to think that all of a sudden the entire population is steadily turning gay or turning trans,” Greene rants. “Just generation after generation. Probably in about four or five generations, no one will be straight anymore. Everyone will be either gay or trans or non-conforming or whatever the list of 50 or 60 different options there are.”

Whilst being a devout Christian, Greene has been accused of having extramarital affairs with two men. As reported by The Daily Mail, Greene allegedly cheated on her Husband with a “polyamorous sex guru.” Not stopping there the congresswoman then moved on to another affair with a gym manager. “It wasn’t a secret. Everyone who moved in her circles knew about both the affairs,” one man who worked closely with Taylor Greene told The Daily Mail. If the claims are true, the mother of three’s strict Christian values didn’t stop her from partaking in adultery, which the Bible describes as “impure, licentious, blasphemous, capricious and a vile lust by all Prophets.”

Jodey Arrington (Texas)

Jodey Arrington is another Republican Congressman who believes that marriage is incredibly sacred. Arrington writes on his website: “I believe marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman.” Sharing the same sentiment as Higgins, Arrington even goes as far as to mimic the former’s marriage history. Harrington was first married in 1995 before being divorced four years later in 1999. He remarried in 2002, divorced in 2007 and then remarried one more time for good measure in 2008, just one year after his previous divorce. There seems to be a theme emerging here.

WriterChris Saunders
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