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List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rounds

Let me begin by saying that I disapprove of outing people based on their sexual orientation. Once it's reported, there's no point in ignoring it, but I'm not going to be the one to do it.

David Corn today (who also disapproves of the practice) writes that a list of Gay Republican aides is making the rounds. He has the list but is not publishing it.

On CBS News on Tuesday, correspondent Gloria Borger reported that there's anger among House Republicans at what an unidentified House GOPer called a "network of gay staffers and gay members who protect each other and did the Speaker a disservice." The implication is that these gay Republicans somehow helped page-pursuing Mark Foley before his ugly (and possibly illegal) conduct was exposed. The List--drawn up by gay politicos--is a partial accounting of who on Capitol Hill might be in that network.

I have a copy. I'm not going to publish it. For one, I don't know for a fact that the men on the list are gay. And generally I don't fancy outing people--though I have not objected when others have outed gay Republicans, who, after all, work for a party that tries to limit the rights of gays and lesbians and that welcomes the support of those who demonize same-sexers.

I suspect it will only be a matter of minutes or hours before someone who believes Republican hypocrisy outweighs individual privacy hits the "post" button and publishes it. Corn writes:

What's interesting about The List--which includes nine chiefs of staffs, two press secretaries, and two directors of communications--is that (if it's acucurate) it shows that some of the religious right's favorite representatives and senators have gay staffers helping them advance their political careers and agendas. These include Representative Katherine Harris and Henry Hyde and Senators Bill Frist, George Allen, Mitch McConnell and Rick Santorum. Should we salute these legislators for being open-minded enough to have such tolerant hiring practices? After all, Santorum in a 2003 AP interview compared homosexuality to bestiality, incest and polygamy. It would be rather big of Santorum to employ a fellow who engages in activity akin to such horrors. That is, if Santorum knows about his orientation.

Corn argues, and I agree completely, the Foley scandal is not about homosexuality. To me, it's about abuse of power. Elected officials in Congress who do things because they can, out of a false sense of entitlement. This Republican Administration has been rife with them, from Randy "Duke" Cunningham, to those involved in outing Valerie Plame, to Ohio's Bob Ney and more.

Corn writes:

...anytime a gay Republican is outed by events, a dicey issue is raised: what about those GOPers who are gay and who serve a party that is anti-gay? ....Is it possible to support a party because you adhere to most of its tenets--even if that party refuses to recognize you as a full citizen?

I think the answer to this question is a qualified "yes." If there's a candidate who supports 75% of my views on criminal justice, I'd probably work for them, unless the area of 25% included an issue of such importance to me, I would wake up each day feeling uncomfortable going to work.

I suspect (but will admit I do not know for sure) there are many gay people to whom their sexual orientation is but another facet of their life, not the defining one.

So I'm not ready to dump on Republican gay aides just because of their party identity. It's a personal matter for each of them and barring some grievous personal act of hypocrisy, I'm willing to respect their decision of whom to work for.

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  • My anxiety would be that the Republicans are trying to spin this so that it reinforces negative stereotypes about gay people: we pursue youths, etc. (Foley's own story about his molestation might imply that he was "made gay" by predatory practices of a gay priest) or that we form a cabal with an agenda and protect the interests of our own (thus the list of gay republicans on the hill wouldn't be exactly retaliation so much as a way of deflecting the concern from republican corruption and towards deceitful, self-interested queers). If such spin were succesfful, while not rescuing them from this specific crisis, it would more generally contribute to THEIR agenda, which works in part by demonizing gay people.

    JM, being Republican is a grievous act of hypocrisy. Being gay while Republican is just a little frosting on the cake. Jake

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#3)
    by Rich on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 12:58:12 PM EST
    "I'm not going to name names, but I will tell you who they work for." Gee, that's really keeping it secret. Another couple posts like that, and any privacy concerns are illusory at best.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 12:58:12 PM EST
    What does this have to do with anything? Equating homosexuality with inappropriate sexual contact with minors is totally uncool and has no basis in reality.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#8)
    by Sailor on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 01:29:20 PM EST
    My anxiety would be that the Republicans are trying to spin this so that it reinforces negative stereotypes about gay people
    too late! sample
    Wall Street Journal, editorial: But in today's politically correct culture, it's easy to understand how senior Republicans might well have decided they had no grounds to doubt Mr. Foley merely because he was gay and a little too friendly in emails.


