Ill. Rep. Aaron Schock’s Gay Marriage Quote Revives Rumors
Aaron Schock, a young congressman from Illinois, has been receiving national attention not so much for his political stances as for his buff physique, his non-reluctance to display it, his (to some questionable) wardrobe choices, and his sexual preference.
His performance at a media event on Jan. 30 only added to speculation on the Web about which "church" the unmarried representative attends. The Capitol Fax blog posted a video that showed reporters swarming around the conservative. One reporter asks Schock why he doesn't support same-sex marriage, which has is a hot-button issue in his home state.
Lawmakers in Springfield, the state capital, are discussing a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage. The head of the state GOP created something of a crisis in the party when he came out in favor of the measure, with various county party leaders and right-wing groups calling for his ouster.
Instead of giving a firm, definitive answer about his views on marriage equality, Schock, 31, hesitated and seemed confused. "Uh, well, I, I just haven't," he said. When the reporter asked him the question again,
Shock did a slightly better job at explaining himself; but his answer was still muddled. "I think everybody has a set of beliefs on issues, social issues in particular, that are a reflection of how they were raised and their set of beliefs," he said.
What left Schock-watchers especially confused about his own opinion on the matter was past statements where he said he was firmly with the majority of his party where LGBT matters were concerned. Shock voted against the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and including sexual orientation as a hate crime.
He had stated flat out that he was against same-sex marriage last year, according to BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner. He told the gay journalist that he was in favor of retaining the Defense of Marriage Act. He did add, however, he had not "really thought too much about it."
Schock has been the subject of widespread gay rumors, which he has denied many times. In September, Michelangelo Signorile of SiriusXM's OutQ asked Schock at the Republican National Convention outright if he was gay.
His answer seemed to some (OK, to many) as evasive at best. "Those questions are completely ridiculous and inappropriate," he told the gay author and radio host. "I've said that before and I don't think it's worthy of further response. I think you can look it up." Shock then abruptly cut off Signorile from going further.
That didn't do much to squelch the rumors, especially when Schock commented on Paul Ryan's body when he was in a gay neighborhood in Tampa, Fla., during the convention. TMZ filmed him walking past stores selling gay-related items while dishing about the former GOP vice president nominee's super-worked on physique. Ryan expressed a number of times during the 2012 presidential election that he was a gym rat and went into detail about his exercise regimen.
When someone asked Schock if he has any fashion tips for Ryan, he said, "I think Paul's in great shape. I think a little bit of leaner attire to help accentuate that physique he works so hard to, you know, maintain."
Gay rumors have plagued Schock since 2004, when a Chicago newspaper reporter asked him pointblank if he was gay. In 2010, Schock wore white jeans, a hot pink gingham button up Polo shirt and a teal belt to a White House picnic. While there's certainly no "gay" way to dress, Internet wags had a field day with his outré attire. Schock was apparently so upset by the online attention and tweeted he had "burned the belt." (Some, it should be noted, would construe the ceremonial destruction of a hated piece of clothing on a ritual pyre as itself kind of, well, gay.)
Whether gay or not, Shock showed that he could probably score with either sex when he appeared on the June 2011 cover of Men's Health. Even the most rabidly anti-GOPer had to grant that his six-pack abs and hairless carved torso were impressive.
Watch the clip of Schock answering the gay marriage question below: