Anti-gay Indiana state lawmaker accused in same-sex prostitution scandal
Indiana State Rep. Phillip Hinkle has been accused of meeting an 18-year-old man on the website Craigslist.
The Indianapolis Star Tribune reports that Hinkle met the young man through a m4m — men for men — casual sex ad on the website. Email exchanges between Hinkle and Kameryn Gibson show the anti-gay politician offering to pay the young man $80 plus this statement in an email allegedly sent by the lawmaker:
“Final for the record, for a really good time, you could get another 50, 60 bucks. That sound good?”
Bil Browning, the owner and publisher of the Bilerico Project — a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender news website based in Indiana — says this is not the first time he has heard that Hinkle was having sex with men on the side. Browning advertised on his site for information about lawmakers who were closeted and voted for an anti-marriage equality amendment — which defines marriage as only being between a man and a woman — to the Indiana state constitution.
“I’ve followed Indiana’s closeted legislators for years and Rep Phil Hinkle’s sexuality has long been an open secret,” Browning said in an email. “When I put out my call for information about anti-gay closet cases, tips about Phil were the clear majority. Sadly, none of the three young men I spoke to were willing to provide definitive proof that would tie them to the representative. All three had corresponding stories, but without being able to provide solid proof I decided not to run it. There are at least two other anti-gay Republican closet cases in the Indiana legislature and a few Democrats as well. Eventually they’ll also be exposed as the hypocrites they are.”
In addition to voting for the marriage amendment, Hinkle — who serves as the representative of the state’s 92nd House district — also opposes nondiscrimination legislation that would protect the LGBT community, the Indiana Family Institute 2008 voter guide reports (PDF). The leader of the IFI told TheIndyChannel.com that Hinkle’s ability to serve was “dramatically damaged,” but did not call for his resignation.
The station also reports that politicians in the state are tip-toeing around the issue of Hinkle’s liaison with Gibson, noting that Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, had this to say about the situation:
“A family tragedy, very sad thing, nothing much more to say,” Daniels said. “Not for me to say (if he should resign). It’d be between him and his constituents.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Speaker of the Indiana House Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) said that if the situation as reported by the newspaper was accurate, it was “sad,” and the next move would be to meet with Hinkle. The station also reports that Hinkle has often bucked his party, putting him in a precarious situation with his leadership in the House.