Gay Media | Gay Quotes | Gay Rights | Gay Slurs | News | News Clips | Richard Nixon | Television | Video

New Audio From Nixon Administration Reveals Extent Of Tricky Dick's Homophobia: VIDEO


Richard Nixon's presidency was not a high point of twentieth-century politics. Nor did his congressional participation in the House Un-American Activities Committee indicate an emphasis on human understanding or interaction. But new audio unveiling a conversation between Nixon, Domestic Affairs Advisor John Ehrlichman, and Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman reveals a quite vocally homophobic Dick and two men unwilling to disagree. A previous recording indicated a certain "understanding" of homosexuality, on the most basic terms; this one complicates the matter and paints Nixon in a different light.  

John Aravosis at Americablog writes:

This is brilliant. They’ve found new audio of then-President Richard Nixon complaining about a TV show he stumbled upon that was glorifying homosexuality: “All in the Family.”

It’s hard to imagine Nixon wasn’t familiar with All in the Family.  The show was centered around the father of the family, Archie, who was a lovable bigot, and the show basically lampooned Archie’s biases in order to show how absurd they really were.

The conversation (transcript by Aravosis) went something like this:

Nixon: CBS came on with a movie. They had two magnificent handsome guys, and a stupid old fellow in it. They were glorifying homosexuality!

Ehrlichman: Was that a panel, sir?

Nixon: Hell no, it was a movie!

Haldeman: No, that’s a regular show, it’s on every week. And usually it’s just set in the guy’s home. It’s usually just that guy, who’s a hardhat.


Nixon: Archie is the guy’s name.

Ehrlichman: Now that’s real family entertainment, isn’t it?

Nixon: The point that I make is that goddamit, I do not think that you glorify, on public television, homosexuality!  You ever see what happened, you know what happened to the Greeks? Homosexuality destroyed them. Aristotle was a homo, we all know that. So was Socrates.

Ehrlichman: But he never had the influence that television has.

Nixon: The last six Roman emperors were fags. You see, homosexuality, immorality in general, these are the enemies of strong societies. That’s why the communists and the left-wingers are pushing it. They’re trying to destroy us.

Nixon's lack of historical integrity, the period phrases (like "hard hat"), and an inability to tell the difference between a television movie and a regular series are mildly humorous in retrospect. More important, however, is that Nixon's emphatic anti-gay stance is eerily disturbing, and his words show that President and bigot were not mutually exclusive.

Watch a video with subtitles, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Of course, the horrifying irony here is that it wasn't homosexuality but wars abroad and corruption at home that brought down Rome. And yet, here is Nixon, who presided over an escalation in bombing in Vietnam and the most infamously corrupt administration ever, groaning about how homosexuals would end American society as we knew it.

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 2, 2013 7:05:56 PM

  2. "...not a high point of nineteenth-century politics..."

    WOW! No! It wasn't. It wasn't of 20th cent. politics, either.

    Posted by: olympiasepiriot | Aug 2, 2013 7:06:28 PM

  3. Umm, that tape was released many years ago---2008 at least. It is not new by any stretch. It just happens to be featured in a new CNN documentary.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 2, 2013 7:19:43 PM

  4. I'm not sure how this is news now. These tapes were released over a decade ago and have been on YouTube for years.

    Posted by: Nickadoo | Aug 2, 2013 7:21:18 PM

  5. Actually considerably earlier than 2008. It was part of the Watergate tapes.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 2, 2013 7:22:54 PM

  6. And even worse, we (as taxpayers) were actually paying these flakes to spout this nonsense!

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 2, 2013 7:38:33 PM

  7. I hate defending Nixon, but how many people had views on gay people that were any more positive than that in 1972? Not a lot.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Aug 2, 2013 7:38:34 PM

  8. Difference from bush, Reagan, romney, etc?

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Aug 2, 2013 7:39:29 PM

  9. He's entitled to his opinion! I don't know why everyone hates on Nixon. He was a good President. America had problems, but least back then you didn't have Mexicans pouring over your borders.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 2, 2013 7:41:48 PM

  10. Like always, the bigot doesn't realize that by time Rome had fallen, they had fully embraced Christianity and criminalized homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

    The Roman Empire collapsed due to corruption, failed military campaigns, constant invasions, incompetence and being to large to manage.

    The Greeks fell? So? As has every other Empire that ever existed! The Spanish, Mongols, French, German, Russian, you name it. They weren't champions of gay rights, so what happened there? In those instances the bigots will say "fate", -- In the Roman and Greek examples, it was "homosexuality and the wrath of god". Cherry-picking bigots.

