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Oct 11 2012

ACLJ Fires Attorney After Being Outed

The American Center for Law and Justice, Pat Robertson’s legal wing, has fired James Henderson, a senior attorney for the organization and a professor at Regent University law school, after a pair of blogs showed evidence that he was involved in two gay relationships.

The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) confirmed in a statement provided to Metro Weekly that James Henderson, a senior counsel with the group who focused on federal civil rights and constitutional law, had been fired from the group Sept. 25, one day after a report surfaced on a blog that he may be gay.

“He is no longer affiliated with any ACLJ entity,” said Ronn Torossian of 5W Public Relations in an email to Metro Weekly. “ACLJ will not comment further on this personnel matter.”

ACLJ’s confirmation comes after two blogs — Exposed Politics and The Patriot-Ombudsman — published troves of information about Henderson and his relationship with two younger men. Henderson is married and has eight children.

Although there has been speculation as to the age of the two men, it is unclear if they were under the age of consent in the state of Virginia where Henderson lives.

According to the two bloggers, Henderson used a Facebook account to communicate with the two men. Conversations obtained and published by the two websites indicate that Henderson may have provided the younger men, who appear to be possibly younger than 21, with alcohol and marijuana. The Facebook account cited by the bloggers has since been deleted.

I’ve actually exchanged emails with Henderson in the past, mostly debating church/state issues. He was certainly zealous in his defense of Christian privilege. There are a lot of different aspects of this situation, but the one that sticks out to me is this: Why would a gay man ever work with an organization like this?

30 comments

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  1. 1
    busterggi

    So why is justice part of their name?

  2. 2
    raven

    and a professor at Regent University law school,

    For a few more minutes anyway.

    No point in having a witch hunt if you don’t find a few witches and do whatever you can to them. Guy is lucky they can’t legally burn him at the stake any more.

  3. 3
    raven

    Why would a gay man ever work with an organization like this?

    Good question.

    1. Maybe he thought it would be a great closet to hide in.

    2. Fundie-ism is based on hate. When they get bored hating women, nonwhites, Democrats, atheists, Moslems, scientists, etc.., they can always hate each other and themselves.

  4. 4
    plutosdad

    Maybe he thinks he’s not gay, he thinks he has “sinful” desires and hates himself for it. I think that’s why so many of the top leaders of the anti-gay movement secretly have sex with their own gender. They don’t even see themselves as gay, just horny.

    Even Ted Haggard could only admit “if I were 19 I would call myself bisexual” no you ARE bi. Just because you have a wife and kids you love and want to stay with doesn’t change what you are. But he doesn’t see it that way.

    It is hard because they bring so much pain to other people, but at the same time they are miserable self-hating wretches, and if the world was more fair they could be open about themselves instead of ashamed.

  5. 5
    bruceh

    Does Virginia have any equal protection labor laws for LGBT people? My guess is no, but it would be very funny to see the guy sue the ACLJ and win.

  6. 6
    wscott

    Based on the gay conservatives I know, I suspect Henderson’s answer would be something like: I think the GOP is overall much better for the nation, and while I disagree with them on this one issue, it would be selfish of me to put my own private interests ahead of the good of the nation.

  7. 7
    Gregory in Seattle

    Oh, the irony.

  8. 8
    Alverant

    Money? Or as wscott points out, it could be they differ on one issue. I wonder how he feels now that he’s on the receiving end of christian hate. Will he take the lesson to heart like that guy who went to a Hawaiian football game and had to listen to Buddhist prayers? Or will he continue on his crusade for christian privilige?

  9. 9
    slc1

    The age of consent for sex in Virginia is 18 AFAIK so if they’re 18 or older, he’s safe from prosecution there. However, if either of the 2 men involved are under 21, Henderson could could be in trouble if he supplied alcoholic beverages to them as the drinking age in Virginia is 21.

  10. 10
    Bronze Dog

    Why would a gay man ever work with an organization like this?

    Denial is the hypothesis I favor. He doesn’t accept that he’s gay. He thinks his urges are the result of outside forces trying to turn him gay because that’s a dominant view among homophobes: Every man has gay urges and if we don’t buckle down as a society and stop the deviants from tempting us, every man will turn fabulously gay.

    It’s ironic that homophobia essentially spreads the idea that there are no strong heterosexuals who just naturally prefer the opposite sex. Thus, allegedly, if we let teh gheys do their thing undisturbed, no man will ever be interested in reproductive sex with a woman because there are no true heterosexuals.

    I’m working for the shadowy gay agenda of marriage equality, and I’m quite comfortable on the borderline between hetero and asexual. I’m not even remotely tempted by the prospect of gay sex, but if that floats your boat, you can enjoy it with someone else who enjoys it, and I’ll be happy for you. Doesn’t affect me.

  11. 11
    theschwa

    HENDERSON!!!

    (no Sklar love?)

  12. 12
    Michael Heath

    bruceh writes:

    Does Virginia have any equal protection labor laws for LGBT people? My guess is no, but it would be very funny to see the guy sue the ACLJ and win.

    Even if they did that law would most likely contain exceptions for religious entities whose formal dogma demands their members discriminate against certain protected groups, like conservative Christian organizations do against females, GLBTs, and the latter’s children.

  13. 13
    dingojack

    Plutosdad – let us not forget this.
    Woo Hoo!
    Dingo

  14. 14
    Aratina Cage

    Denial is the hypothesis I favor. He doesn’t accept that he’s gay.

