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Washington Blade editorial: 'outing' can change votes

Surf over to the Washington Blade for Executive Editor Chris Crain’s editorial on the “outing” of gay hypocrites on the Hill.

The piece starts out with confirmation that Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham (he resigned last week after pleading guilty to bribery, mail fraud, tax evasion and wire fraud) is yet another self-loathing homo with a terrible voting record on gay issues.

What you won’t read about in these mainstream press accounts is the other double life led by the closet case, Duke, the anti-gay conservative.

Cunningham, who is married with grown children, has admitted to romantic, loving relationships with men, both during his Vietnam military service and as a civilian. That was the remarkable story that this publication reported two years ago, when Elizabeth Birch, the former Human Rights Campaign leader, inadvertently outed Cunningham at a gay rights forum.

Crain then goes on to compare some of the folks on the Hill that you’ve read about on the Blend before. Some have been outed with fanfare (like former Rep. Ed Schrock, below), others, like David Dreier, have been outed repeatedly, but it has been largely ignored by mainstream media.


The Schrock tapes were released by BlogActive.

What is interesting is that Crain acknowledges that the outings have been able to change voting patterns of some of these folks, which validates the work of Mike Rogers over at BlogActive.

THE SAD STORY of Cunningham’s double lives was destined to come to an ugly end, just as it did for Ed Schrock, another anti-gay Congressman who was outed, if not so inadvertently. Caught last year leaving explicit voice messages on a gay phone hookup line, the married Virginia Republican abruptly announced he would not seek re-election.

Things went differently for two gay Republicans in Congress who showed the courage to come out, albeit under pressure. Jim Kolbe, who announced his retirement this week, and Steve Gunderson, who quit in 1996, both came out because they believed they were about to be outed involuntarily.

Neither had been particularly friendly to gay rights while still in the closet. Kolbe had scored a 43 and a 67 on HRC’s report card, while Gunderson managed a mediocre 57. Once they no longer were living their own double-life lies, their voting records followed suit. They both scored a perfect 100 in the term after they came out, and Kolbe went on to score perfect or near-perfect scores every term since.

The same could be said for Mark Foley, a Florida Republican who traveled openly within gay circles with his long-term partner until he went back into the closet for a U.S. Senate run in 2004.

Like the others, the closeted Foley scored a dismal 44 on HRC’s scorecard, but during his 1996 re-election bid he was outed by local activists in his South Florida district. Since then, he’s scored in the 80s or higher on HRC’s report card and played an active role on several important pieces of gay rights legislation.

…David Dreier, a member of the GOP House leadership, is also openly closeted, refusing to deny long-standing rumors that he is gay. The rumors only came to a head in the last year, and their only visible impact so far was to take Dreier out of the running for House majority leader after Tom DeLay was forced to resign. But Dreier’s voting record looks very much like that of his pre-outed colleagues, ranging between 0 and 25 in the last decade.

Remember, most of the people we’re talking about are not closeted in their social circles; their friends, staffers and colleagues know of the person’s orientation.

Most are just not politically out, choosing to lie by omission because it suits their day jobs sucking up to the likes of the Christian Coalition. We’re not only talking about elected officials. This closet is full of campaign managers, fundraisers and legislators in the corridors of power, ready to elect homophobic officials with homo-hating tactics, and pass anti-gay measure, even as they enjoy homosexual activities themselves under the cover of anonymity.

These folks are addicted to access and power, and know that publicly kicking the closet door open will jeopardize that power in the homo-hating wing of the GOP that currently rules the roost. Look no further than the pathetic Dreier.

However, there is a subset of these hypocrites that are truly self-loathing homosexuals — the Schrocks of the world — cruising for homo-sex in the shadows, hating themselves the next day and atoning for their “sin” by casting votes against taxpaying citizens that choose to live their lives honestly as openly gay people.

As I’ve said before, they all need to be exposed because some of them are clearly unfit to lead, particularly those that fall in the latter category; I think those folks will never see the light.

What’s common among the closeted Republican homo-hypocrites is that their padlocked closets are impeding their ability to think clearly. They are are living a lie, and often they are products of their environment — socially conservative families and neighborhoods — that make the personal aspect, let alone the political aspect of coming out too psychologically difficult to deal with. Look at Ed Schrock.

In my opinion, closeted gay legislators like Schrock that consistently work against the cause of gay civil rights have no business being in public office. They are simply unbalanced and not able to carry the weight of the closet, a weight I can guarantee you is more of a burden, as a human being, than coming out and dealing with the fallout. I don’t know anyone that has come out that would prefer to be back in the closet.

…Time after time, you’ve seen on this blog that it is the publicly pious legislators who are privately deviant fools unable to reconcile who they are with their ethics, morals or basic priniciples. These people need to just come the f*ck out and get it over with, get a shrink, heal themselves, and not cast a vote on the floor to restrict my rights because they are a mental case about their orientation.

Also:
See Mike Rogers’s (BlogActive) excellent response to the editorial.

Related: Back to the subject of outing

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding