Cory Booker: ‘I Hope That You are Not Voting for Me [on] the Presumption I’m Straight’

Cory Booker, the Newark mayor running for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, ruminates on speculation that he's gay in a new, lengthy profile in the Washington Post:

BookerBooker says that his involvement in Waywire is in part a result of his restless mind but also his lack of familial obligations. It is to his “great dismay” that “I have not settled down with a life partner.” He tells a story about how, early in his tenure as mayor, as murders continued to mount, he ran bawling past the places where Newarkers had been shot. He called a pastor friend and told him how broken he felt. At the end of the conversation, Booker expected some spiritual advice.

“You need to get married,” the pastor said.

After that, Booker says, he started dating more — although, he clarifies, not with Arianna Huffington, with whom he was rumored to have been involved. But he has kept that part of his life private because he says he needs some sacred spaces.

“Because how unfair is it to a young lady to put them in the spotlight if they haven’t signed up for that yet?” he says. “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.’ ”


  1. Rick says

    “I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight”

    No, the non-whites who form his base and voted overwhelmingly for him in the primary did so because he was the only black candidate on the ballot, as did most of the white liberals who voted for him.

    That primary just demonstrated that white male Democrats like Rush Holt–regardless of qualifications–are an endangered species in a party where white males are an increasingly small minority, due in part to the basic anti-white-male mindset of much of its membership.

  2. Rees Cramer says

    I had already thought that Mayor Booker was pretty cool, He now gets elevated to awesome. I think he should get the honorary gay card just for being a great straight guy. BTW ……I was impressed with Gov. Christie on the bill banning gay conversion therapy for minors.

  3. Rev. Jim Lynch says

    It doesn’t matter to me whether he is gay or straight. I still think he is likely the best candidate for the job — as evidenced by the overwhelming vote in the primary. Thank you, Mayor Booker for your wisdom and understanding. Whether you are gay or straight is no one’s business but your own.

  4. Patric says

    “BTW ……I was impressed with Gov. Christie on the bill banning gay conversion therapy for minors.”

    Please. Christie will do whatever suits his political interests and signing that bill was what served his political interests a few months before New Jersey’s gubernatorial election.

    Far more significantly, New Jersey represents the one and only state where a single individual is all that is blocking the achievement of marriage equality. Just two months ago, Christie blasted Justice Kennedy’s historic and eloquent opinion in Edie Windsor’s case as “incredibly insulting” and “just another example of of judicial supremacy” and criticized Kennedy for expressing that the motivations of people like Christie, who opposes equality for LGBT people, are “to demean people.” New Jersey will have marriage equality come January if our ally Barbara Buono is elected Governor in November. Though the odds are long that that will happen, there have been other instances recently (1997 NJ Gov race, 2009 NYC Mayor race) when seemingly invincible Republican-ish candidates got much closer calls than anticipated. Chris Christie has waged war on our community in a state which should have marriage equality. We need to have the self-respect to not go down this November without a fight. We need to turn out for Barbara Buono.

  5. raul says

    RICK you conservative slay me. For all of your barbed comments about “white guilt” it is really you ill informed, self-hating knuckle draggers who really are STILL feeding off of old racialized hatreds.

    The country is changing. Get on board or get out of the way.

  6. rroberts says

    Presumably, the goal of gays and their allies is a future where one’s sexuality simply doesn’t matter, where elected officials don’t worry about someone’s bedroom habits, and where sexual preference doesn’t figure into state laws other than as a protection. With that in mind, then, let’s not worry about Mr. Booker’s sexuality. He does, after all, want his ‘sacred spaces’ just like the rest of us and we should respect that. Instead, let’s be vocally thankful that he is who he is and that he is a marvelous voice of reason. I don’t care whether he likes women or men or both. THANK YOU CORY BOOKER!

  7. Rich F. says

    I like Booker, but I voted for Holt in the primary. Mind you, not for the racist BS reasons that Rick assumes, but because there is a serious lack of anyone with any sort of scientific background in the Senate.

    I’m definitely going to vote for Booker in the senatorial election, though. Lonegan is vile.

  8. Rowan says

    Rick, the reason why the white working class male is getting lesser in the Dem party is because of their nasty, selective and antagonistic attitudes towards the left supporting the women, homeless and LGBT causes.

    They don’t help themselves with their warped nostalgia and victim mentality. It’s not either or BUT that is what they want which makes me it very hard for people of that group who are policy makers or intellectual liberals to find some discourse with them.

    A black man is not nec offended that a white woman is going to rep him.
    A gay woman is not nec offended that a straight white intellectual male is going to rep her.
    A straight white woman is not nec offended that a gay black man is going to rep her.

    BUT a straight white working class male with ANY of those groups within the Dem party re them?? Arrggggh!!

    (Of course I’m generalizing but so are you)

  9. Kevin LS says

    i don’t care if he’s gay or not, i’d vote for him either way; though I don’t live anywhere near NY [Seattle].

    He admitted some time ago that when he was younger he was homophobic; now as an adult, he’s a vocal gay-rights advocate.

    I don’t care what he is, only who he is…

  10. jjose712 says

    Jere: In fact no, at least not in spain, maybe some heterosexuals use the term, but generally if you use partner instead of boyfriend or girlfriend, most people will think you are gay

  11. ratbastard says

    I know next to nothing about Booker, but maybe he should just stop being coy? It will be ‘outed’ during a major election. Might as well just come out and say ‘I’m gay’, or ‘I’m bi’. Or if he isn’t, he shouldn’t be coy about it.

  12. says

    Well, that sorta (not really) sucks for me because I always found Mr. Booker to be HAF. Unfortunately for whomever it is he does end up dating, if he’s not already, it will be a bit like having a relationship with Superman.

  13. GregV says

    @JJose and @Jere and @DavidInTheOC:
    I don’t know what the lingo tends to be in the neighborhood where you live, but I hear “partner” used interchangeably for straight or gay people or both all the time.
    For example, if a man is making a vacation house reservation he will say it’s for “me, my two kids and all our three respective partners,” which is a lot less wordy than saying “for me and my wife, my son and his husband and my daughter and her boyfriend.”

    There are other terms like “life partner,” “domestic partner,” “marriage partner” “special someone,” “significan other,” etc.
    But some of the wordiest terms tend to be used by straight people who don’t get out much and are confused when they refer to gay couples.

    Re: Cory Booker’s statement:
    I’m glad that more and more straight people are responding to gay rumors NOT by announcing that they’re straight but by saying that it shouldn’t matter if someone in their position IS gay.

  14. anon says

    As far as I know, he’s not been dogged by gay rumors, particularly since he’s been seen dating women. He won the primary because of name recognition and very good press, not because he’s black. He might be replaced as mayor by Ras Baraka, who basically has implied he’s an Uncle Tom. It’s not that he’s benefited from “Wall St.” you see, it’s “White Wall St.”. Of course, Booker is smart enough to use such language to his political advantage. Steve Lonegan has negatives over 40%, so probably isn’t going to break 45% at the polls.

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