Sunday, October 29, 2006

In Defense of Outing

Much has been made in recent days about the outing of homosexual politicians and staffers. In fact, the Times even had a front page piece on the issue. The current controversy was fueled by a combination of the Foley scandal and allegations that Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) and Charlie Crist (Republican candidate for governor, FL) are closeted gays.

As is to be expected, the GOP and its defenders have been in an uproar over what they claim to be witch hunts and violations of privacy. But what Republicans, and many in the media, fail to grasp is that it is not the individual's sexuality that is being outed, but their hypocrisy.

For the past three decades the Republican Party has engaged in both overt and covert homophobia in order to gin up support from it's Religious Right base. And these politicians and staffers have been complicit in their Party's gay-bashing. Not only have they stood silently by as other homosexuals were maligned and stripped of equal rights, but many of these individuals sponsored and/or voted in favor of disenfranchising other gays and lesbians. Their actions are the very definition of hypocrisy.

It is this hypocrisy that is being "outed." The activists who have been instrumental in outing these people are not homophobes and they are not out to destroy anyone's family, no matter how much the GOP tries to claim otherwise. The crux of the issue is this- if a politician/staffer cannot be honest about who they are, how can voters trust them about anything?

Wasn't it the GOP and their self proclaimed values czars who lectured the country about the dangers of President Clinton's indiscretions? They constantly reminded us that it was not about the sex, but about the lying. And they went on a little witch hunt, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars in the process, to find out if the President lied about oral sex. They told us he could not be trusted to run the country if he lied about oral sex with Monica Lewinsky.

And where are these self proclaimed moralists now? They're the ones who are telling us that it is perfectly acceptable to be a closeted homosexual, who tolerates his Party's homophobia and supports its anti-gay agenda. In other words, it's okay to lie about who you are and to take part in a war against others like you. And, in doing so, they have exposed their entire Party's hypocrisy by showing that homosexuals are allowed in the GOP so long as they are neither seen nor heard. Because if the homosexuals come out of the GOP closet, the "values voters" will not show up on election day. And that, above all else, is what really matters to the Republican Party.


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