    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 02:17:30 PM EST
    kdog - Good point. et al - So, if you agree with kdog's point, that being gay shouldn't be taken into consideration when evaluating their actions...then the question becomes very simple. What is the purpose for outing these people? The answer appears to be that those who disagree with their politics and that those who are doing it are doing so for political gain, hopeful that their sexual orientation will cause people to not support their employers. Folks, that's sad on many, many, many levels.

    Katherine Harris has staffers?

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 03:19:15 PM EST
    As to the Santorum guy, he was outed well over a year ago, and Santorum stuck by him throughout. Back then, Tricky Ricky even tried to make an argument logically analogous to Gingrich saying this weekend that "we didn't blow up Foley for messing with kids because we'd get it for gay-bashing". As to whether someone is gay or not, who knows and who cares? The point of the issue here is twofold. First, if they mess around with kids, they've crossed a pretty clear and defined line. Regardless of gay or straight. (Foley, from the e-mails, looks - to my eye - to have gone over that line. In my jurisdiction, he might already be under arrest for those e-mails.) Second and probably more important comes down to, as noted above, whether the person (and their employer) is trustworthy (by the populace) in the face of the inconsistencies (or outright contradictions) between the person's orientation, and the policies the person (and their employer) support. There comes a point when even the most dedicated, dyed-in-the-wool-Republican gay would have to question whether pushing the Republican progam, using and soliciting the support of the Religious Rightists (who'd just as soon burn the gay at the stake, as a warmup for Hell, I guess) (and legislating them some hypermoralistic crumbs, too) isn't too hypocritical to stomach. That point is different for each individual - this inheres in the nature of individuality. As a political matter, though, it's probably fair to say that by jumping into the pool of politics, these folks knew they'd be getting wet. If a particular congressman's staff member embraces something anathema to that congressman's supporters, that congressman's opponents are probably well within the bounds of pointing out that inconsistency to the congressman's supporters. Working down or demoralizing the other guy's base is every bit the part of politics as is building one's own. Sadly, the core disconnect in this whole discussion stems from the idea that embarrassment is available to use, by outing them. It echoes the old reasons for revoking the security clearances of gays - "because they're more susceptible to blackmail and then giving up secrets" and "they lie to us about their orientation, what else are they lying about". Removing the potential for embarrassment (i.e., eliminate the social opprobrium) removes the potential for blackmail and ends the necessity to lie. That Republicans have worked - themselves and with their allies - to the opposite end, increasing the opprobrium, is to their discredit. It also gives their opponents a club to hit them over the head with, for which their opponents will likely thank them.

    Heck. I would have trouble working for someone not a StL Cardinals fan. How could a gay person work for Santorum. It strains one's credulity.

    Equating homosexuality with pedophilia is just Christian Conservative/Far Far Right spin. They say that [and worse] all the time when talking to their base. Problem is, this time around, it's not going to work. Th Republican base may be in the Far Far Right, but they're not stupid. There is no way to spin this. You knew about it two years ago and did nothing.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#11)
    by Gabriel Malor on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 03:19:15 PM EST
    I think this is right on:
    1. Going after sexual predators is not gay bashing.
    2. Equating homosexuality with sex abuse is.
    Jeralyn, you've hit it right on when you posit the possibility of gays for whom their sexuality isn't their sole or even their most important characteristic.

