Austria's Gay Fascist Riles Up the Wing Nuts

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2009 8:50 PM CST
In this Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008 file photo, top candidate of the Alliance for the Future of Austria, BZOE, Joerg Haider, center, leader of the election campaign Stefan Petzner, right, and candidate Peter...   (AP Photo/Lilli Strauss, file)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – When Austria's most popular Nazi-sympathizer died in a car crash last year, he left behind a grieving lover—his boyfriend, Kevin Gray writes in Details. After politician Jörg Haider's death, his PR whiz gave a tearful interview that shocked Austria. "About Jörg and me, there was more—it was broad on all levels," said Stefan Petzner. He was "the man of my life." Now the far-right party they helped revive is kicking Petzner to the curb.

Horrified by Petzner's talk of homosexuality, the far-right BZÖ party stripped him of his leadership. So Petzner keeps mostly to himself: "It is very dangerous for me to talk," he admitted. But he recently dared to attend to a BZÖ celebration and flirted with the notion of running for office—a notion others scoff at. "He was merely the instrument of a narcissistic, larger personality," said one analyst. Counters Petzner: Running for office "takes charisma. I have some amount."