Charlie Crist is the Republican governor of Florida who decided to run for U.S. Senate but, because he was considered a “moderate” — Horrors! He shook hands with Barack Obama! — in the Tea Party-crazed GOP of today, he decided instead to run as an independent.
In a poll conducted earlier this month for three Florida newspapers, likely voters put Crist at a statistically insignificant but notable lead for the seat against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio.
Why, you might ask, should gays in Texas should care what politicians in Florida have to do with our lives. And the answer is, Crist is pretty much certainly gay.
His homosexuality was pretty well documented in “Outrage,” director Kirby Dick’s documentary about hypocrisy in the halls of politics. “Outrage” didn’t really reveal anything new under the sun, but it did agglomerate the facts in one place for a number of politicians who take anti-gay stances while remaining in the closet (more or less) themselves.
Crist’s defection from the GOP could be pretty big news, if only because, if not tethered to right wing of American politics, Crist might feel comfortable coming out officially, which is always a good thing for our community. On the other hand, as “Outrage” pointed out, Crist doesn’t exactly have a stellar record on supporting gay rights, has fiercely fought the gay label (despite documentation) and in general just seems like a turncoat. Still, given a choice between the Tea Party-backed Republican or Crist, it’s an easy call for me.