Did Matt Heinz, the Openly Gay Democrat Running for Gabby Giffords's Seat, Have a Three-Way With Sheriff Paul Babeu? We Ask Him on Facebook.

Heinz200.png
Heinz For Congress/Facebook
Our colleagues at the Phoenix New Times had the story of the holiday weekend for anyone interested in Republicans, homopolitics, outing, immigration, and other sundry subjects we love to write about. Monica Alonzo's gripping tale of how Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu allegedly threatened his Mexican ex-boyfriend "Jose" with deportation if he didn't keep his mouth as tightly sealed about their relationship as the Tea Party wishes the border was led to Babeu outing himself and resigning from the Romney campaign.

Democrats and gay activists laughed at the hypocrisy of gay Babeu supporting a party and candidates that consistently deny LGBT Americans like him access to equal rights under civil law. The schadenfreude about Babeu in our twitter stream was as heavy-handed as the way Babeu was fondling "Jose's" right pec inside his shirt.

But just a few paragraphs from the end of Alonzo's story was this gem (h/t to Joe My God for pointing this out), which could provide a lot of gay drama for a Democrat in what will surely be one of the most watched congressional races in the country this fall:

Openly gay Tucson state Representative Matt Heinz was one of two Democratic lawmakers who broke ranks with the party in March 2011 and voted to give Babeu $5 million to combat border violence. Other lawmakers opposed the measure, in part, because Babeu's county is at least 70 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. The measure finally was pared down to $1.7 million and passed by the Legislature.

About a week after Heinz's nod to Babeu, the sheriff spent the night at Heinz's home, text messages that Jose shared with New Times show.

"I'm at Mat Heinz and his boyfriend for dinner & ice cream . . . we are going out to bar and . . . to their house. [Am] staying over," Babeu texted to Jose at 1:04 a.m. last April 2.

Heinz didn't immediately return a phone call seeking confirmation of the sleepover.

Egads. Did Heinz and his partner have a three-way with Babeu, shortly after Heinz helped send a seven-figure sum of money towards Babeu's pet project? (Which was, ironically, to deal with border violence, something Babeu may have been doing in threatening "Jose"?)

Since he hadn't returned Monica Alonzo's phone call, we decided to ask Heinz directly, gay-mano-a-gay-mano, on his Heinz For Congress Facebook fan page:

Heinz560.jpg
Above is a screenshot of our question, which we imagine may disappear in the near future. (We also imagine that Heinz, and many a politician, may stop letting just anyone post to their Facebook walls.) If you can't read the small text, this is what we asked:
Rep. Heinz, Steven Thrasher,Village Voice staff writer here. My colleagues at the Phoenix New Times have implied that you and your boyfriend had three-way sex with Sheriff Paul Babeu. Is this true? I am gay and do not think consensual acts of gay sex (or three-way sex) are unethical, wrong, or frankly anyone's business beyond the parties involved. However, it looks bad for an elected official to have a "sleepover" with a government employee after helping steer $1.7 million in funds their way. As one of just a few openly gay people running for congress at a time of great trial for LGBT Americans, how do you think this looks? sthrasher@villagevoice.com / @steven_thrasher
There will, undoubtedly, be a lot of hand wringing within the LGBT community about whether or not it is fair to ask Heinz if he had a three-way with Babeu. There's already a hot debate at Joe My God, with Joe getting the conversation rolling by writing:
We have no way of knowing what "staying over" actually means here, but you can bet that Babeu will be accused of fucking his way to that $1.7M grant. Would a heterosexual sheriff be allowed sleepover socialization with politicians who wield monetary influence over their agency? Of course he would. What a mess.
Well, being of the homosexual persuasion ourselves, we have a pretty good idea of what it means when a gay guy texts another gay guy at 1:04 AM that he's "staying over" with someone.

Still, it would be unfair to pile on Heinz -- one of just a handful of out gay Americans running for federal office in 2012 -- for engaging in legal, consensual sex of any kind. As we talked at length with Lt. Dan Choi when we profiled him in 2010, and as we've talked with many activists in the LGBT community over the years, it's unfair to humiliate or stigmatize homosexuals for engaging in sex. This happens all the time, and as the move towards same-sex marriage equality has ramped up in the past couple of years, there's an attempt (even among gay members of the media) at times to avoid talking about hook-ups, grindr, open relationships, and other facts of gay life, and to pretend like every American gay couple is just like Ward and June Cleaver. Homosexuals should not be shamed for having sex any more than women should be shamed for accessing legal abortion. That a gay politician enjoys having legal sex (post Lawrence v. Texas, anyway) with his partner, or another friend or couple, is not in and of itself news.

But it would be unfair for any journalist, gay or straight, to look the other way when a gay state representative breaks party ranks to support a local sheriff's unusual, multi-million dollar budget request, and then maybe ends up in bed with that sheriff a few days later.

