Current Affairs

2020 Presidential hopeful Cory Booker responds to gay rumours

Nick Duffy December 17, 2018
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Senator Cory Booker speaks at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Senator Cory Booker speaks at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty)

2020 US Presidential hopeful Senator Cory Booker has clarified his sexuality.

The United States Senator from New Jersey is reportedly planning to launch a bid for the Democratic nomination to challenge Donald Trump ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Booker, one of the most persistent defenders of LGBT+ rights in the Senate, has previously refused to shut down rumours about his sexuality, explaining in 2013 that he wanted to “challenge people on their homophobia” by not labelling himself in public.

But speaking to the Philadelphia Inquirer this week, Booker finally addressed the issue.

He told the newspaper: “I’m heterosexual. Every candidate should run on their authentic self, tell their truth, and more importantly, or mostly importantly, talk about their vision for the country.”

“I’ve always trusted the voters enough to evaluate me on the content of my character, quality of my ideas, and my ability to do the job.”

— Cory Booker

Booker added: “I’m going to run on who I am, whether that’s running for reelection [to the Senate] or running for president.

“I’ve always trusted the voters enough to evaluate me on the content of my character, quality of my ideas, and my ability to do the job.”

If elected, Booker would become the first unmarried US president since 1884, but the potential candidate is not daunted by repeated smears from opponents aimed at his sexuality and lack of “family values.”

Booker said: “Clearly the norms of family relationships have been changed dramatically as you’ve seen people across this country being elected to offices with all different kinds of family situations, including the president who has had three spouses. So I think a lot of that conventional thought on that doesn’t apply.”

Cory Booker has a strong pro-LGBT record

A long-time LGBT rights supporter, Cory Booker has frequently taken Trump nominees to task in the Senate over their records on LGBT rights in confirmation hearings.

Booker is often the only lawmaker to raise the subject during confirmation battles, facing anger from Republicans in April after questioning Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his approach to global LGBT+ rights.

The Senator has also introduced a bill that would outlaw gay ‘cure’ therapy across the US, and co-sponsored bills to tackle anti-LGBT discrimination and add data collection on LGBTQ people to the US Census.

Booker was also a strong supporter of equal marriage, and while serving as Mayor of Newark in 2013 he conducted New Jersey’s first same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Senator Cory Booker questions Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh about LGBT issues in September 2018
Senator Cory Booker questions Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh about LGBT issues in September 2018 (Drew Angerer/Getty)

He told the couples: “Tonight we have crossed a barrier. While you all have fallen into love, the truth is the state of New Jersey has risen to love.”

Cory Booker gay or straight: Lawmaker kept sexuality ambiguous

Speaking to the Washington Post in 2013, Booker said: “People who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful. Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia.

“I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I’m gay, and I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight.'”

In 2016, Booker posted a classy response to a troll who branded him a “closet homosexual” and held a Twitter poll on his sexuality.

Booker wrote: “Whatever my sexual orientation, know I love you. I hope u are OK with that. May we both elevate more than denigrate.”

Related topics: Cory Booker, Gay, LGBT, senator, US

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