Anti-Gay Former Puerto Rican Senator Comes Out As Gay
Don't shed too many tears though. Arango's political career was filled with anti-gay votes and outright mocking of the gay community.
In 2004 he mocked a San Juan mayoral candidate during a political rally by implying he was gay and holding a plastic duck and making quacking noises when speaking against him ("pato" or duck in Spanish is a word often used as a slur against gays in Puerto Rico).
In 2007 he embraced a conservative religious coalition and personally received thousands of signatures they had collected against same-sex civil unions as he vowed to defend so-called Christian values in the Puerto Rican senate and prevent changes to the civil code. That year he also led efforts to amend the Puerto Rican constitution to ban recognition of any unions that were not those between a man and a woman (the effort ultimately failed).
And in 2009 he defended secret efforts by conservative colleagues in the Senate to pass a bill banning adoption rights for same-sex couples as I documented in a previous post.
Well, nearly three years later, Arango has come out as gay in a radio interview with Noti UNO:
Here's the conversation:
REPORTER: Following the controversy over the photos there was a lot of speculation about your sexual preference. Isn't it time for you to state whether or not you are a homosexual?
ROBERTO ARANGO: Well, the day someone asks me I will give a reply. In that respect, I have nothing to hide.REPORTER: Are you a homosexual?
ROBERTO ARANGO: Yes. And on top of that I am a businessman. On top of that I am a father, I am a brother, I am a son. On top of that I like doing community work and volunteering. On top of that I like helping different communities. I like it and I am someone who likes to bring changes and progress and to give opportunities to those who want it.
REPORTER: When did you realize you were one.
ROBERTO ARANGO: I think it happened when I accepted it and I may not be a psychologist or a specialist in that field...
REPORTER: And did you accept it before your exit from the Senate?ROBERTO ARANGO: No. It was after. My exit from the Senate and the process itself was what led me to accept myself.
We guess he didn't know he was gay when he was mocking gays and voting to pass anti-gay legislation. Glad he's had that lightbulb moment...
According to Blabbeando, Arango is now lending his support to LGBT causes:
And then last May he reappeared publicly to urge the conservative party in which he had served as a Senator to back a number of measures to protect members of the LGBT community from discrimination (the measures would pass).
What do you think, Instincters? Is Arango's coming out something to celebrate or is it too little too late?