    Push is coming to shove. Who created that list? It can cut both ways. If the Republicans purge their staff of the gay, it can strengthen their positions with the base, and weaken it with the middle. If they keep the gay in their staffs, then it gains points with the middle, and weakens the base. It's politics either way.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#13)
    by ScottW on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 03:19:15 PM EST
    I totally agree with Rich. TL, it wouldn't take a genius to figure out who the gay people are by mentioning their employers. I also disagree with your point about being outed. I think it sad, but they are the Uncle Tom's of the homosexual community. Can you imagine Condi supporting a senator that wanted to make black marriages illegal. Insanity, they are selling their soul for a piece of the pie most of them will never have. Would it matter if she agreed with 99% of his other policies ? And I think the gay community has a right to know who these people are. If every gay person in politics and religion, in or our of the closet would quit supporting anti-gay legislation, there would be no anti-gay legislation. I would imagine in politics and religion, some of the most rabid anti-gay voices we hear are gay. It is not a personal choice when you are representing a large segment our our population. These are morally challenged people, but I guess it's what we have come to expect from the GOP, straight or gay. I am against outing unless you are in a position to make policy that directly goes against your sexual or any other orientation.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#14)
    by killer on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 04:24:36 PM EST
    One conclusion of why this list is being distributed is that it is political opponents. There may be other reasonable conclusions. For instance: A gay cabal of republican staffers worked to keep Foley in office and kept their employers out of the loop. I have no evidence for this, or as much evidence as any other supposition.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 04:34:11 PM EST
    killer writes:
    For instance: A gay cabal of republican staffers worked to keep Foley in office and kept their employers out of the loop. I have no evidence for this, or as much evidence as any other supposition.
    Since you have no evidence, why make the claim? That's an old, old, old nasty trick in politics, killer.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#16)
    by Tom Maguire on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 07:14:47 PM EST
    1. This is sexual McCarthyism - I am disappointed and surprised that the strong denunciation is "I disapprove". 2. Corn's "argument" is absurd - if it is *not* about homosexuality and *is* about abuse of power, why not out aides and staffers who facilitate the abuse of power? 3. Corn manages to get comfortable with outing gay Republicans. He does not state his position, but - would he really approve of closeted gay advocacy? Seems sort of deceitful to me, pretending to have been swayed by force of argument when in fact the advocate is touting his own self-interest. So presumably, Corn and the left is comfortable with outing closeted Dems as well? Of course not. So that means the Dems are the part of outing gay Republicans - for everyone else, they will stand up for privacy rights. Well, until political expedience intervenes again. FWIW, Mark Kleiman denounced this two years ago, with support from Ted Barlow. This issue is quite easy to see clearly, unless a desire for power complicates the view.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 07:14:47 PM EST
    Did you mean these guys, killer?

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#18)
    by Gabriel Malor on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 07:14:47 PM EST
    I am against outing unless you are in a position to make policy that directly goes against your sexual or any other orientation.
    Is this what you really mean? You think anyone who is in a position to make policy against interests should be outed? That's repulsive. Legislators are called upon to act against their own personal interests all the time. The idea is that they will represent their constitutents' interests before their own. And singling out gay Republicans for especial opprobrium is bigoted. Why treat them any different than anyone else? Your answer is "because they're gay." For reasons that have not been made clear, gay Republicans apparently have a lesser interest in privacy. You've separated them out into their own class and decided that they will get worse treatment based only on their sexual orientation. And on those same lines, I am extremely disappointed to see insults like "Uncle Toms" thrown around here and directed at blacks or analogized to gays.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#19)
    by dutchfox on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 07:14:47 PM EST
    kdog wrote
    Equating homosexuality with inappropriate sexual contact with minors is totally uncool and has no basis in reality.
    And I agree totally. But if you'd heard Paul Weyrich (Free Congress Foundation)today on NPR's All Things Considered this afternoon, you would have heard otherwise. I can see where all this is going.

    I cannot believe that people refuse to out those who actively work to deny us rights. Unbelievable. This are not just random people minding their own business--these are people who write the anti-gay legislation, who craft the anti-gay campaign speeches, who are responsible for the words in hateful Congresspeople's mouths. Unbelievable. Why does anyone protect them like this? Anyone who denies other people rights they deserve should not be protected. How dare anyone guard their closet door while they continue to hurt me and mine?

    And it doesn't matter whether they see their sexual orientation as important or not--their work directly impacts millions of us negatively. They perpetuate the hate, and the notion that it's somehow shameful or needs to be hidden---disgusting.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#22)
    by Gabriel Malor on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 07:14:47 PM EST
    I've been thinking about this "outing" thing some more and I'm even more disturbed by it than I was earlier. The act of outing a gay man is a punishment. It's an infliction of pain and grief on a person with a special vulnerability. And in addition to being an attack on an individual it serves as a deterrent for other gays--effectively silencing them unless they bow to those willing to out them. It is disgusting that people consider such attacks a legitimate method of shutting down dissenters.

