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Old 09-01-2004, 08:34 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Congressman Ed Schrock (R-Va.) outed as gay, resigns

From politics1 (), posted 8/31/04 (I have not yet seen the news reported anywhere else):

Quote:
OUTED AS GAY, GOP CONGRESSMAN QUITS. A shocking series of revelations about conservative Congressman Ed Schrock (R-VA) forced him to retire late Monday. Gay activist Michael Rogers posted a story on his BlogActive site [http://www.blogactive.com/] outing Schrock as gay on August 19 -- and it slowly began to gather attention on the net. Schrock holds a 92% approval rating from the Christian Coalition and a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. What drew Rogers' ire was that Schrock voted for the Marriage Protection Act and also signed on as a co-sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment. Rogers detailed how Schrock -- whose district contains Pat Robertson's Regent University and nine military bases -- would use an interactive phone sex service to hook up with other men (BlogActive even posted a recording today of Schrock using the phone sex service). The whispering grew so intense that Schrock finally released a written statement that he was immediately withdrawing from his race for re-election. Without ever directly addressing the allegations, Schrock said they have "called into question my ability" to serve in Congress. "After much thought and prayer, I have come to the realization that these allegations will not allow my campaign to focus on the real issues facing our nation and region," he said. Schrock, a 63-year-old retired career Navy officer and Vietnam War veteran, was first elected to Congress in 2000. Rogers has no regrets for outing Schrock, noting that during the 2000 campaign Schrock said he wanted to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so that potential enlistees could be questioned about past homosexual experiences in order to bar them from serving. The Second District Republican Committee will hold a special meeting Tuesday night to select a replacement nominee. State Senator Ken Stolle and State Delegate Thelma Drake have both expressed an interest in the GOP nomination. Iraq War veteran and attorney David Ashe is the Democratic candidate. Rogers, meanwhile, says he will next focus on outing another Congressman and highly placed officials in the Bush Administration. "The time has come for these gay homophobes to step up or be outed. Schrock is the first -- more will follow," vowed Rogers.
Issues for debate:

1. Is it ethical to "out" a gay person without his/her consent?

2. How many "gay homophobes" can there really be in high goverment positions?
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2004, 08:36 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Sorry, here's the link to politics1: http://www.politics1.com
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2004, 08:51 PM
jshore jshore is offline
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My impression is that most gay activists believe that such "outing" should only be done in extreme circumstances such as this one where the person is using his or her political position to pursue viciously anti-gay policies.
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Old 09-01-2004, 09:08 PM
capacitor capacitor is offline
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This guy was worse than Roy Cohn. He should be outed.
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Old 09-01-2004, 09:25 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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I dunno. While I find the likes of Schrock repulsive for their hypocrisy, it's the rare politician who has to pay for being a hypocrite. Take the Chimp in Chief, for instance. While I don't condone Schrock's behavior, it's sad that the man feels he has to leave office just because he's gay. Maybe he had it coming, but so do a lot of these dirtbags, and while Schrock clearly was unethical himself, I doubt the skelitons in his closet are any more troubling than his average peer in the House.

It's just wrong all around, if you ask me. It's deplorable that this guy voted for hate legislation; but he's hardly alone in that offense. It's inexplicable that he is a gay man himself, and yet would show so little empathy to other gay Americans whose vote he descriminates against. However, I don't doubt the man is voting as his constituents would have him vote. And I don't think he has comitted any obvious crime (unlike Gov. McGreevey of NJ, another gay pol whose outing corresponds with his ouster). I actually can't think of a good reason for his constituents to reject him, unless they're just bigoted homophobes; after all, he appears to have done their bidding.

Terrible ironies, through and through. American politics reeks more every day.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:14 PM
UDS UDS is online now
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If this is true, I donít feel a lot of sympathy for Schrock, but there is nevertheless a difficult ethical issue here.

