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.
...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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