    This is kind of familiar. I once worked with a guy who was, I thought, overly friendly. I am not, by nature, demonstrative, and I like my personal space, so I figured he was just a bit less restricted. He turned out to be gay. Far as I know, he never hit on anybody at work. But he was attracted and so he moved closer than most guys would. I suppose if it were a straight male and young women, it might look the same if he weren't making an effort to be correct. He may have done some creepy conversing with somebody, but I don't know. Connection to this is, we were all of age, by decades in some cases, and nothing ever happened. In the Foley case, as somebody said, there was no pedophilia (pederasty, rather) and no sex. As far as we know. Based on my work experience, I can see him being inappropriately friendly but nothing more. So far, what do we have? Scummy IMs to a young man who may or may not--depending on the jurisdiction and date of the IM--have been a minor. As a legislator, he doesn't deserve to be a legislator. But I don't see the crime here, speaking literally. Unless there's some law about internetting conversations that wouldn't be illegal if done by phone or in person.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimcee on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 07:28:25 PM EST
    Kdog, I concur. JimakaPPJ, It is very, very sad in a pathetic kind of way. GabrielMalor, You are correct. ScottW, With the politics that you spew; vindictive, crude with your Uncle Tom referece, crass with your willingness to invade someone's private life for your own personal agenda and most of all you are your own worst enemy. Bitter zealots such as you make very poor spokesman for your cause. Coming out is a rather personal decision and for some idiot like you to demand to know everyone's sexuality is about the lowest one can go. Your post made me want to go shower after I read it. Et al, Foley is a sleeze but hey he's a politician so why should that be a surprise. Soliciting underlings for sex in most places could be construed as sexual harassment. That the Republican leadership let this slide does show what a bunch of bunglers they are. The WSJ take is understandable because if he was asked to leave and it became known why, it would have been flogged by the Dems as an anti-gay pogrom by the Repubs. The Republican leadership knew a while ago and didn't say anything. The Miami Herald knew, the LA Times knew, the WAPO knew and presumably the Democratic leadership knew but none of them said anything until just before this election cycle. Why do you suppose that is? If everyone was worried about the 'children' why did they wait so long to make it known? Either way, Foley is a pederast and this whole episode is nothing more than ham-fisted poitical chicanery on all sides. I think that this type of thing is going to jump across the aisle and the Dems might find that thier protestations blow up in thier faces. Of course the Democratic party will forgive just about anything; Grand Kleagles, bad drivers/good swimmers and gay page diddling in the '80's but there is one thing they will never forgive and that is those who are supposed to be a Dem constituency but instead identify with the Repubs. Whoa be to those poor souls. Just ask ScottW.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#25)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 10:38:11 PM EST
    Gabriel, Don't you find it sad also that we even live in a society where anyone has to hide their sexual orientation?

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#26)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 10:39:20 PM EST
    Well maybe I don't want to know everyone's orientation.

    Any confidentiality which people might expect from those who know their secrets is lost when criminal conduct is involved. As a prosecutor you know that of course, but perhaps you think of Washington politics today as business as usual? This august body and the senate, defaced themselves and voted for torture. That was a war crime. Those involved in the commission of the crime are not protected in their confidences against being disclosed properly to an investigating public. There is a good chance of blackmail being involved, or at least the kind of pressure that you don't say no to, when the administration wanted this bill. It does not matter whether the consciences of the individuals were such that they voted for torture out of their own heartfelt desire, or felt compelled to do so by the risk of disclosure. Out them, a crime has been committed. Torture is the crime, not hypocrisy, and certainly not homosexuality. But if the crime has been committed by virtue of embarrassing secrets, those secrets must be released.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#28)
    by Gabriel Malor on Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 12:13:21 AM EST
    Che, I think it's a shame that folks have to hide their sexual orientation. One of these days we'll get past that type of thing. But I'm certainly not going to jump to the opposite extreme and say that everyone should be required to disclose their orientation. Let people alone. You want to be out, be out. You don't, that's fine too.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 06:17:53 AM EST
    And I think the gay community has a right to know who these people are
    Nonsense...no "community" has rights that trump individual rights. I believe an individual has a right to privacy, and the right to keep their sexual proclivities private. The decision to come out of the closet, or to make public any aspect of your sex life straight or gay, should always be a personal one. Anyone who blabs about the private sexual affairs of others is a dirtbag in my opinion. I'm 100% for gay rights. And equal rights for gays can be won on the merits of liberty and equality. I also feel outing republicans against their will lends creedence to the arguments that there is something wrong with being gay and is counter-productive to the cause of equal rights for gays.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 06:17:53 AM EST
    Anyone who denies other people rights they deserve should not be protected
    I don't think refusing to out people is protecting them. It is respecting their right to privacy. I want a right to privacy...so I must respect that right for others, no matter how dispicable their politics. I say again, we can beat them on the merits.
    Let people alone. You want to be out, be out. You don't, that's fine too.
    Right on Gabriel.