A key foundation for gay activism (or any other sexuality-related activism) must be the individualís right to autonomy and control in relation to his sexuality. I decide how to express my own sexuality, and if I choose to have sex with someone of the same gender as myself that is my business, and his business, but itís not your business. If I wish to make a public affirmation or expression of my sexuality (by participating in a gay pride event, for instance) thatís my right; if I wish not to do so, thatís also my right.

These rights are intrinsic; I have them simply because I am a human, because my sexuality is a dimension of myself, and I have a right to dignity and autonomy. I donít have them because you like me, or because you agree with me, or because I have earned them by approved behaviour in other areas of life.

So, Schrock has a right to be homosexual, and to engage in homosexual behaviour, and to keep that to himself or to himself and a small circle, and to present himself as heterosexual, and to deny that he is homosexual. We all have that right. This particular combination of behaviours may not be admirable, but we all have the right to engage in it.

Does Schrock lose these rights because he has opposed gay marriage? I donít think he does. Even if we assume that his stance on gay marriage is hypocritical and opportunistic, his right to sexual autonomy does not depend on his honesty, integrity or other qualities. It is an intrinsic right, and even people we donít like have intrinsic rights.

So I say no, outing him was wrong. Satisfying, perhaps, but wrong.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:33 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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What about Rogers' threat to "focus on outing another Congressman and highly placed officials in the Bush Administration"? I mean, can this be for real?
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:34 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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I have to say, I agree. I have some sympathy for the silence=death ethos as a recommendation, but if one wishes to maintain their silence, they should be entitled to it. No one owes anyone else an explanation of their own sexuality, so long as they go about things in a legal and consensual manner. Unless I am mistaken, that demand for equal dignity is a major issue in the gay political platform, and the ironies just thicken when any man or woman has their sexuality used against them as a weapon, be that person deserving of scorn or not.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:36 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Bumped by the glutton...

Seems it quite possibly is for real, as Rogers' has already demonstrated his knowledge, as well as his willingness to use it.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:40 PM
supervenusfreak supervenusfreak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capacitor
This guy was worse than Roy Cohn. He should be outed.
I so agree. Just because he could not deal with his sexuality, he doesn't have the right to legislate against those of us who are out and strong.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:47 PM
Menocchio Menocchio is offline
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Originally Posted by supervenusfreak
I so agree. Just because he could not deal with his sexuality, he doesn't have the right to legislate against those of us who are out and strong.
That's why he shouldn't be in office. But does that give people the right to use his sexuality as a weapon against him?

It feels satisfying since this guy did support anti-gay legislation, but this tactic does subtly imply that being a homosexual is shameful, and something that should be exposed like any other kind of corruption. It could be just as damaging to a moderate or liberal politician.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:51 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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I consider it to be a form of self-defense. Legislation was the gun he was using to assault us. We merely disarmed him. If we're going to quibble over whether we should use judo, kung-fu, taekwondo, or hapkido to disarm the mugger, we might as well not even bother.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:52 PM
supervenusfreak supervenusfreak is offline
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Originally Posted by Menocchio
That's why he shouldn't be in office. But does that give people the right to use his sexuality as a weapon against him?

It feels satisfying since this guy did support anti-gay legislation, but this tactic does subtly imply that being a homosexual is shameful, and something that should be exposed like any other kind of corruption. It could be just as damaging to a moderate or liberal politician.

My take on it, is that his hypocracy was exposed. It was his choice, and his choice alone to resign. It is also his choice to view his sexuality as shameful. They were right to do it.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:59 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Originally Posted by jayjay
I consider it to be a form of self-defense. Legislation was the gun he was using to assault us. We merely disarmed him.
It is nice to to see him hoist by his own petard. Maybe he'll come out the other end of this episode with a little more compassion towards his fellow travellers.
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:05 PM
SolGrundy SolGrundy is offline
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Originally Posted by UDS
So, Schrock has a right to be homosexual, and to engage in homosexual behaviour, and to keep that to himself or to himself and a small circle, and to present himself as heterosexual, and to deny that he is homosexual. We all have that right. This particular combination of behaviours may not be admirable, but we all have the right to engage in it.
True, indeed. The blogger also had the right to put his information up on the internet. The Representative had the right to decide whether or not he would attempt to deny the allegations, or acknowledge them. And he had the right to stay in office or to resign. The last I heard, homosexuals aren't immediately disqualified (yet) from serving in public office. Although they try to claim otherwise, no one has to resign from Congress (or the governorship of New Jersey) just because he's gay.

But we're not talking about rights, we're talking about ethics. And I honestly see no ethical quandry here at all.

Don't misunderstand me -- there are plenty of gay activisits who believe that every homosexual, especially those in the public eye, are obligated to be out, to show people just how common and "normal" homosexuality is. I personally believe that's reprehensible. They of all people should know better, knowing what a painful process it is to come to terms with your sexuality, how you live in constant fear that you're going to be found out. Some people just love speculating about or directly outing celebrities, defending it by saying that "as soon as you put yourself in the public eye, you give up your right to privacy," or "you have an obligation to live as an example." That disgusts me.

But, that's not at all what's going on here. It's really very simple -- if you want your private life to stay private, then keep it private! When you vote against the rights of homosexuals (thanks to Otto for the link), you are making a public statement about homosexuality. You have made your stand and have forfeited your right to privacy about that issue.

Here's an easy guideline to remember: don't vote against the rights of homosexuals "in defense of marriage," and then cheat on your wife by giving or receiving blow jobs to strange men.

This simply isn't a case of a homosexual (or bisexual) man whose private life was thrust into the public by the self-serving Extremist Gay Agenda. This is a case of a man who was revealed as a hypocrite; the fact that he's gay (or bi) is somewhat tangential. If he's so happy with his private life and comfortable with his orientation, then why does he now need to resign?
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:10 PM
SolGrundy SolGrundy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopydude
I have to say, I agree. I have some sympathy for the silence=death ethos as a recommendation, but if one wishes to maintain their silence, they should be entitled to it. No one owes anyone else an explanation of their own sexuality, so long as they go about things in a legal and consensual manner. Unless I am mistaken, that demand for equal dignity is a major issue in the gay political platform, and the ironies just thicken when any man or woman has their sexuality used against them as a weapon, be that person deserving of scorn or not.
Again, how is his sexuality being used against him "as a weapon?" Where is this scorn coming from? From the "gay political platform," or from the Representative's homophobic constituents? Or the Representative himself?

Yes, I'm demanding equal dignity for homosexuals. Therefore, I don't see that calling a man who likes to have sex with other men a "homosexual" is an attack.
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:55 PM
UDS UDS is online now
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Originally Posted by SolGrundy
True, indeed. The blogger also had the right to put his information up on the internet. The Representative had the right to decide whether or not he would attempt to deny the allegations, or acknowledge them. And he had the right to stay in office or to resign . . .

But we're not talking about rights, we're talking about ethics . . .
My point exactly. Schrock has the right to engage in homosexual acts while holding himself out as a heterosexual; it doesnít follow that it is ethical for him to do so. Similarly the blogger has the right to publish his information; it doesnít follow that it is ethical for him to do that, either. And the OP is about the bloggerís ethics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolGrundy
Don't misunderstand me -- there are plenty of gay activisits who believe that every homosexual, especially those in the public eye, are obligated to be out, to show people just how common and "normal" homosexuality is. I personally believe that's reprehensible. They of all people should know better, knowing what a painful process it is to come to terms with your sexuality, how you live in constant fear that you're going to be found out. Some people just love speculating about or directly outing celebrities, defending it by saying that "as soon as you put yourself in the public eye, you give up your right to privacy," or "you have an obligation to live as an example." That disgusts me.
Iím with you so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolGrundy
But, that's not at all what's going on here. It's really very simple -- if you want your private life to stay private, then keep it private! When you vote against the rights of homosexuals (thanks to Otto for the link), you are making a public statement about homosexuality. You have made your stand and have forfeited your right to privacy about that issue.
Actually, no, I donít think so.

