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Phil Hinkle
Hinkle, via his state website

Another day, another misunderstood anti-gay Republican who meets gay men in hotel rooms to talk about baseball:

State Rep. Phillip Hinkle, the anti-gay marriage Indiana Republican accused of offering to pay a young man he met over Craigslist for "a good time," admits that he paid the man but contends that they didn't do anything illicit -- they just talked about "baseball and the view." [...]

He admitted to the Indianapolis Star on Tuesday that he did exchange e-mails with 18-year old Kameryn Gibson through Craigslist, on the section of the site meant for "casual encounters" between two men. Hinkle also admitted that he paid Gibson $80 "for a good time," but denied Gibson's allegations that he tried to prevent him from leaving the hotel room, exposed himself, and tried to pay him off with $100 cash, an iPad and Blackberry to keep quiet. [...]

Hinkle said that when Gibson got there they just talked about "baseball and the view," and that when Hinkle came out of the bathroom Gibson had left, and stole the money, the iPad and the Blackberry. "I went to the edge," Hinkle said, "but I didn't fall over the edge."

I think we should be careful not to judge Hinkle too harshly here. After all, who among us has not had a day like that, when we maybe called up someone we just met on Craigslist and said "Oh my God, so-and-so ... I need to talk about baseball right now. Meet me at the hotel in ten minutes!"

And who among us has not paid a stranger $80 for a hotel conversation about baseball? Sure, maybe things happen, but it's all perfectly innocent:

"Oh dear, you're wearing a Red Sox t-shirt? I hate the Red Sox. That shirt is going to have to come off."

As Hinkle says, he "went to the edge," but didn't go over. I have no idea what he thinks that means, since he's also vowing that there was nothing sexual about the encounter. What would be "going over the edge" after paying a guy you met via Craigslist $80 to talk to you about baseball in a hotel room you arranged for that meeting? Talking about rugby? Does talking about minor league baseball cost more or less than talking about major league baseball? And when the guy you're meeting said in the Craigslist ad that he wanted a "sugga daddy," did Hinkle just think we was talking about concession-stand candy?

I feel sorry for these Republicans every time, because they clearly believe in their hearts that being "gay" would essentially condemn them to hell (or at the least, the people around them would condemn them to hell) and so they, personally, cannot possibly have homosexual thoughts themselves: It must just be that they have "demons" or a mental "illness" or a "lapse of judgment."

Hinkle seems to be choosing from the I'm-not-gay-I-just-have-demons box of anti-gay conservative Republican excuses for being caught doing, well, obviously "gay" things. This is a well worn excuse, and falls somewhere between Larry Craig's "wide stance" and Ted Haggard's "Yeah, that whole three years of doing drugs with a gay hooker thing? Sorry." Oh, and like most others caught in similar situations he is now getting "professional" help. (Note to Hinkle: You should talk to Marcus Bachmann about these things. I hear he can really fix you up.)

When asked why he arranged the meeting, Hinkle told a reporter, “I was on the road to self-destruction,” he said, “and I don’t know why.”

Which, I guess, means they really were talking about the Red Sox.

Originally posted to Hunter on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 02:21 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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