Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
Arizona

Arizona sheriff comes out as gay amid allegations of misconduct

Quits as co-chair of Romney's Arizona campaign
Saturday, February 18, 2012

PHOENIX — An Arizona county sheriff seeking the GOP nomination for an Arizona congressional seat publicly came out as gay on Saturday, amid allegations of misconduct made by a man with whom he allegedly had a relationship.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu denied claims he tried to threaten the man, who is Hispanic, with deportation if their past relationship was made public, and said he is no longer a part of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

Paul Babeu

Babeu’s announcement comes just one day after the Phoenix New Times broke the story about allegations from the sheriff’s former boyfriend that Babeu’s attorney threatened him with deportation after he refused to sign an agreement promising not to disclose details of their relationship.

“I’m here to say that all these allegations that were in one of these newspapers are absolutely, completely false,” the sheriff said in a news conference Saturday, surrounded by a number of his deputies and fellow elected officials.

“Except for the issues that refer to me as being gay. Because that’s the truth. I am gay.”

Babeu, 43, confirmed that he did have a relationship with the man identified by the New Times only as “Jose,” but denied claims that he threatened him with deportation following their breakup. Babeu said now believes Jose is a legal citizen.

The New Times reported that Babeu had sent lewd photos of himself, text messages and emails to Jose, who found out Babeu was also communicating with other men through an account on the gay dating website Adam4Adam.

A rising star in the Arizona Republican party, Babeu had been serving as co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Arizona, and is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s fourth congressional district.

Babeu has appeared alongside Romney on the campaign trail, and alongside U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in a pro-immigration television commercial which McCain aired during his primary campaign in 2010. Babeu also spoke earlier this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul confirmed has that “Babeu has stepped down from his volunteer position with the campaign so he can focus on the allegations against him,” the Huffington Post reported.

Babeu said he had no plans to suspend his campaign for Congress or resign his office as sheriff.

Archives: , , , , ,

Filed under: Arizona

37 more reader comments:

  1. ya gotta be who you are :)

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:37pm
  2. Very rarely am I proud of a politician, particularly from my state, but I am so glad to see a politician be honest about something. I wish he was my sheriff.

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:40pm
  3. ^ Yeah, he was honest after the allegations were made , not before . These kinda gays should be shameful.

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:42pm
  4. are teh village people having try outs?

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:42pm
  5. This dude needs to get his SHIT TOGETHER!!!! all dudes who say they love dudes but are ashamed of it, if you’re reading this. Get you motherfuckin shit together. Do you think it’s fair to treat someone that you love as a wart on your nose? If you are reading this. Quit being a fool and be happy with yourself. Nothing says AMAZING like a gay whose able to hold your hands outside the closet doors.

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:46pm
  6. Like a gay dude*

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:47pm
  7. Well, I guess if you’re forced out of the closet by a very public scandal, the thing to do is admit it. Right?

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:48pm
  8. Sexy

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:52pm
  9. please arrest me mmmmmmmcute.

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:55pm
  10. nice tat

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:56pm
  11. Oh God, wonder what the Maricosa County Sheriff thinks of that?

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 3:57pm
  12. But not only is this guy a nazi, the guy who might replace him is a nazi – a REAL one. The real story behind this is that be blackmailed his lover and threatened him with deportation. He’s more like an Ernst Rohm gay guy and no – you do not want him to be your sheriff.

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 4:03pm
  13. He’s a hottie!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 4:13pm
  14. Wow he is hot. Does he need a new bf? ;)

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 4:34pm
  15. Oh look another self hating secretly gay man who likes to plays an “anti-gay” Republican when in public is coming clean AFTER he gets caught!

    Whether they’re attempting to initiate sexual activities with random guys in public urinals (Craig), sending e-mailed propositions to teenage boys (Foley), paying male prostitutes for sex (Haggard) or offering to give bjs to black guys in parks (Bob Allen), these Republicans are united by two things: Public statements defending “traditional American values,” and private statements asking the guy next to them to bend over…just a bit more.

    He like so many others are a fucking HYPOCRITE!

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 4:38pm
  16. I like how it becomes a big deal when it turns out hes gay. OMG!! So what? Give me better news.

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 4:59pm
  17. i m inclined to agree with velos lord,this man screams of hypocrisy. some guys that are outed or called out, as it were, go on to really try to make amends and change their lives. others, like the ones v.lord mentions, seem to feel that everyone is trying to frame them and they havent done anything wrong

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 7:13pm
  18. Good for him!!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 8:04pm
  19. WOOHOO!

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 8:18pm
  20. As much as it bothers me that their are people out there that would physically harm another person for their out word expression of their sexuality it makes me even sick to think that we live in a world where with in the LGBTQ community we have those that would use sexuality as a weapon to hold some one back in their life. I applaud this Sheriff for coming out, but it wasn’t by choice. And what he does in his bedroom is NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 8:53pm
  21. He was quite the gay basher until these allegations came out. What a looser.

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 11:09pm
  22. ^5 Velos!

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 11:10pm
  23. he makes it all bad

    Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 11:17pm
  24. whoodoopee… who cares…

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 11:04am
  25. People like him need to get their shit together. Are you a closeted person in the closet? Oh well keep reading. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!!! No one LIKES someone who can’t have confidence and LIE about it. You are a liar. Work them out. Now. Cause you fuckin ain’t guaranteed that you will live tomorrow. At the least when you die people can say “well they DID have their shit together.” quit being a hot mess and A DAMN LIAR! not unless you are seriously that unstable.

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 11:15am
  26. And get. your shit. Together.

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 11:16am
  27. This is the type of man that keeps giving the LGBT community a black eye!

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 11:25am
  28. “We are as sick as our secrets.” Be out. Be proud.Be real.

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 11:26am
  29. This creep deserves no respect nor absolution from the LGBT community. He would never have come out if it had not been for the scandal imposed upon him. We cannot condone anyone OF our community who has worked AGAINST our community.

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 11:27am
  30. so he’s banging the same guys he is trying to deport?? whack job

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 11:29am
  31. no wait…republican…closeted…sheriff…lol, u know he is a bottom to the illegals

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 11:30am
  32. Blahhahhh! Is this the person you really want enforcing Arizona laws? I can only hope he did irreparable damage to Romney’ stuffed-shirt campaign! HaHaHaHAHHHAH!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 11:32am
  33. karma will get u in the end

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 11:35am
  34. It’s the hypocrisy that makes me nuts, not the sexual preference. I would LOVE openly gay public servants. Unfortunately, “public servants” translates to “self-serving” in reality. It’s obvious since the fool stayed in the closet till he was pulled out. I do certainly wish it wouldn’t harm anyone’s campaign but that would mean everyone accepted what is and I guess that’s asking too much according to the conservatives. But really, how many of the worst offenders are the ones being caught out by their own hidden actions? Grrr

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 12:41pm
  35. This made my week…LOL !!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 12:44pm
  36. One thing worse than a hardcore republican is a homosexual closet case republican . And self serving at it’s best or worst how ever way you want to look at.

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 12:44pm
  37. What’s his number? LOL jp

    Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 4:39pm