I might be persuaded if Schrock had, say, voted to criminalise homosexual acts. But Schrockís vote was about marriage. It may be a subtle distinction, but marriage is a public matter; the whole point of marriage is that itís public. It involves the entire community in a relationship which would otherwise be the exclusive and private concern of the couple involved.

Schrock wasnít commenting or voting about any aspect of exclusively private behaviour, or denying anybodyís sexual autonomy. He was voting that society should be under no obligation to accord recognition or legal consequences to homosexual relationships and, if you think about it, he was seeking none for his own homosexual relationships. He may be a hypocrite in his marriage but his political stance (while it may be despicable for other reasons) wasnít, strictly speaking, hypocritical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolGrundy
This simply isn't a case of a homosexual (or bisexual) man whose private life was thrust into the public by the self-serving Extremist Gay Agenda. This is a case of a man who was revealed as a hypocrite; the fact that he's gay (or bi) is somewhat tangential. If he's so happy with his private life and comfortable with his orientation, then why does he now need to resign?
I doubt very much if he was happy with his private life or comfortable with his orientation and, in any event, the issue is not whether he ďneeded to resignĒ but whether his right to personal sexual autonomy has been violated . And his rights in this regard donít depend on his being happy or comfortable, any more than they depend on his being a man of honesty or integrity.
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Old 09-02-2004, 12:49 AM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Originally Posted by SolGrundy
Again, how is his sexuality being used against him "as a weapon?" Where is this scorn coming from? From the "gay political platform," or from the Representative's homophobic constituents? Or the Representative himself?

Yes, I'm demanding equal dignity for homosexuals. Therefore, I don't see that calling a man who likes to have sex with other men a "homosexual" is an attack.
I think the scorn probably is to be expected from the constituents, which is precisely why the whole business of exposing ones sexual foibles makes me uneasy. I didn't like it when it happened to Clinton, and I don't like it now. I have no realy sympathy for this Schrock guy. But I do think Rogers' Purpose is not to provide a public service announcement as it is to, as I said, use Schrock's sexuality against him as retaliation for his voting record. Sure, his voting record sucks, but it's the retaliation angle that makes me uneasy. This isn't even tabloid sleaze; this is the specific targeting of individuals for outing, and the reason for the outing is political ideology. Perhaps Rogers' tactics are being directed at a particularly worthy individual, but Rogers must know that it is the bigotry of Schrock's constituency that will bring about his downfall. In that regard, it seems to me Rogers is exploiting the hate of homophobes to bring down another homophobe. On the one hand, seeing the derserving get hoisted by their own petard does have a certain ironic appeal; but on the other hand, it just seems to me in principle no one should have their sexual lives used against them in such a blatantly political way. It's using the enemies weapon in a way that I think diminishes the moral stance of Rogers himself. I know you disagree. I don't argue this point out of any liking for Schrock or his ilk, that's for sure. But the outing tactic makes me uneasy.
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Old 09-02-2004, 02:09 AM
SolGrundy SolGrundy is offline
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Originally Posted by UDS
I might be persuaded if Schrock had, say, voted to criminalise homosexual acts. But Schrockís vote was about marriage. It may be a subtle distinction, but marriage is a public matter; the whole point of marriage is that itís public. It involves the entire community in a relationship which would otherwise be the exclusive and private concern of the couple involved.

Schrock wasnít commenting or voting about any aspect of exclusively private behaviour, or denying anybodyís sexual autonomy. He was voting that society should be under no obligation to accord recognition or legal consequences to homosexual relationships and, if you think about it, he was seeking none for his own homosexual relationships. He may be a hypocrite in his marriage but his political stance (while it may be despicable for other reasons) wasnít, strictly speaking, hypocritical.
[/quote]
It is not a subtle distinction. It is a "distinction" that simply does not exist.

