Republican congressman Jon Hinson was up for reelection in 1980 when his closeted gay life became public knowledge.
During his campaign, the Mississippi representative was revealed to have been arrested in 1976 for exposing himself to an undercover police officer at the Iwo Jima memorial in Washington, DC. Upon admitting this, Hinson also admitted that in 1977, he was one of 4 survivors rescued from a fire in a local gay cinema.
Despite these revelations, Hinson claimed he was heterosexual, remained with his wife, Cynthia, and went on to win his 1980 reelection bid. But he wouldn't keep his office for long.
In 1981, Hinson was arrested in a men's room in the House of Representatives when he was caught giving oral sex to a male employee of the Library of Congress. This would end his congressional career. Hinson was charged with sodomy, a felony at the time, though the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. Hinson resigned from the House, soon ended his marriage and came out of the closet.
Hinson took up the gay rights cause, advocating for the admission of open homosexuals into the United States military. Sadly, Hinson died in 1995 of respiratory failure brought on by AIDS. (More at Wikipedia)
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