Jorg Haider's Secret Partner

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Why do they always have to die or get caught before we find out? Austria's late neo-fascist leader, Jorg Haider, had a male lover, Stephan Petzner (photo above by Gert Eggenberger/Getty). And Haider nepotistically engineered his lover's inheritance of the party. The usual depressing dynamic:

There has been further speculation that the crash happened after Haider and Petzner argued at a party. Petzner said that Claudia, Haider's wife of 32 years and the mother of his two daughters, had not objected to their relationship.

But in an interview published in an Austrian women's magazine, Petzner's sister Christiane seemed to suggest otherwise. "Claudia was sometimes jealous of him because he spent more time with her husband than she did," she said.

The closet is a deeply destructive thing. It leads many closeted gay men to adopt far right politics as a psychological mechanism to deny their own reality, a syndrome that is also very widespread at the top of the Catholic church, the Republican party, and the Christianist movement.

From Ted Haggard and Larry Craig to Jorg Haider and Roy Cohn, it's a destructive and self-destructive dynamic.

Gay conservatives have every right to be part of the spectrum of the world and the gay movement. But our political argument must come from an open, honest philosophical conviction, not deep psychological denial of our own nature. I count myself as an out and proud gay conservative and know countless others. My disagreements with the left are clear and candid and open, as my sexual orientation has been since my early twenties. But the precursor of this new movement is the darkness of the closeted past and the lies and psychoses the closet still perpetuates.

It's a sickness that has helped destroy the Catholic church and conservative political parties across the world. It's the enemy of open faith and honest politics and strong families. And the only cures are honesty and integrity. That's not easy always. But it is still the only sane and healthy way forward.

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