    That may have initially been the case, but if you read the Facebook messages he allegedly wrote under the pseudonym Kyle Johnson, you will see that he had already accepted that he was gay before being outed.

  15. 15
    eric

    Why would a gay man ever work with an organization like this?

    My two cents – because he’s a “do as I say, not as I do” kinda guy. Its not that rare. Lots of rich or conservative people essentially think the unwashed masses cannot handle the freedoms they can. Think Santorum, his wife, and abortion. Lots of religious people think other sinners need laws they don’t need themselves.

  16. 16
    wscott

    @ Bronze Dog: I’ve known too many openly-gay conservatives to dismiss him as a self-hating closet case. Just because someone is gay doesn’t automatically make them a liberal on foreign policy, economic policy, etc; and if those issues are more important to you, then it’s not an entirely irrational decision.

    I also know a fair number of gays who would be republicans if the party wasn’t so homophobic. When the GOP is finally forced by sheer demographics to drop their anti-gay agenda, it’ll be interesting to see how many gays return to the fold or if they remain a largely domocratic demographic.

    You’re dead right tho about how conservatives seem to think Teh Gay is this irresistable force. Makes you wonder.

  17. 17
    Ichthyic

    There are a lot of different aspects of this situation, but the one that sticks out to me is this: Why would a gay man ever work with an organization like this?

    i have two things to add to what others have said:

    -authoritarian personality traits are quite strong, and tend to dominate other behavioral traits, either forcing the other traits to be masked or risk group shunning, or displaces them entirely.

    -even ask Andrew Sullivan how a gay man can remain a catholic?

  18. 18
    Ichthyic

    even->ever

  19. 19
    Modusoperandi

    [Deep breath] WHAT ABOUT HIS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY?!

  20. 20
    AsqJames

    Oh, another one of these. Blah, blah, same old sto…WAIT A MINUTE! Nobody thinks it’s odd that 2 guys in their late teens/early twenties apparently need a married middle-aged guy with 8 kids to buy their pot for them? They don’t know anyone their own age who smokes it (and thus knows where to get it) when likely about 1 in 4 15-25 year olds do*?

    * – Figures pulled out of my ass, but I’d be surprised if it was all that much lower.

  21. 21
    bmiller

    Be careful with the essentialist definitions here. He is BISEXUAL, if you need to firmly define him in any way.

    As for conservative gays…sure…one can be conservative (although I remain seriously doubtful that the modern right wing corporate agenda is in any way “conservative” of anything other than elite privelege) but he is not working for just ANY conservative organization or agenda, but an explicitly reactionary religious organization that includes amongs its primary obsessions TEH GAY. THAT is what makes no sense. This is no Country Club Republican group pushing for lower taxes but an explicitly theocratic group, many of whose members who support fully violent oppression of people like him.

  22. 22
    bmiller

    asq…daddy issues? Attraction to power? Using him for monetary gain…plenty of gay for pay kids out there!

  23. 23
    laurentweppe

    even ask Andrew Sullivan how a gay man can remain a catholic?

    No one ever asked for the pope’s excommunication, so I’d say the exemple comes from above.

  24. 24
    democommie

    “@ W. Scott:

    “I’ve known too many openly-gay conservatives to dismiss him as a self-hating closet case.”

    No gay (or as pointed out @ bmiller, bi-sexual) could be in such a position as Henderson was at ACLJ and NOT be self-hating, by definition.

    Also, he was anything but OPEN about his sexual preference.

  25. 25
    Kilian Hekhuis

    Why would a gay man ever work with an organization like this?

    Two words: Cognitive dissonance.

  26. 26
    democommie

    I meant to add that when I first saw the header I thought to myself:

    “Wow, some lawyer that works there actually admitted that the organization was nothing but a bunch of lying, opportunistic fuckbag liyars who will do anything to make a buck and consider fucking the gays to be a bonus? Cool!”.

  27. 27
    ashleybell

    Its sad, but every underprivileged group has them. Those dissenters who get to be “one of the good ones”… The ones you can tell racist, and sexist jokes to because they “get it” and aren’t all uptight like those other complaining whiners… In a very real way I despise those dissenters more than the groups they choose to associate with. It carries the stain of abject cowardice and selling out. That’s right, Fuck You GOProud and Concerned Women for America, let’s hope there’s a hell for you to rot in!

  28. 28
    Michael Heath

    ashleybell writes:

    Fuck You GOProud and Concerned Women for America, let’s hope there’s a hell for you to rot in!

    That’s nearly every bit as repugnant and yes, evil, as those from the religious right who wish Hell on their political and theological opponents. If you don’t understand why then I suggest spending some time considering the harm they’ve done and could possibly do relative to the implications of that which you wish on them. And that’s using mere justice as a standard, where the best of humanity promotes grace instead.

  29. 29
    barrydecicco

    Modusoperandi says:

    “[Deep breath] WHAT ABOUT HIS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY?!”

    The basic right-wing view of religious liberty is that the powerful should have it, and others shouldn’t. In fact, the whole point is that the powerful should have the religious liberty to persecute others.

  30. 30
    maxdwolf

    Goddamit! is there something wrong w. the label “bisexual”? Does every man who ever made it with another guy have to be gay? Especially if he has a wife and kids? I expect this from the mainstream media, but you people should know better.

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