    If political staffers' private lives truly remain private, it's not legitimate to publicize them to prove a point --- especially when people can't seem to agree what point it is they're trying to prove. TL is right --- there's nothing about identity politics that makes it categorically different to work for a politician whose views and policies on those issues don't jive with yours. Even many strong supporters of gay marriage don't think that opposing it means denying that gay people are "full citizen[s]." To those of you who think outing gay Republican staffers is acceptable, I ask you this: would it be similarly cool to publish a list of women who have had abortions but now work for anti-abortion legislators?

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#32)
    by ScottW on Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 07:47:28 AM EST
    G Malor/jimcee, I re-read my comment and took into consideration both of yours. I am not gay, and I imagine my comments are reflecting this. I have also thought about the whole outing thing and both of you are correct. I just can not imagine why anyone would work for someone who openly hates their sexuality. It really ticks me off that so many gay people struggle with the haters, and at the same time those haters have gay people working for them. If I were gay, I would want to know, but I am not and I should not have chimed in with the vengeance that I did. So no outing. For the record, I am sticking with the Uncle Tom analogy. Because I am a very sexual being, I think sexuality is an extremely important part of ones makeup. more important then race. I have been ashamed of my sexuality, I am not gay, but I am involved in certain aspects of sexuality that are considered abnormal, but involving consenting adults. No, I am not a swinger. But I forget that some people just aren't very sexual and that their sexuality isn't as important to them as mine is to me. Either way, anyone that works for someone who openly hates some portion of their being, is an Uncle Tom, so I am sticking to it. Anyways, this is going no-where, so I do apologize for my comments. jimcee, you can kiss my a** for the stupid shower comment. If you click on my name, you can check out my rather non-serious political humor page.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#33)
    by Gabriel Malor on Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 09:25:47 AM EST
    ScottW, I'm sorry you feel that this has gone nowhere and I hope you'll at least consider that our struggles, presented here for others to read, may help those who are unsure about these issues. TL reaches quite a bit more readers than just us commenters and if at least some portion of them make their way into the comments, they will see that the topics that get discussed around here are not easy ones. I have several motivations for commenting on a site that has mostly different politics than me. One of them is the hope that commenters and readers will realize that there are good-faith proponents on more than one side of these issues. Maybe some folks will realize that even someone like me who ::gasp:: often votes Republican isn't all evil! So, thank you for bringing your position and sharing it. I still think "Uncle Tom" is a slur which should never be used, but I don't think there's any reason you should have to apologize for a comment you wrote in good faith.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#34)
    by ScottW on Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 01:38:17 PM EST
    Gabriel, When I said this was going nowhere I was talking about my rambling, not the discussion. I know Uncle Tom is a slur, it's why I used it. What are my other options, sell-out or traitor ?? They don't fit. I can understand a lot of people voting against their own self interests because they are being deceived, that is what politicians do. But this is pretty much black and white, either you think gay people are citizens who deserve the same rights as the rest of us or you don't. I am assuming you are gay, please explain to me why you support a party that believes you are a second class citizen ? They believe if deep enough to amend the constitution, if failed, but it's what they want. They don't want you raising kids, publicly committing to the person you love, and bunch of other non-sense that I, as a straight person, enjoy every day of my life. Sexuality aside, it's discrimination. Mark my words, the Foley spin will eventually end up at gays being predatory, if it hasn't already. You are supporting your oppressors and I would like an explanation if you feel up to it.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#35)
    by Gabriel Malor on Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 08:42:31 PM EST
