Arizona Sheriff Wants to Bridge Chasm Between Gays and Republicans

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on May 14 2012 3:22 PM ET

Pinal County, Ariz., sheriff Paul Babeu was outed earlier this year, after some allegations from a former boyfriend insinuating that Babeu, a conservative Republican, had made unethical decisions in his personal and professional life. While the investigation continues (Babeu says that he welcomes it because it will exonerate him), the sheriff has called off his campaign for Congress. 

But he's still a leader in the GOP, he says. He told Don Lemon at CNN that he was afraid to come out but has gotten plenty of support from straight conservatives and believes he can help bridge the chasm between gays and the party. “I believe I can be one of — I won’t be so bold as to say 'I’m the guy,'" he told Lemon. "We need some officials in the Republican Party that just don’t come out and say 'Hey, I support these issues,' but actually live their life doing their job first — and that’s most important — but also say, 'This is who I am.'”

Watch the Don Lemon exchange with  Paul Babeu on CNN and read more on