    Posted by: Chris | Aug 2, 2013 7:42:12 PM

  11. of the "five good emeperors" (literally called the five good emperors and have always been called such

    2 were known homosexuals

    the 5 good emperors cleaned out corruption in the bureaucracy, strengthened their borders, built aquaducts and other infrastructure

    Hadrian whose love is the stuff of legend

    and trajan the more lascivious lover of many young men

    Let alone the greeks wouldn't even have lasted and spread hellinism without Alexander the Great ...cough.... cough

    Posted by: Moz's | Aug 2, 2013 7:50:03 PM

  12. PS; as mentioned rome fell after fully embracing xtianity

    + the lead lining of their aquaducts = heavy metal poisoning affecting sanity and mental functions sure as hell didn't help

    the heavy metal poisoning from their water supply is looked at as 1 of the chief causes of rome's eventual fall

    Posted by: Moz's | Aug 2, 2013 7:52:37 PM

  13. Imagine coming out in this climate, and knowing how Nixon and the majority of Americans felt about homes. But they did, and they experienced as much fun and sexual freedom as ever. That's because before, this behavior was not tolerated at all. Oppression can be a plus. It brings out bravery.

    Posted by: Garth | Aug 2, 2013 7:58:18 PM

  14. I find it hard that that's the real little kiwi posting...

    Posted by: Will | Aug 2, 2013 8:06:59 PM

  15. Will, that's because it isn't the real kiwi. It's Rick/Jason, who's an actual republican and probably loved Nixon both because Nixon had no respect for the American people and was a raging homophobe. Rick/Jason has a hard on for vehemently homophobic republicans and scorns anyone who deviates from that preference. He's a sad troll. Kinda like Nixon. It's not a coincidence.

    Posted by: MateoM | Aug 2, 2013 8:19:16 PM

  16. This site has grown astoundingly boring, and will fade into irrelevance now that the marriage fight's victory is just a matter of time. By all means, get all spun up about 40-year-old tapes of a long-discredited president, who is revealed (in tapes that have been in the public domain for years) to hold pretty much exactly the same positions about homosexuality as more-or-less the whole of Middle America at the time. By all means. That's some good, interesting reporting, right there.

    Posted by: NotA | Aug 2, 2013 8:34:06 PM

  17. Why is it that almost ALL of the comments sections I go to on the pages that I visit daily, are filled with negative feedback. Usually coming from those who do nothing and have accomplished nothing. Crabs in a bucket, and haters gonna hate.
    Bring something worthwhile, or just go away.
    Andy, you keep sharing whatever in the hell you want, it's YOUR site!

    Posted by: LoneWolfen | Aug 2, 2013 8:46:06 PM

  18. I believe that it has been speculated that Nixon himself was a homosexual and that included his relationship with Bebe Rebozo.

    I believe that he also sought advice from a military man about how to kiss his wife, Pat, in public and make it look convincing.

    If I am wrong, I hope a Towleroad reader will correct me. I do not recall the source.

    Posted by: AG | Aug 2, 2013 9:47:27 PM

  19. Rather interesting, though, that Nixon expressed interest in "two magnificent handsome guys"!

    Posted by: Rexford | Aug 2, 2013 11:09:39 PM

  20. Nixon was a complete scumbag and deserves a special place in hell. Recently conversations by Johnson revealed that Nixon purposely gave information to the enemy to disrupt likely successful peace talks in Vietnam, knowing if Johnson pulled off a peace, Humfrey was almost guaranteed to win. Johnson never said anything. For the Presidency 10s of thousands of American,s and 100's of thousands of Vietmanese lost their lives. It's very interesting how tightly connected Nixon was to the Bush family. He was a protege of Prescott Bush. Interesting stuff here,

    Some even suggest Nixon and Bush, along with the CIA were involved in Kennedy's assassination and Watergate was done because Nixon believed the Dems were going to suggest he had a hand in it and neede to know what their plan was.

    Posted by: Jason B.p | Aug 2, 2013 11:17:53 PM

  21. Sorry the world can't be "Candyland" for you Lonewolfen. If you view yourself as a lone wolf that you shall be. We others will communicate freely. You might try a "How-To" or "Self Help" site if you can't stand this minimal dose of the real world.

    Posted by: Garth | Aug 2, 2013 11:20:24 PM

  22. Yep, agree with these 2 things:

    1) this was highlighted on Andrew Sullivan's blog a few years ago

    2) that cannot be the real Little Kiwi above, perhaps I'll try to find a way to let him know someone is impersonating him.

    -- and to whomever is doing that, you are a sad sad little mole weasel.

    Posted by: leprechaunvict | Aug 2, 2013 11:34:27 PM

  23. The good news is that I didn't expect anything better from him.

    Posted by: nick | Aug 3, 2013 12:07:07 AM

  24. The trolls can attack me all they want. I really don't care. MateoM, you troll, as a queer man I can support whomever and whatever I like. I am not going to be boxed in by you.

    Nixon was a good President north and south. Canada liked him. My dad loooved him. And down south he didn't let the US-Mexican border turn into a refugee circus like it is now.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 3, 2013 1:21:31 AM

  25. Republicans call us faggots, dykes, etc to our face and then stab us in the chest.

    Democrats wait until we leave the room to bad mouth us and then they stab us in the back.

    We need to continue to press both parties to pass ENDA or a CRA and repeal section two of DOMA.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Aug 3, 2013 3:26:39 AM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «Five Out Gay Nominees Confirmed to High-Ranking Government Posts« «