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FDL Movie Night: Outrage, with Mike Rogers

Outrage is one of the most moving and anger provoking documentaries about American politics I have ever seen.  The documentary exposes closeted gay politicians who consistently vote in ways that harm the LGBT community. That form of hypocrisy needs to be exposed, in the same way that family value preaching evangelicals who pick up hookers need to be exposed. The American public revels in the revelations of hypocrisy, and for good reason. As Mike Rogers, our guest tonight said on the "The View":

The basis of this country is that the people who make the laws have to live under them…That’s called tyranny where the people who set the rules don’t have to follow them. That’s just unacceptable. The film shows the difference. It shows the exact cases of how people are being hypocrites.

In today’s political arena, the rules are being set by narrow-minded, short-sighted bigots who hide behind the Bible and the trope of “traditional values” as an excuse to enforce Draconian measures on those who dare to think and live differently.

Let’s look at Senator Larry Craig who was arrested and pled guilty for soliciting sex in a men’s bathroom at the Minneapolis airport Says Rogers, who readying an outing of Craig when the Senator displayed his wide stance:

In the case of Larry Craig, he voted consistently to discharge lesbian and gay members from the military. If he can do that as a veteran of the military, that’s not living under the laws you want to legislate.

Craig has a 7% record voting pro-LGBT issues. He consistently voted against civil rights legislation and HIV/AIDS funding, as well as gays in the military and same-sex marriage rights.

The taint of gayness, the whiff of lavender on even the most conservative and hard working conservative politician is enough to lose them a coveted position, like David Dreier who, despite being an upstanding conservative member of Congress with a 84% anti-gay voting record, was passed over to be House Majority Leader. Rank-and-file Republican representatives allegedly disapproved of the choice of Dreier in such a senior position largely because many conservative Republican House members believe that Dreier was too politically moderate.

But openly gay Democratic Congressman Barney Frank responded when asked if Dreier lost the position because of his moderate views:

Yes, in the sense that I marched in the moderate pride parade last summer and went to a moderate bar

So should closeted gay politicians who vote their party line against pro-LGBT legislation be outed? Of course, because as the many voices in Outrage say:

There is a right to privacy, but not hypocrisy….Before AIDS we were concerned with privacy, after AIDS that was collusion with genocide…

There are no federal laws protecting the rights of LGBT people because elected officials are afraid to stand up to the religious right. Well, as  Outrage points out, if every gay person was out of the closet, what would happen? The power of the secret is gone.

And outing, voluntarily or by the media, can have a liberating, transformative effect, as seen in the story of Dan Gurley, a former field director for the Republican National Committee who oversaw virulent, hostile homophobic anti-gay campaigns during the 2004 elections. Gurley was outed by Mike Rogers; he now works for Equality North Carolina, a statewide group dedicated to securing equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The Republican party needs to drop the religious cloak, the grotesque and cheap mockery they have made of Christianity which for them is a purely a marketing scheme to draw voters on hot button issues: LGBT rights, abortion and stem cells, issues that interfere with personal rights and in the case of stem cells, Big Pharma and an economic future for America.

The hatred fomented by the Right against LGBT people translates into legislation that harms individuals, covertly sanctions hate crimes and denies a section of the population civil rights. Closeted elected officials who vote against LGBT causes deserve to be outed as traitors to themselves and to their party, as hypocrites, as thieves who steal seats by hiding a side of themselves for expediency and their own future, not caring they throw a segment of the population–and a portion of their souls–under the bus.

Our sexuality should be the least remarkable part of ourselves. So what about who you bang as long as they are of age and consenting? Instead politicians should be concerned with legislating not a false sense of “traditional values,” but laws that support and uphold the words of the Constitution, rather than the pseudo-Judeo-Christian opaque icing conservatives have slathered over the words of our Founding Fathers.

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.