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Tapes of President Nixon's Views on Gays Revealed

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Audio clips of former U.S. President Richard Nixon discussing homosexuality have been revealed.

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The clips were revealed by Vanity Fair as part of a publicity campaign for an upcoming book on Nixon’s first term written by the magazine’s contributing editor Douglas Brinkley and historian Luke A. Nichter.

Recorded in 1971, the audio files feature Nixon saying in part: “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.”

“My point is, though, when I say they’re born that way, the tendency is there. My point is that Boy Scout leaders, YMCA leaders, and others bring them in that direction, and teachers.”

The comments were made in a conversation with his national security adviser Henry Kissinger and his Chief of Staff Bob Halderman that occurred in April of 1971.

The men go on to discuss the alleged prevalance of homosexuality in Ancient Rome and Greece, and the President states ““Once a society moves in that direction, the vitality goes out of that society.”

“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. That’s a lifestyle I don’t want to touch.”

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