Have you visited Blogactive today?
There’s a lot of activity going on over there…
On one post Mike asks: Missing Person Alert! Where is Ken Mehlman? He’s been MIA since Foleygate broke. Hmmmmm.
I spent almost the entire half hour educating the entire Los Angeles region about David Dreier’s life as a closeted gay man. What a sea change from two years ago, when Los Angeles stations barred me from mentioning Dreier’s name.
The host of the show, Al Rantel is a gay conservative. We had a blast.
He does a great job explaining why anti-gay, publicly closeted homos need to be reported on. Mike pointed out, in Dreier’s case, he’s a gay man who voted against the repeal of DADT — that’s clearly an anti-gay position, and that makes it relevant to voters and gay citizens. He drew an analogy to abortion rights that the host didn’t challenge — before a woman passes a law affecting the rights every woman in the country, voters have a right to know whether she herself had an abortion.
Listen to the whole interview (mp3).
The day before that, Mike caused a ruckus — Ed Schrock, former Congressman (and current Congress staffer) receives new attention re: the Foley scandal from Mike Rogers. From a letter sent to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct:
The former Virginia congressman (with a 92% Christian Coalition rating), was caught on tape cruising for sex with men via the MegaMates/MegaPhone Line (earlier post here). When that bit of business blew up, he dropped out of his re-election bid and later became a staffer.
The comments are rollicking in that Blogactive thread over the other person named.
Mike’s even getting interviewed by the fundies. (CNSNews.com):
“It’s [because of] those kinds of things that it’s time to say ‘enough, it’s over,'” Rogers said. “Those who equate being gay with immorality will be surprised just how diverse the House Republican Caucus is when it comes to sexual orientation.
“The party is over for these guys who think they can be gay and beat up gay people, and there are a lot of them in the Republican Party,” Rogers added.
But the Log Cabin Republicans, the group that represents homosexual Republicans, indicate that they oppose the so-called practice of “outing.”
“I am unaware of a single forced outing that led to passage of one piece of pro-gay legislation,” Patrick Sammon, executive vice president of the Log Cabin Republicans, said in a statement. “Coming out on your own terms with courage is a positive catalyst for change.”
Yawn on the LCR party line (aka “protect the closets”).
As far as changing votes after being outed, the disgraced, disgusting Foley didn’t stop consistently voting anti-gay until the outing talk swirled. Same with Arizona’s Jim Kolbe. From a December 2005 column in the Washington Blade (my post here), on that matter.
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.
Note that Dreier has been outed at various times in local media and on blogs, but that revelation hasn’t gained traction in the MSM, and his voting record remains anti-gay.