So, Representative Heinz, what was the nature of Sheriff Babeu's "staying over"?

We have no judgments about any sex acts which may or may not have happened. However, there are very few open LGBT members of congress, and we are awfully curious if a potential new one is spending off hours-time with (and sending money to) a closeted Republican who allegedly demonized his ex-boyfriend (and whose party routinely demonizes gay people who want to have monogamous sex, gay people who want to have group sex, and gay people who want to live like Ward and June Cleaver equally).

If Heinz was in bed with Babeu, and if he survives the fallout and wins congressional office it may, perversely, be a move forward in LGBT equality. After all, straight politicians have been in bed with lobbyists for years.

@steven_thrasher | sthrasher@villagevoice.com


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
47 comments
Duncan Mitchel
Duncan Mitchel

"Does the gay community really want to be seen as nothing more than a bunch of vicious queens devouring a non-main stream gay?"  Yes.  And what's non-mainstream about Babeu?  There's nothing more mainstream than being closeted.

I can think of many better reasons to be ashamed of our community than this article.  You're right, it's unbelievable that you're ashamed about this.

Jonathon Gable
Jonathon Gable

This reeks of tabloid trash. Matt has been a friend of mine for years. I've stayed over at his house numerous times for the simple reason that he doesn't like people driving when they are either a) overtired or b) intoxicated. There was never anything sexual about it. I would call that being a caring friend. 

I honestly feel like there are enough barriers for gay public servants as it is. Is there some particular reason why you feel the need to build a few more? 

Bill
Bill

This is a terrible case of gay bashing by a gay journalist.  Whether they spent the night together in separate bedrooms or in the same bed is really nobody's business.  Do you not think that political friends can be of different parties?  Or that people who are acquaintances or friends can support one another's political initiatives?  That is how politics works. These two are not married, which only adds to the irrelevance of this story.I would say this whether the two were gay or straight.  I see no quid pro quo at work here.

Kaibelf
Kaibelf

This is like assuming that every time someone stays at a business associate's summer cottage or joins them and their spouse to go to a vacation home there must be something lurid going on.  Shame on you for basically assuming that every gay person on the planet must be a rutting animal, just because CLEARLY you can't control yourself and suck anything wagged in your face. Also, having come from NYC myself, I know that you've never seen a thing called a "guest room" in your tiny-ass apartment, but as someone in Chicago I can assure you that my much larger apartment here includes one, and I can only assume a career professional in a house in AZ would have more than one room as well.

Ruby
Ruby

So, to all the commenters that are now pissy about the three-way assumption.. How many of you are 100% confident that no three-way occurred?

We are talking about government, sleep-overs and a lot of money. Could there at least hve been some mix-and-match two-ways?

LIMEN !
LIMEN !

This has to be one of the most asinine assumptions I've ever seen. I've had hundreds of over night guests spend the night for one reson or an other. The weather was bad, they had to much to drink, we had some thing planed for the next day. And of the hundreds of over night or for that metter week long guests, some were heterosexual , and many were gay. But who the hell's business is it one way or an other. I thought that we live in a free country? Good God what dam drama queens we have become. Live and let live, and mined your own business! Monica Alonzo get a life. Or at lest invest in a TROJAN TWISTER!

Teddy Partridge
Teddy Partridge

I hope you'll follow up if he replies.  Who topped whom, who ran the video camera, etc.  Inquiring minds!

Carlo
Carlo

One of the worst things about this article is that the question wouldn't even be asked if it weren't for some deceptive wordplay by the reporter Monica Alonso.  There was not one piece of fact tied to her allegation, but she went ahead and published it just to further sensationalize her story on Babeu.  The other is Steve Thrasher's attempt at making a name for himself and the Village Voice, and not towards getting to any truth as he implies, or he would have actually done some research like a real journalist.  

BobSF_94117
BobSF_94117

1)  The text about staying over at Heinz's house was one of several Jose revealed in trying to show how Babeu was lying about where he was and who he was with. 

2) If I text someone at 1 AM to say I'm staying over, it means I had too much wine at dinner to drive.

3) I hope no one ever asks you to stay over anywhere ever again. 

Guest
Guest

I have gay houseguests all the time; this does not mean they are invited to share the bed with me & my partner. You may be of the homosexual persuasion, but I wonder if you are of the decent human persuasion. This is disgusting; something we'd expect from FOX News! Shame.

Uvsmitty
Uvsmitty

This is poor reporting.  I find it sick that you find a need to raise these questions just because of someones sexuality. This is TRASH Steven Thrasher!  Should we question EVERY heterosexual candidate about their relationships with colleagues of the opposite sex?  When are you small minded people going to realize that homosexuality is not just about PURE SEX. And it is because of horrible reporting like this that gives people the impression that sex is what being gay is all about.  You asked him a question on FaceBook?!?! Are you seriously calling that reporting?  You are a joke.

