Jon Hinson (March 16, 1942 - July 21, 1995) was a politician from the state of Mississippi.
Hinson was born in Tylertown, Mississippi, and he graduated from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. Hinson was an aide to Representatives Charles Griffin, Democrat, and Thad Cochran, Republican. Hinson was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican in 1978, when he was 36. Cochran vacated the seat because he was elected to the U.S. Senate.
During his re-election campaign in 1980, Hinson admitted that he had been arrested for committing an obscene act, exposing himself to an undercover policeman, at the Iwo Jima Memorial. Hinson denied that he was homosexual and blamed his problems on alcoholism. He said that he had reformed and refused to yield to demands that he resign. He won re-election with 39 percent of the vote because an independent candidate split the Democrat vote.
Hinson, who was then married to Cynthia Hinson, was arrested on February 4, 1981 and he was charged with oral sodomy for performing oral sex on a male employee of the Library of Congress in the restroom of the House of Representatives. Hinson resigned from Congress on April 13, 1981. Soon afterwards, he acknowledged that he was homosexual. The marriage ended, and he became an activist for homosexual causes. Hinson died of respiratory failure resulting from AIDS in Silver Spring, Maryland at the age of 53.
Hinson rose from relative political obscurity to win Mississippi's Fourth Congressional District seat in 1978 as a conservative Republican. He resigned on April 13, 1981, early in his second term. He said that his resignation had been "the most painful and difficult decision of my life."
He later helped to organize the lobbying group "Virginians for Justice" and fought against the ban on gays in the military. He also was a founding member of the Fairfax Lesbian and Gay Citizens Association in Fairfax County.
He never returned to Mississippi but lived quietly in the Washington area, first in Alexandria, Virginia, and then Silver Spring.
Hinson also disclosed that he survived a 1977 fire that killed nine people at the Cinema Follies, a Washington theater that catered to a gay clientele. He was rescued from under a pile of bodies -- one of only four men who survived.
In an article last year for the Washington Blade, a gay newspaper, Hinson wrote that when first elected to Congress, he was "still closeted and into heavy denial."
Hinson's body was cremated, and the ashes were buried in Tylertown after a private service. Hinson, by then divorced, was survived by a brother, Robert Hinson, in Gulfport, Mississippi.
He was succeeded in Congress by Wayne Dowdy, a Democrat, who won the special election held in the summer of 1981.
Preceded by: Thad Cochran U.S. Congressman, Mississippi 4th District 1979 - 1981 Succeeded by: Wayne Dowdy http://www.accessenter.com/hinson/obit_ap.htm