    ScottW, I'd be happy to talk about it--and yes, you infer correctly, I'm gay. (Incidentally, that might be the first time I've ever actually written those two words down as a simple declarative. I mean, it's generally possible to deduce that I'm gay from the things I've written, but I don't recall ever using a simple, declaratory "I'm gay" before. TL should note the Talk Left First!) There are two ways to go about explaining. First, I will assume that you're right and that Republicans believe that I am "a second class citizen." I will show that it is not a contradiction, or even the much ballyhooed hypocrisy, to support the Republicans anyways. Second, I will attempt to show that Republicans--or at least not all Republicans--believe I am a second class citizen. So, let's start from the following assumption: Republicans are anti-gay. Period. That's it, no nuance about it at all--they just don't like gays and demand that all of us act like "normal folk." What then am I to do if I agree with the rest of their ideas? (This is another assumption for the sake of argument, by the way.) Let's say I'm for free markets, personal responsibility, corporate business, small business, hey BUSINESS!, welfare reform (the evil Republican way, I mean), gun ownership, and education reform (again, the evil Republican type of reform which makes puppies cry). [Go ahead and finish off this list with the sticky social issues I couldn't bring myself to write. You get the idea: Republican in all but the one issue of gay rights.] What am I to do come election day? Sit out? Vote for the party with the platform I disagree with 99%? Why are those my only two options? Can I not support the party with whom I do have philosophies in common? Now, we all understand that it's a rare person indeed who agrees with 99% of his party's policies. However, I would argue that so long as the person was in 51% agreement with one party over the others, that's the party he should vote for. Speaking now for myself (IOW, throw out all those dumb assumptions we made above), sexuality is only one part of my identity. TL wrote:
    I suspect (but will admit I do not know for sure) there are many gay people to whom their sexual orientation is but another facet of their life, not the defining one.
    Well, that describes me very well. My orientation (what a crappy word, though) is just another thing about me. And, I'll be honest, it's not even that important to me. I've got other things on my mind. As a student only a few years away from the job market, I'm very concerned about the state of the economy. As a family member of the victim of a terrorist attack, I'm very concerned about terrorism and international relations. As someone who will soon officially join the legal profession, I'm very concerned about the composition of our courts. And, yes, as a gay man (there's that declarative again...Damn, that gives me a jolt every time) I have concern for the state of gay rights both here and abroad. And this leads me right into my second point. Is it correct to characterize Republicans as anti-gay? Without a doubt there are some Republicans who fit that description. We'll call them the Jerry Falwells of the Republican Party. I don't think I could vote for or work for one of them. For that matter, I'm pretty sure just sitting down for a meal with one of them would be too uncomfortable for at least one of us (This reminds me of the time I went on a date with an anti-Semite. He didn't show his true colors 'til we were at the restaurant, but from that point on I simply lost my appetite as he just carried on, unconscious of his blunder--I'm not Jewish, but there are some things I simply will not stomach). But what about fiscal conservatives? I have no real beef with any of their policies. If I had to choose between a progressive candidate and a fiscal conservative, I'd definitely vote for the conservative. And I bet I could have a pretty entertaining meal with one too (we'd talk about market regulation and tariffs, I'd mention steel tariffs and he'd mention NAFTA, all without irony). And paleocons? Well, I'm decidedly NOT a proponent of any isolationist "Fortress America" crap (thank you, Pat Buchanan) or a fan of so-called realist pragmatism (ahem, Kissinger). So I suppose it'd be more difficult for me to go along with one of these, or vote for one, but--being from the South, myself--I'm sure I could have a lively discussion of local identity and American Pride (Okay, so I was raised in Texas for just under half my life--there must be something in the water there that makes us always bring it up). Neocons? Well, I'm pretty much there. So, no problems voting for or working for one of these guys. Free trade? Check. Communism = bad? Check. Pro-Taiwan? Check. War on Terror? Check. So, to sum up my second point, I disagree with the claim that the Republicans are anti-gay. Some Republicans are. But not all, and I suspect not all that many. Moreover, I think the Jerry Falwells are a dying breed (and I think they know it, too). Finally, about hypocrisy (how could I almost forget), "hypocrisy" is defined as "the act of pretending or claiming to have beliefs, feelings, morals or virtues that one does not truly possess or practice." Even assuming I'm a closeted Republican (I'm not, by the way) I've never pretended to have anti-gay beliefs. Nor have I ever unconditionally supported anyone who did (Yes, there's wiggle room in there, but this is politics, what'd you expect. Everyone should be free to pick the lesser of two devils). As far as closeted gay staff members of Republican politicians go, I expect that most can say the same thing. I hope that helps. This got super-long. I sure hope the comments bugs don't eat it!

