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A Florida state representative and co-chairman of John McCain's presidential campaign was arrested Wednesday for offering to perform oral sex on a male undercover cop in a Titusville, Fla., public restroom, police said. Rep. Bob Allen, R-Merritt Island, was booked into the Brevard County jail on a charge of solicitation to commit prostitution, the Orlando Sentinel reported, then released on $500 bail. The charge, a second-degree misdemeanor, is punishable by a year in county jail and a $500 fine. 

Titusville police told the Sentinel that they were carrying out a burglary detail in a city park when they saw a disheveled, unshaven man enter and leave the park restroom three times. They decided to send in an undercover officer; minutes later, they told the Sentinel, the man knocked on the stall door and offered to perform oral sex on the officer for $20.
 
"After he was arrested, he (Allen) mentioned he was a state legislator," Lt. Todd Hutchinson told the paper.
Allen, 48, is married with a daughter, according to his legislative bio. 

First elected in 2000, Allen is the chairman of the House Committee on Energy. He received the Rainbow Democratic Club of Orlando's worst possible rating. 

In March, he co-sponsored HB269, the Lewdness and Indecent Exposure Bill, which proposed enhanced penalties for "offenses involving unnatural and lascivious acts or exposure or exhibition of sexual organs committed within specified distance of certain locations." The bill never made it to a vote. 

About six years ago, he was one of 21 Florida legislators to sign Gov. Jeb Bush's friend-of-the-court brief supporting
the state's ban on gays adopting children, Rainbow Democratic Club secretary Carol Bartsch told Gay.com 

The ACLU had
sued to challenge the ban, which is still on Florida's books. 

"Practically as soon as he got into office, he wanted to go on record as being anti-gay," Bartsch said. 

Due to be termed out of the House next year, Allen, however, had been considered a likely state Senate candidate, Sentinel writer John Kennedy blogged Wednesday. 

The McCain campaign announced Allen's coming aboard March 21.   "Florida Republicans have an expectation of tested leadership and John McCain's exemplary record of military and elected service, coupled with his proven ability to create reform, will elevate him in our state," the campaign quoted Allen as saying.
 
On Thursday, Allen told reporters he plans to plead not guilty and to stay in his elected post.   "I am going to vigorously fight this," Allen said. "I am not resigning my office, because the people who elected me want me to do a good job, and I am going to do a good job for them in finishing this term . . . This is an ugly and unpleasant situation that has been thrust on me and my family. It is not true. It is inaccurate, and therefore (I'm) not guilty, and I will be standing strongly for that." 

Allen and his attorney did not take media questions and urged journalists to be accurate in following the case.
"People tend to take the fast news and make fast conclusions," Allen said. "I would ask people not to jump to any conclusions on this and to be fair and slow down and look at it." 

(Barbara Wilcox and Michelle Garcia, The Advocate)

People like this take the LGBT community back several steps on hard-fought social progress.  Rep. Allen and Rev. Ted Haggard* are so far back in the closet their licenses are issued in Narnia.  Not only did they choose to live their lives as complete lies, they then chose professional paths that put religious and legal issues that denigrate the LGBT community to the forefront of their jobs.

I often joke, and it is just a joke, that I have a Pinata List...people you just want to whack with a big stick.  My dear old friend and "twin sister" Lindsay thinks things like my list are bad karma.  I'll take the debt.  My list makes me smile and sometimes laugh.  It helps me vent my frustration...until another hypocritical homo-in-hiding gets caught with his pants down around his ankles in the Atlanta airport bathroom.  But enough about Ed Wall...

While I don't expect politicians or ministers to be without faults (or sin, as the case may be) I do expect them to own up to their mistakes and to fix the problems.  I really don't like it when they start channeling Roy Cohn and begin cannibalizing their own kind through religious or political platforms.   Four hundred years ago, Shakespeare identified the behavior with "The Lady doth protest too much, methinks."  That's how I view all these homophobic religious and political barking dogs, they're just barking to cover for their own sexual identity issues. 

At this year's Pride celebration in Atlanta, every time I passed a religious protester, I said to them, rather casually, "You're a self-loathing homophobe."  Most of them seemed not to understand me.  That's ok.  I understand them.  I don't like them and I wish they'd go away, but I understand them.



* - This is the same Ted Haggard who founded a Christian church in his house that grew to a 14,000-person congregation. The same Ted Haggard who was the head of the 30 million member National Association of Evangelicals. The very visible and very outspokenly homophobic Ted Haggard.   The Ted Haggard who had a   same-sex relationship with a former male prostitute for three years. 

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