Claiming that the so-called "Defense of Marriage" acts are anything other than anti-homosexual legislation is... I'll just say "disingenuous at best." They are clearly intended to restrict homosexual relationships from being recognized as being of the same legal status as heterosexual ones.

There are those who would attempt to obfuscate the issue by claiming that there are other factors invovled, or that it's a two-sided issue more complex than a simple case of discrimination against homosexuals. (Unfortunately, Cecil Adams seems to be one of them). They point out that the history of the institution of marriage is for the purpose of procreation, however to the best of my knowledge no DOMA has been worded so as to restrict marriage only to those couples who are able and/or willing to conceive a child. It is always worded to restrict the institution to those of opposite sexes.

Conversely, they point out that marriages could be abused by same-sex couples ("frat guys as a gag" in Cecil's example) going for benefits without being genuinely "married." Again, the wording of the legislation makes no mention of commitment or dedication, and it does nothing to restrict the institution from mixed-sex couples who would get married on a lark.

The wording of the law limits marriage to people of the opposite sex. Its intent is to codify the idea that homosexual relationships are not as valid, lasting, or deserving of recognition as heterosexual ones and, by extension, should be kept private. Proponents of DOMA are quite open in who they're targeting by passing the laws; it would be much simpler if apologists were equally open in acknowledging that the law is nothing more than anti-gay legislation.

If your claim is that saying "homosexuality is fine as long as it's kept completely secret" is anything other than an anti-gay viewpoint, I'm afraid I can't debate that. Because I see that as completely reprehensible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UDS
I doubt very much if he was happy with his private life or comfortable with his orientation and, in any event, the issue is not whether he ďneeded to resignĒ but whether his right to personal sexual autonomy has been violated . And his rights in this regard donít depend on his being happy or comfortable, any more than they depend on his being a man of honesty or integrity.
No, his right to personal sexual autonomy has not been violated. He is perfectly free (at least in some states) to continue soliciting strange men for oral sex. He would be free to do this even if he were not a hypocrite, and he would be free to do this even if he were not an adulterer.

The issue is whether it was ethical to make these details of his personal life public. I claimed, and still claim, that since he has taken a clear position of being for marriage and against homosexuality (see above), it is perfectly valid to bring information into the political arena that reveal him to be an adulterer and a bisexual. There is a direct one-to-one correspondence.

If he had voted in favor of tax cuts to a major industry, it would be completely ethical for a journalist to expose the fact that he had major stock holdings in that industry.
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Old 09-02-2004, 02:23 AM
SolGrundy SolGrundy is offline
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Originally Posted by Loopydude
I think the scorn probably is to be expected from the constituents, which is precisely why the whole business of exposing ones sexual foibles makes me uneasy. I didn't like it when it happened to Clinton, and I don't like it now. I have no realy sympathy for this Schrock guy. But I do think Rogers' Purpose is not to provide a public service announcement as it is to, as I said, use Schrock's sexuality against him as retaliation for his voting record. Sure, his voting record sucks, but it's the retaliation angle that makes me uneasy. This isn't even tabloid sleaze; this is the specific targeting of individuals for outing, and the reason for the outing is political ideology. Perhaps Rogers' tactics are being directed at a particularly worthy individual, but Rogers must know that it is the bigotry of Schrock's constituency that will bring about his downfall. In that regard, it seems to me Rogers is exploiting the hate of homophobes to bring down another homophobe. On the one hand, seeing the derserving get hoisted by their own petard does have a certain ironic appeal; but on the other hand, it just seems to me in principle no one should have their sexual lives used against them in such a blatantly political way. It's using the enemies weapon in a way that I think diminishes the moral stance of Rogers himself. I know you disagree. I don't argue this point out of any liking for Schrock or his ilk, that's for sure. But the outing tactic makes me uneasy.
You're right, I disagree. But I can definitely understand your viewpoint.

