In a wide-ranging interview with the Washington Post published Monday, Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) said that his failure to settle down with a “life partner” by this stage in his career has led to speculation that he may be gay.
The U.S. Senate hopeful recounted to the Post that early on in his time in the mayor’s office, he sought out a friend who was a pastor to share his feelings about the rising murder rate in Newark. Booker expected to receive spiritual advice, but instead was told “you need to get married.”
Booker told the Post that after that conversation he started dating more, although his courtship occurred strictly outside of the spotlight — and not with Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, whom he was rumored to be seeing in 2007.
“Because how unfair is it to a young lady to put them in the spotlight if they haven’t signed up for that yet?” Booker said. “And people who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful. Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia. I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I’m gay, and I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight.’”