March 21, 2014 | by Michael K. Lavers
Closeted Fox News anchor attends gay fundraiser
Shepard Smith, NLGJA, gay news, Washington Blade

Shepard Smith is among those who posed for a selfie that CNN anchor Don Lemon took at the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association’s annual Headlines and Headliners fundraiser in New York on March 20, 2013. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

NEW YORK – Fox News anchor Shepard Smith on Thursday refused reporters’ requests to ask him about his sexual orientation during a National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association fundraiser.

“I’m going to walk over here,” he said as the Washington Blade asked him about his sexual orientation during NLGJA’s Headlines and Headliners fundraiser at the Prince George Ballroom in Manhattan.

A Gawker reporter with whom the Blade spoke outside the venue said Smith took a picture of him with his cell phone as he walked to his car. The Fox News anchor rushed past the reporter as he tried to ask him questions.

Blade Editor Kevin Naff outed Smith in 2005 after Smith hit on him in a Manhattan bar. That incident was featured in the documentary film “Outrage;” he recounted the experience earlier this month.

NLGJA invited Smith as a “special guest” to attend the annual Manhattan fundraiser. He appeared in a selfie with CNN anchors Don Lemon and Ashleigh Banfield, MSNBC host Ronan Farrow, Fox News anchor Jamie Colby, “Good Morning America” correspondent Amy Robach, who emceed the event, and others.

CNN reporter Jeanne Moos and Bryan Norcross of The Weather Channel are among those who also attended the fundraiser.

“Our company’s the sponsor,” Smith told the Blade. “I’m really happy to be here and it’s great to see a lot of old friends.”

LGBT rights advocates have repeatedly criticized Fox News over the network’s coverage of LGBT issues.

GLAAD earlier this month criticized Fox News host Jeanine Pirro after the group said she didn’t challenge Rev. William Owens of the Coalition of African American Pastors’ over his anti-LGBT rhetoric during a segment on whether U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder should be impeached. Media Matters for America in February highlighted a series of guests on “The O’Reilly Factor” and other Fox News programs who criticized New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to not march in the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade because organizers do not allow LGBT people to openly participate.

 

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

13 Comments
  • Shouldn’t people be able to come out (or not) on their own terms? #StopBullyingShep

  • Smith has a gay face. Yes, some people look like they are gay or act like they are whether they are or not. And when I see people like that I always say if he isn’t gay he’ll due until one comes along!

  • I agree. Leave the dude alone. Wouldn't this be considered targeting a man based on his orientation? The world is tough enough.

  • I agree. Leave the dude alone. Wouldn't this be considered targeting a man based on his orientation? The world is tough enough.

  • Everyone has their own reasons for not wanting to come out. Why do you think it's your business to out him? This article does a dis-service to our community. If he was an anti-gay pundit and closeted, then I would say "sure, lets out his lying hypocritical self." But from what I understand he's fully supportive of the LGBT community. The way this reads, it sounds like a gossip column or you have something personal against him. Can we please stick to legitimate LGBT News? How about some real info on the fundraiser.. you know.. something that benefits our community!

  • Everyone has their own reasons for not wanting to come out. Why do you think it's your business to out him? This article does a dis-service to our community. If he was an anti-gay pundit and closeted, then I would say "sure, lets out his lying hypocritical self." But from what I understand he's fully supportive of the LGBT community. The way this reads, it sounds like a gossip column or you have something personal against him. Can we please stick to legitimate LGBT News? How about some real info on the fundraiser.. you know.. something that benefits our community!

  • "closeted"? When the man speaks, handbags fall out, he gay; no outing needed.

  • Everyone who is gay should be out. Period.

  • Everyone who is not out does a disservice to everyone, not just the gay community.

  • "Everyone who is gay should be out. Period." < That is a very ignorant statement. You should educate yourself a little more on certain professions, states/cities, countries, etc.. where being gay can get you fired, excommunicated, beaten, and/or killed. People that choose not flaunt their private lives in a public forum should not be bullied into doing so.

  • Some people are still questioning, some people are just trying to figure it out.. what they choose to do behind closed doors is none of your business. How they act in public.. how they treat other people… how supportive of the LGBT community… THAT IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT! NOT whether they are gay or straight…

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