McGreevey: Gay American

AP – N.J. Governor Resigns, Admits Gay Affair

In a stunning declaration, Gov. James E. McGreevey announced his resignation Thursday and acknowledged that he had an extramarital affair with another man. “My truth is that I am a gay American,” he said.

“Shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual affairs with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony,” the married father of two said. “It was wrong, it was foolish, it was inexcusable.”

The Democrat said his resignation would be effective Nov. 15. Senate President Richard J. Codey, a Democrat, will become acting governor and serve out the remainder of McGreevey’s term, which ends in early 2006. If McGreevey were to leave office before Nov. 15, a special election would be held.

McGreevey, 47, refused to answer questions at a news conference where he was flanked by his wife and parents. He said that “it makes little difference that as governor I am gay,” but added that staying in office and keeping the affair and his sexual orientation secret will leave the governor’s office “vulnerable to rumors, false allegations and threats of disclosure.”

“Given the circumstances surrounding the affair and its likely impact upon my family and my ability to govern, I have decided the right course of action is to resign,” he said.

The logic here elludes me: He did something that was sufficiently bad that he must resign the governorship–but not bad enough that he can’t wait three months plus? Apparently, he’s a gay Democrat before he’s a gay American.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. R Gardner says:

    I saw this flipping channels this evening (CNN), haven’t been watching the news, etc. Only thing I could think of is that the particulars about the Israeli he appointed to the state Homeland Security position, and who is probably suing him for sexual harassment, would lead to an impeachable offense (is nepotism illegal in NJ, don’t know?). But not knowing the NJ Constitution, I don’t understand the 3 month delay either.

    Watched Anderson Cooper tonight(CNN – and he is gay according to other reports I’ve read (BOIfromTroi)though he never says that on TV that I know of) with Ariana Huffington this evening. Lots of fluff stuff, like Ariana usually puts out.

    Haven’t checked A. Sullivan yet. But right off after seeing Ariana H., conservative, but pro-gay rights (ex-husband is bisexual) give her views, along with Falwell complaining today that the religious right was not “invited” to the Rep Convention, makes me think this could become even more a major political issue at the Rep Convention in NYC. Add in folks like the Governator, and the NYC Convention could actually become interesting if Rove loses control of it.

    For those of us of the little “L” libertarian/liberal view, this does focus attention on how much role the Federal government should have in personal lives.

    The Gov could also become a frontman for various gay groups – and have high level access. In either a Bush or Kerry Administration, I could see him as the token gay.

    Well, off to see the other opinions.

  2. KipEsquire says:

    Haven’t checked A. Sullivan yet.

    He’s on a month-long vacation, remember? I’ve been wondering whether this would draw him back into the mix. If not, then to heck with him.

  3. R Gardner says:

    OK, forgot about Sullivan being on vacation. Something really stinks here. But found this via Buzzmachine

    If McGreevey were to resign before September 15, New Jersey would have a special gubernatorial election on November 2, 2004. If he were to resign after that date, Codey would hold the office until the end of McGreevey’s term in January 2006.

  4. BigFire says:

    Nah, he’s a corrupt politician before he’s gay anything. Hiring a wholey unqualified lover on a high visibility job, and then securing two different jobs in lobby firms for the man all the while trying to keep the whole thing hush up?

  5. TM Lutas says:

    NJ Republicans (if they have any balls at all) should be crying out for an impeachment vote prior to 9/15 to “give the people a voice” in their next governor. Let the vote be a party line vote and take the issue to the polls if the Democrat party goes along with the idea of holding onto the governorship by this method.

    From what I can tell, McGreevey’s big sin was to put his gay lover on the state payroll in jobs he wasn’t qualified in spots he didn’t think would do too much damage. The first such spot was NJ director of homeland security. If Democrats want to put themselves on record as being ok with that for even one further day of a McGreevey administration, they’ve just torpedoed their security credentials.