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Tuesday_Morning Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:18 PM
Original message
Salon: Open the closets on Capitol Hill
Mike Rogers of BlogActive says Salon gets it right. http://www.blogactive.com/2006/10/bust-em-open.html

Is it time to re-think outing politicians?

Silence about gay politicians is a relic of an era when gayness meant secrecy and shame. It's a disservice to gay people, to voters, and to the politicians themselves.

By Louis Bayard


<snip>

That era has passed, despite the fondest wishes of some conservatives, and it is time that the American media -- and, yes, the closeted culture of official Washington -- awakened to that fact. It is time, in short, to end the hypocritical double standard that shields gay politicians from the implications (and the promise) of who they are. Let the doors open wide.

Do I mean "outing"? Yes -- within limits. I hold no brief for those hysterics on the far right who want every homosexual working in the Republican Party to be called out by name -- as a precursor, presumably, to being expunged. Nor do I think that gay congressional staffers forfeit all rights to privacy simply by virtue of their jobs. But I do believe that every man or woman who courts public office must be held to some public standard of honesty -- of coherence.

<snip>

If Mark Foley had been forced from the closet, would it have prevented him from hitting on teenage pages? Likely not (unless the constituents of his Florida district had voted him out). But a little plain-spokenness might have torn some of the veil of secrecy in which he was shrouded. It might have broken House leaders of the old pernicious habit of treating a gay member's private life -- in all its aspects, licit and illicit -- as something to be shoved under a rug. And it might have allowed us to talk about Mark Foley's sexuality and Mark Foley's sexual offenses as the separate issues they really are.

<snip>

more at link


http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/10/07/gay_pol...
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. NMP
No more privacy.
Ever since the Bushistas decided that the CIA, FBI and NSA could engage in warrant-less spying on US citizens on any pretextual allegation, that meant that noe of us have any privacy anymore. All we are doing is applying that same standard to GOP elected officials who promote one agenda publicly, while they follow another one privately.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. The level of privacy should be lower for politicians than for citizens
The courts have consistently held that those who live within the spotlight of public view have fewer rights to privacy than a private person. Politicians, by their very job description, live quite fully within the spotlight of public view. Further, they are the de jure guardians of public morals, ethics and standards; as such, they must be held to a higher standard of behavior which requires public oversight and review.
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Tuesday_Morning Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. And it would
take away some blackmail-ability, wouldn't it?

I'm beginning to think that it would be much better in the long run.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. a little lack of privacy might do wonders for the likes of
dobson
falwell
robertson
frist
sanitorum
cheney
and many others.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. a little lack of privacy might do wonders for the likes of
dobson
falwell
robertson
frist
sanitorum
cheney
and many others.
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C_U_L8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. Open the closets in Pittsburgh
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. I think Foley is the tip of the iceberg on something dark........
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 02:43 PM by Dover
It's not about being gay. DU's own late, great Andy Stephenson (himself openly gay) started this thread about Gannon and connections to underaged boys, etc.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

There is MUCH more to all this than a politician's sexual orientation and indiscretions.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. I've always been against outing
because I'm all too aware of the kind of world we live in. People who are outed generally haven't come to terms with it themselves (or they'd be out) or have impossible work and/or family situations.

However, that no longer applies to Congress, I'm afraid. Most of those old boys in that particular closet have been strining along the religious fascists for decades, climbing over them to get to the top.

It's high time to strip the blinders off the people they've used for so long.

I've always considered other people's sexuality their problem, not mine, and been uncurious. However, the GOP power structure has been doing damage to me and my country for long enough. If outing the sanctimonious will help us to rid ourselves of the worst of them, I'm all for it.

I will hope we can go back to leaving other people minding their own business once they stop minding ours.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. Personally, I think it's wrong to out people in a society that's...
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 03:16 PM by marmar
still generally intolerant when it comes to issues of sexual orientation, but when gay politicians who support these virulently anti-gay policies (like the gay chat mayor in Spokane - I can't recall his name) get outed, then I think they deserve it. Why should gays and lesbians who are out and fighting for justice have to put up with self-hating assholes who are contributing the Reich wing's "Final Solution"?
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Tuesday_Morning Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I'm wondering about
closeted gay politicians who, in order not to get outed, vote gay friendly on gay issues but possibly get "blackmailed" into voting in lockstep w/ the Repubs on everything else.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Good point...and it seems like that's what's at work here...
KKKarl has a little "pink book" on all the gay Repugs, and knows that the party's base will crucify them if they're "found out." So he holds it over their heads. Oh well, you lay down with dogs and you wake up with fleas.
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