Angst of repressed homoeroticism expressed in Judge Philpot’s writings and speeches

Firstly, it goes without saying that sexuality is a deeply personal aspect of human life and people should never be persecuted for their sexual orientation or gender identification.
The context of this discussion relates to the destructive consequences of homophobia itself, and the fact that in many people, homophobia may be a violent outward expression of repressed same-sex attraction.
People brought up in socially orthodox households headed by disciplinarian male figures, are thought to be particularly prone to channeling their inner conflict into aggressive homophobia. A notable recent case where this has been speculated is the example of Pulse nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen.
Judge Philpot has demonstrated an unusual degree of animus against gays through his speeches and actions as a Kentucky State senator, attempting to introduce a constitutional amendment to protect the state’s ant-sodomy law while campaigning against gays at every opportunity. 1 A notable and telling example was his attempt to screen gay porn at the Lexington public library, ostensibly to show how disgusting gay sex actually was, and perhaps to justify his own trips to adult stores on Winchester Road where the films were purchased.
Even after being appointed as a judge in family court, he has openly expressed disdain for same-sex marriage while claiming that his attitude towards gays and lesbians is no longer discriminatory. He attributes the “phenomenal love” he has discovered towards gays and lesbians to the fact that they now constitute almost half the adoptions he oversees in family court. 2 He puts this attitude in context by pointing out that they are willing to adopt children who are difficult to place, so their assistance supports his own well-known aversion to legal abortion.

His odd perception of homosexuality being a contsant temptation even for “straight” individuals is maintained in his discussions of  the effects of the US Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage. 

He seems to think that men dining together are now more likely to be persumed to be romantically involved as a result of the the court’s decision.

So much so, that he is now conscious of being seen having lunch with his male friends.

The strange dichotomy continues to manifest itself in his autobiographical book, Judge Z.3
Strangely, for a book that is “pedagogical” on the subject of marriage, his alter ego is portrayed as a widower whose wife passed away quietly years before and is barely mentioned throughout the book. This odd attitude is maintained by Judge Philpot in the follow-up speeches to promote his book.  In warning about the legalization of gay marriage, he describes the rise of “thruples” and even suggests that his wife would be amenable to a man named Nosario, who currently helps around the house, assuming more of Judge Philpot’s husbandly duties. 4

In fact, descriptions of all the female characters in that book are remarkably two dimensional, shallow and polarized. The conservative, conformist women characters such as pastors’ wives and like-minded court workers are described through their non-physical attributes, the raciest descriptor being “blonde.” Conversely, females on the other end of the virtue spectrum are typically described using salacious physical imagery such as cleavage, tattoos, high heels, smoking, beds, drugs, prostitution and Jacuzzis. The Madonna/whore complex is evident in the judge’s close bonding with his mother after the death of his philandering and abusive father.

Judge Philpot’s description of male physical attributes is equally interesting. His earlier book Ford’s Wonderful World of Golf  5 is replete with admirable descriptions of the anatomy of its male characters (Judge Philpot is apparently “a leg man”) and bereft of such praise for the females. In “Judge Z’, he is especially flattering towards a therapist named Don Lathem, a surrogate for his real life admirer Don Sizemore:
“Don Lathem always made a good impression in court. He didn’t look like a marriage counselor. He was fit and tall, a former UK walk-on basketball player, and he moved with the athletic grace of a guard, which is what he had been, and still was in his church league. He had a boyish face that made Judge Z want to call him “Opie,” with freckles and a big smile that he flashed often.”

                                               Don Sizemore, LCSW 


                                                  Ron Howard as the character “Opie” who reminds Judge Philpot of Don   Lathem/Sizemore

Judge Philpot’s sexuality is his own business and nobody else’s. However, the degree of homophobia he has exhibited gives rise to serious concern for those parties in his courtroom (and outside) who may become collateral damage as a result of the conflict between his inner demons.

In fact, Judge Philpots erratic and passion driven behavior on the bench poses a danger to most parties in his court even if they do not perceive themselves to be amongst the his targets.




And even “ordinary” Kentuckians:


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