It's not the same thing as when sex-life revelations were made against Clinton, because Clinton was never particularly vocal about being pro-marriage or anti-sex-with-interns. It was a matter completely irrelevant to his political record, but was instead used as an attack against his credibility and his entire administration. (For the record: I think the guy's a sleaze and a transparently political opportunist. But I still think that the whole thing should've never been brought up, because it was nobody's business but his own, it was irrelevant to his administration on the whole, and he was doing good things otherwise. I didn't have to be friends with the guy, I just wanted him to be my President.)

I think the difference is that we both believe in the principle that your private life should remain private, but I believe that the principle can't be so easily extricated from this case. As I said before, there is a direct discrepency between his words and his deeds, and it's completely valid to point out the hypocrisy.

If his being outed is a bad thing that is damaging to his political career, he only has himself to blame. He helped perpetuate the idea that homosexuality is not valid and is something to be ashamed of and kept hidden. It's distressing to see people like Schrock and McGreevy getting sympathy just by virtue of being gay, because it just does more harm than good.

If Schrock had had a better voting record in favor of gay rights, but had somehow made political enemies who sought to discredit him by outing him, then I would be right there with you in being appalled at that.

In other words: exposing someone as gay to discredit him is evil, exposing someone as a hypocrite to discredit him is encouraged.
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Old 09-02-2004, 02:56 AM
UDS UDS is online now
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Originally Posted by SolGrundy
No, his right to personal sexual autonomy has not been violated. He is perfectly free (at least in some states) to continue soliciting strange men for oral sex. He would be free to do this even if he were not a hypocrite, and he would be free to do this even if he were not an adulterer.
Yes, it has been violated. His right to conduct his sexual liaisons privately has been denied to him. His right to present himself as heterosexual has been denied to him. We all have the right to decide how much of our sexuality to express or reveal, and how, and where, and when, and to whom, and in what way. Even if that involves contradiction, concealment, hypocrisy or dishonesty on our part. Even if we are Schrock.

If this right can be denied to Schrock because we consider his private sexual conduct reprehensible and his public stance on sexuality indefensible, then we surrender what seems to me a very important principle. If Mr Schrock has no right to autonomy as regards his own sexuality, then why does anyone else? If there is no such right, or if it can be legitimately denied to people about whose sexual behaviour or views on sexuality we have made adverse moral judgments, what is the objection to legislation restricting homosexual behaviour or gay activism on the grounds of morality?
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Old 09-02-2004, 07:51 AM
MMI MMI is offline
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If Congressman Schrock had been cheating on his wife with a woman (or perhaps, with anonymous women), would we still be having this debate? (Would such a revelation have caused Schrock to resign or would he try the redeemed sinner schtick?) I imagine, we would, although with a slightly different take on it. Why, in this case, does the gay angle matter (other than that it may matter to his constituents)?
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Old 09-02-2004, 09:30 AM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Originally Posted by MMI
If Congressman Schrock had been cheating on his wife with a woman (or perhaps, with anonymous women), would we still be having this debate?
I don't think we would. At the very least, I don't think Schrock would have immediately resigned. My guess is he would appear on some podium with his wife, make the requisite tearful confession, and plot his future campaign strategy based on the fact that his infidelity gives him a bit of an achilles heel. But let's face it: Schrock's constituents likely include a majority of relatively devout Christians, with a higher density of fundamentalist evangelical Christians among those than one will find in the average voting district. If Schrock could have made sufficiently public and contrite-seeming exhortations to Jesus and his fellow Christians to forgive, could have given enough of a media show of his self-flagellating penitent self, the voters would probably be willing to go along with it. Infidelity can be dealt with reasonably effectively. Your average televanelist could attest to that.