Ducat
Ducat

This is beyond ANY bounds of decency!The Village Voice should be ashamed of themselves for the implication and muck raking.

Texting your other half to say I'm sleeping over, DOESN'T mean "I'm going to have a 3 way". I know because I've sent that kind of text message to my other half. It means I'm tired, or I've had a bit too much to drink, and I'm staying at a friends because it's the responsible thing to do.

I'm so unbelievably ashamed of our community right now.

This is exactly WHY there are those of us that keep all things "Gay" at a distance.

Is this really what the gay community wants to present as it's public face?

Does the gay community really want to be seen as nothing more than a bunch of vicious queens devouring a non-main stream gay? Is this the price one has to pay for not living in a gay ghetto, being a liberal democrat and appearing in tutu in every single "Pride" parade? Is this the "Inclusiveness" that organizations like GLAAD, and the HRC are promoting? 

If so... leave me the hell on the outside!

Unh25
Unh25

Look at the original text. It says that Bandy will be going out to a club later with Heinz and his nd, but it is time stamped at 1 am. How late was that club open till if he hadn't yet left at 1am?

If sex occured less than a week after one person voted to give the other person $1.7 million in public funds that's a major issue.

Scott Bodenheimer
Scott Bodenheimer

Firstly - private lives are nobody's business, Secondly - impugning that the support for funding  a program arose from a quid pro quo, instead of the legislator's conscience, is in itself far more indicative of the journalist's cynicism than Heinz's culpability.  Here's another example of a othewise intelligent and politically savvy person - Steven Thrasher -  acting in a manner that subverts the political necessity and important goal of electing Democrats to Congress in 2012.  Democrats and Independents need to understand that politics is a game, whether they like it or not, and one reason that Republicans play the game better, is that they don't shoot their candidates in the foot, just to score some queeny gossip points.

Matthew Rettenmund
Matthew Rettenmund

It is in no way offensive to think that staying over might have meant sex. It's not like two gay people knew each other so therefore sex was assumed. At issue is not the sex, but the appearance and therefore possible existence of favoritism regarding that vote.

usorthem3
usorthem3

Screenshots are forever more than diamonds ever thought about being. 

Guest
Guest

Uhh this is a very acceptable question. A scandal breaks out between a high ranking police sheriff and an illegal immigrant, Matt gets involved because he was literally involved at some point and texts show that. Later in a court this same question will be asked again, The only thing that is happening is that people are asking the question now, when it is "fun" because they want a scoop. The timing is sensational, the question is not.

shelmae
shelmae

Yòu can now work fr0m h0me earńing $35O+/däy w0rking 0nline. 1OO% äutomated! Čheck for aväilable p0sitions here..ČäshHärd.čŏṁ

Rob Tisinai
Rob Tisinai

"Well, being of the homosexual persuasion ourselves, we have a pretty good idea of what it means when a gay guy texts another gay guy at 1:04 AM that he's "staying over" with someone."Huh? Way to stereotype! Being of the homosexual persuasion myself, I can tell you I've got friends who've crashed at my house simply because they had too much wine and didn't want to get on the road.Gays have couches, too, you know.

Unh25
Unh25

This raises some serious questions, if money was exhanged and then sex occurred does that mean this was prostitution? As a gay man, I think we should push to investigate Rep Heinz. If Rep Heinz did abuse his position and vote to give Babeu $5 million in taxpayer funds in exchange for a "sleepover" this needs to be investigated.

Dave Babler
Dave Babler

I find it extremely offensive that you would assume just because the parties are gay that someone "staying over" means sex.  First of all, as a gay man, let me tell you three ways don't actually mean someone has to spend the night.  Furthermore, we gays have this awesome thing called a guest bedroom, where tired friends can crash, I realize it's a concept beyond the writers small mind.  Finally, WOULD YOU EVEN BE ASKING THIS QUESTION IF THE HOSTING COUPLE HAD BEEN HETEROSEXUAL!?  I think not.

Mr. X
Mr. X

Jonathon:  For the record, your friend had to resign a leadership post in the Arizona House of Representatives after he shamed his party by voting to funnel millions of taxpayer dollars to Sheriff Paul Babeu...for border security...for a county 70 miles away from the US/Mexico border!  Isn't it strange how the two of them develop a friendship that crosses party lines AFTER a suspicious deal closes?  Not all gay men who are friends have sex with each other; however, it's unbelievable that a fairly liberal politician and a fairly Conservative one would go out for ice cream, hit the clubs, and spend the night together without anything else happening.  Keep in mind that Babeu was actively hooking up with guys on Adam4Adam until this situation came to light, so he's not some prude.

