The Real Issue

In a press conference just now, in which it seemed he was surrounded by the entire staff of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Paul Babeu forcefully denied the charges made against him that he, or an associate, threatened the deportation of an ex-boyfriend.

“I am gay,” Babeu said, but the charges against me are “completely false.”While it’s remarkable to see a Republican figure of national stature publicly embrace his homosexuality, and give such a forceful conservative defense of gay rights, that’s not the real issue here. As far as we can tell Paul Babeu has never taken any public positions contrary to his now very public homosexuality.

His position on immigration is however quite another matter. On questions of the legal status of the man Jose who has made the accusations, Babeu was more circumspect.

“I never believed he was less legal than you or I was,” he said. “Everything that I understand is that he’s absolutely in legal status.”

The next few days will, I’m sure, make clear to what degree that was the case.