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#36)
    by Gabriel Malor on Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 08:42:31 PM EST
    And...having read over what I submitted I've discovered that I omitted some very important words from the final sentence in the second paragraph. It should read: "Second, I will attempt to show that Republicans--or at least some Republicans--do not believe I am a second class citizen." No Freudian slip comments!!!

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#38)
    by ScottW on Fri Oct 06, 2006 at 09:59:48 AM EST
    Thank you Gabriel, that did answer the question(s) I was very curious about. And for the record, I wasn't asking you about your personal matters, but they seemed pretty evident in your writings. So instead of acting superior, for which I apologize, I should just say I understand you position, but I don't get it. No judgment. I think it's because that part of me is extremely important and it's not for you. That is why it is hard for me to comprehend. But I suppose that is why we choose different parties. I believe in gun ownership, but it wouldn't sway my vote for the class clown. It has zero impact on how I vote. I totally get what you are saying, I didn't yesterday. I strongly disagree with your assumption that the Farwell's of this country are fading. Their numbers are up and their influence can be felt in almost all aspects of government. And although you don't subscribe to their brand of rhetoric, it is embedded in your party. Not through and through, but deep enough to get several pretty Biblical (looking for a better word) pieces of legislation up front and center. This is none of my business, but I would still like to comment. I have never had to deal the stigma of being gay, but I feel like I can relate. I like you was at a point were I was coming into a sexual part of my being and at the time it I felt very... never ashamed, but different. Different enough that I never spoke about it and just kept it to myself. Then I met a woman who was very cavalier about it and she showed me that it's silly to live your life hiding from who you are. She was right. I don't tell my co-workers that I am into S&M, but it's not something I shy away from anymore. Believe me when I say if you think the Farwell's hate gays, they go bananas when they find out about S&M Balls. Piercings, whippings, slaves, latex, and all related activities drive them insano.

    It appears that the label "hater" or its analogues can be flung about without needing to be analyzed, or, even, true. To accuse is to tell the truth, since, if it weren't the truth, the accusation wouldn't be made. See? Simple. "Hate" and similar words has been spiffed up to replace "racist" and its variants as a tool of manipulation. Don't give me what I want and you're a racist. Oops. That wore out. You're a hater. Unfortunately for those who are trying this gig, "hate" is dying like a mayfly. It doesn't work any longer, either. Everybody knows it's a scam and when everybody knows it, nobody who is accused of it feels any need to react. What's next?

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#39)
    by Sailor on Fri Oct 06, 2006 at 10:23:19 AM EST
    And this leads me right into my second point. Is it correct to characterize Republicans as anti-gay?
    You're kidding right? It's in their platform! 2000 2004 Here's what gay repubs think of their party.

    GM, I think your 5:19pm post should be archived by TL. You're still a student yet show a maturity and wisdom far beyond your years.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#41)
    by Gabriel Malor on Fri Oct 06, 2006 at 07:40:34 PM EST
    ScottW, I think your characterization of some legislation as "pretty Biblical" is both accurate and elegant. Sailor, I'd never been to the "On the Issues" website before, but now I think I'm in love. So, thanks. As far as anti-gay platforms go, I can only re-iterate once again that I am not a single-issue voter. Yeah, it's a shame that Republicans have that stuff in their platform, but it's a shame I can live with. And thanks for the positive response, sarcastic. Don't get too carried away, though. I'm a grad and law student. We're supposed to know how to write.

    Re: List of Gay Republican Aides is Making the Rou (none / 0) (#42)
    by GMoney on Fri Oct 06, 2006 at 07:40:34 PM EST
    To me, this shows the blatant misunderstanding the political elites have towards the so called religious right and Republican base. It seems they are trying to out these champions of the right as being tolerant of homosexuals with the hopes of suppressing voter turnout. This strategy is based on the assumption that the right's hatred of homosexuals can drive them away from the polls, which is a very dangerous way to try and win an election... not only are these potentially gay people's private lives in danger, but the fact that one party is not trying to win the Christian right over with ideas, but simply discourage them from voting for the other shows the fundamental lack of understanding Dems have towards religious conservatives. Let the damn thing go. Foley is out. What now appears to be some kind of prank that got out of hand has completely ruined at least one man's life... there will be no book deals, no Oprah appearances, and no re-election. He will not be defended by Republicans, and will be ostracized by the gay community. The man should be pitied. Most of the conservative base is driven by fear these days; not from gays, but the fear of death. Only the country club Republicans are happy with the way this country being run. Those of us down here in Jesusland are extremely dejected with how the GOP has governed. But what is our alternative? When we see a party whose ideas are basically regurgitated by a socialist dictator... when we see a party's mom of absolute moral authority with him arm and arm...when we see that dictator endorse a book from one of your intellectual heroes... when that dictator is welcomed and cheered in places that will not welcome our own president... when one of your journalistic icons travels to a country on the verge of going nuclear that shouts "death to America" (not "death to Bush", and not "death to republicans") and has a heartwarming one on one; we are driven to the polls to choose the only other option on the ballot. We don't vote for Republicans anymore, we vote against you.