Monday, July 07, 2008

Finkelstein's Monster

The Gay Republican Behind Jesse Helms

Michaelangelo Signorile writes:
The news on Friday about Helms' death... let's not let history forget that a powerful gay man was instrumental to Jesse Helms, even as Helms was vilifying and demonizing gay men and allowing them and and many others to die throughout the 80s and 90s. Conservative, then-closeted, Republican political operative Arthur Finkelstein (pictured here in one of the only known photos of the guy) helped engineer Helms' racist campaign against African-American Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt in 1990, as Helms was vilifying gay sexuality, blocking AIDS funding, stalling prevention and attacking queer artists... Had Jesse Helms not had the handiwork of Finkelstein, who worked for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and various right-wing senators, he might have lost that race... Finkelstein is today still working as a strategist for right-wing Republicans... Finkelstein was outed in 1996 in Boston magazine, and a few years ago he quietly got married to his partner in Massachusetts -- benefiting from the hard work of LGBT activists while he promoted and worked for a vile antigay crusader like Jesse Helms... READ MORE