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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-04 08:30 AM
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US senators targeted in 'outing' campaign
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http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?...

Michael Rogers lives on the top floor of a block of flats in Washington DC, with a balcony and a fine view of the city whose secrets he is systematically giving up. Mr Rogers, who is gay, is waging a controversial "outing" campaign against gay Senators, members of Congress and Capitol Hill staffers who support the presidentially sponsored campaign to ban same-sex marriages.

The headquarters for his campaign is a workstation in the corner of his sitting room. From here he sifts tips-offs, updates his blog site (www.blogactive.com ) and above all makes the phone calls that gays on the Hill have come to dread.

Michael Rogers is not the only Washington "outer". John Aravosis has also entered the fray. A political consultant, lawyer and former staff lawyer to Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, his spur to action was "Watching Bush announce it from the White House. It was as if he was defiling the Oval Office."

Outing has always been a unsettling tactic and Mr Aravosis has some qualms about naming people, but President Bush's declaration convinced him it was time to "stop being nice to the enemy within". It was Mr Aravosis who was behind a recent ad in the gay weekly Washington Blade, which declared the new zero tolerance. The ad ran: "For years our silence has protected you. Today that protection ends." Between them, Mr Aravosis and Mr Rogers have outed about 20 staffers and politicians, including Congressman Mark Foley, a Florida Republican, and Democrat Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland. Mr Foley's office has since confirmed he is gay, but Senator Mikulski has not commented on her sexual orientation. Both were targeted because they had not spoken out against the Federal Marriage Amendment. They both subsequently did.

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