Morgan
Morgan

I don't care if he slept with that cretin, I'm just surprised that he'd be friends with such a self-loathing and racist closet case.

Elizabeth D.
Elizabeth D.

 What is relevant in this story is that Matt Heinz broke ranks with his party to grant his buddy Babeu a sizable amount of money for border security (a border that is 70 miles away). I couldn't care less if they are romantically or sexually involved as long as such involvement was not the reason for his vote. But this brings up a lot of questions.

John V
John V

 Ruby: Here's the question ... would this article even have been WRITTEN if Babeu had been dating a Mexican woman and had stayed over at another woman's house? I very, very much doubt it.

Kaibelf
Kaibelf

Agreed, it's so embarrassing for Steve Thrasher to put up an article basically saying "Look how brave I am to ask a piggish question on Facebook!  Aren't I the COOLEST?"

Editor911
Editor911

Did you see the pic of the sheriff without his clothes. How could you not jump him if he was staying over drunk at your house.

Sex is great.

Corruptly voting money for a sex buddy is bad.

Terence
Terence

Good point. Everything in AZ closes at 1 am anyway. I'm with the author on this one: something fishy here.

Thom413
Thom413

How do you investigate something like this?  Looking in Matt's laundry bin?  Ridiculous.

Charlie
Charlie

What I find interesting about the hype from Alonzo and Thrasher is the Phoenix New Times, Alonzo's newspaper, is part of the Village Voice Holding, LLC.  Talk about a conflict of interest.  I think I've seen enough of this rag, considering they profit from perpetuating a non-story.  

Who knows what Babeu's text meant considering how much was cut out by Alonzo.  For all we know he just meant he was 'staying over' in Tucson.  

Jerrard
Jerrard

WTF? So if Nancy Pelosi agreed to fund John Boehner (married) millions of dollars and then went to sleep over at his house - there wouldn't be questions? Of course there would be! Babeu specifically kept his boyfriend (they were still together then) out of the loop so he could sleep over and party with Heinz. It's all in the text messages that Babeu has already admitted to.

sane37
sane37

I would be asking the same question if the relationship was heterosexual. Why? Because of the implied quid pro quo with the public lives these people are living has an ethical conflict with their private behavior.

cflgh2
cflgh2

I find it offensive that a closeted, Republican Sheriff will have sex & a relationship with José, Mexican immigrant, yet be involved in the move to "build a fence."

Where is your outrage there? Stop being offended at everything not 100% positively gay.

hardley hardleyjw
hardley hardleyjw

I agree it is possible to just have friends stay over - perhaps to avoid driving after drinking. I also agree that the tone of this blog-editorial does seem like intentional titillation passing off as genuine concern.This does however leave the issue of deal brokering, personal relationships and sex .... but that NEVER happens with straight politicians, does it!

Thom413
Thom413

Dave, I couldn't agree more.  A better guess would be too much wine to drive and sleeping on the sofa.  The "follow-the-money" angle is legitimate on its own and doesn't need innuendo about sex to spice it up.

Kaibelf
Kaibelf

Why do you care who others are friends with? Seriously. For all the talk about how people are voting on who we should marry, here you are passing judgment on who someone else is even friends with?

Charlie
Charlie

Yeah, like do we have GPS coordinates to go with Babeu's text?  That's the first question I'd be asking before assuming anything else.

Joselito
Joselito

Uh, heteros have three-ways all the time. Or are you too Puritanical to grasp that???

Boobylicious
Boobylicious

Not fishy, but more like assy, and probably lots of Santorum everywhere too!

Joselito
Joselito

Babeu's semen stained drawers, duh!

Romeo
Romeo

If you've seen enough, váte!

Jerrard
Jerrard

It's much worse than that. One of Babeu's main talking points is that "illegals" are a serious threat to Homeland Security. Yet his goddamn boyfriend could barely speak English - and he never once asked him about his status. This is a complete double standard based solely on the fact that he wanted to engage in gay sex with the victim.

Unh25
Unh25

If you follow the money it looks like it leads to sex, I think that's the point.

Guest
Guest

Kaibelf, if you're like most people, you think it's possible for a person to be such a moral monster that it would cause you to think less of others if they befriended such a person.  Right?  So what we have here is an empirical question -- or two, one about your moral standards and the other about Babeu's character.  And I don't get the impression you really know much about the second one.

Doug
Doug

"You're", not "your", fer chrissakes.

Carlo
Carlo

Way to go Mr. Thrasher.  Monica Alonzo spews some gossipy innuendo about a 'supposed' three-way to sensationalize her story and you take the bait.  

If you think this benefits our community in anyway your a fool and it will probably cost Heinz personally and professionally now.  Bravo!

Thom413
Thom413

The money doesn't look like it led to sex at all.  What are you basing that on?  Some preposterous notion that gay guys have no self control? 

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...