Richard Nixon on White House tapes: Gays born that way

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Richard Nixon on White House tapes: Gays born that way

President Richard Nixon is best known for the Watergate scandal and that infamous line, “I am not a crook.”

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WASHINGTON, DC – President Richard Nixon is best known for the Watergate scandal and that infamous line, “I am not a crook.”

But audio recordings just released by Vanity Fair reveal another, perhaps surprising, side of ‘Tricky Dick.’

He thought gays were ‘born that way!’

“Let me say something before we get off the gay thing. I don’t want my views misunderstood. I am the most tolerant person on that of anybody in this shop. They have a problem. They’re born that way. You know that. That’s all. I think they are,” Nixon says in a April 28, 1971 recording.

A pretty progressive view, considering the time, but he has other theories about homosexuality.

“My point is that Boy Scout leaders, YMCA leaders, and others bring them in that direction, and teachers.”

He wraps his chat about ‘the gay thing’ with this:

“By God, I am not going to have a situation where we pass along a law indicating, ‘well, now, kids, just go out and be gay.’ They can do it. Just leave them alone.”

Little did Nixon know four decades ago, just how true some of his words would be, today.

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