Vox Editor in Chief Defends Hiring of 'Homophobic' Gay Writer
By Ran Aubrey Frazier
Originally published on Advocate.com March 14 2014 3:37 PM ET
Ezra Klein, former Wonkblogger at The Washington Post and current editor in chief of the new media venture Vox.com, is defending his hiring Brandon Ambrosino, a gay writer considered by some to be homophobic and regressive.
In an interview with The American Prospectpublished yesterday, Klein said his hiring decision promoted "ideological diversity" but conceded that he had not fully reviewed Ambrosino's writings.
Ambrosino, who claims to have had a positive experience as a student at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, espouses a host of controversial opinions in his writings, such as asserting that sexual orientation and gender identity are "choices." He has argued that those who believe same-sex marriage is immoral are not antigay, and that being gay is about "sexual behavior," unlike race, which is "biologically determined." Ambrosino's writings have even used such explosive phrases as "intersexed crossdressers."
The writer's hiring outraged some LGBT activists and liberal commentators. On Wednesday, journalist and broadcaster Michelangelo Signorile tweeted, "How could @ezraklein make this kind of major mistake already?" On Thursday, in an article published in Slate, Mark Joseph Stern slammed Ambrosino's body of work as "reckless, retrograde, and vapid," before calling his hiring "startlingly bad, potentially catastrophic judgment by Vox."
Standing by his decision, Klein told The American Prospect, "I don't want to pretend that I have the context and the background to perfectly or authoritatively judge this debate. But when I read his pieces, I didn't come away with the impression that he holds an iota of homophobia."