But to be a gay adulterer is unforgiveable, obviously, or Schrock would have put up a fight. Schrock knew what he was in for, both with the voters and his fellow party members, and chose what is probably the only tenable path.
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Old 09-02-2004, 01:10 PM
MMI MMI is offline
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But would it be any more or less wrong to report it?
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Old 09-02-2004, 02:03 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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I think it's pretty sleazy in all circumstances to exploit purely sexual issues only for political or financial gain. Again, I see no legal offense here. It's not even possible for me to discern at this point if there is a breach of marital trust. If we contrast Schrock's offenses with McGreevey's, I think you can see what I mean. McGreevey is being accused of sexual harassment. He also clearly used his position to employ an unqualified individual for his own personal gain, and blatantly abused taxpayer funds to do so. I have a feeling if Cipel were a woman, the scandal could still sink the Gov. of NJ. There are possible criminal offenses here, as defined by legal statute, namely workplace sexual misconduct and corruption. Even if exonorated, few pols could withstand such controversy hanging over them in an election year. I also speculate that if McGreevey's only offense was purported infidelity with a man, being in NJ, I doubt very much he would feel the need to resign. If he could demonstrate publically that his wife and himself were dealing with the issue privately and in good faith, my guess is the majority of people in NJ would shrug it off.

Not so, Schrock's district in VA. I've lived right next to the Old Dominion, and some parts of that state are very conservative Christian. The consequences for being outed in those parts are clearly much more severe.

I submit Rogers' was fully aware of that, and exploited the circumstances as an act of retribution for Schrock's voting record. If Rogers had outed McGreevey for the offense of gay hanky-panky, and McGreevey had done no other "wrong", the act would have been politically pointless, and I doubt Rogers would have bothered. Hence I am suspect of the assertion this is a simple, sweeping demand that gay pols identify themselves a such for the sake of keeping the voter base properly informed. It's political revenge, as far as I can see, and sex is the means of enacting it.
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Old 09-02-2004, 02:15 PM
SolGrundy SolGrundy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDS
Yes, it has been violated. His right to conduct his sexual liaisons privately has been denied to him. His right to present himself as heterosexual has been denied to him. We all have the right to decide how much of our sexuality to express or reveal, and how, and where, and when, and to whom, and in what way. Even if that involves contradiction, concealment, hypocrisy or dishonesty on our part. Even if we are Schrock.
That's not what you were saying earlier. His "right" to have sex with men has not been violated; he's still free to do that.

You now claim that his right to keep his sexuality under wraps was violated. Your stance is that it was violated by the blogger that exposed him; my stance is that he violated it himself by showing a consistently anti-gay voting record.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UDS
If this right can be denied to Schrock because we consider his private sexual conduct reprehensible and his public stance on sexuality indefensible, then we surrender what seems to me a very important principle. If Mr Schrock has no right to autonomy as regards his own sexuality, then why does anyone else? If there is no such right, or if it can be legitimately denied to people about whose sexual behaviour or views on sexuality we have made adverse moral judgments, what is the objection to legislation restricting homosexual behaviour or gay activism on the grounds of morality?
Because "gay activism" is not the same thing as saying "our entire moral framework does not apply anymore."

Shrock's "sexual autonomy," as well as everyone else's, has not been compromised. Ignoring things like anachronistic laws against sodomy and such, and assuming it's between cosnenting adults and all that, Shrock is still free to do whatever sexual thing he cares to do.

That does not, should not, cannot, and will not mean that his actions have no consequence. If you commit adultery, that action will have consequence. If you have sex with a stranger, that will too. If you vote on a piece of anti-gay legislation, that will have consequence.

"Gay activism" isn't saying "anything goes as long as it's kept private." It's saying that "what I want to do is healthy and not harmful, nothing to be ashamed of, and no one should have to keep it private." It's saying that there should be no consequences just for being in love or having sex with people of the same sex, because nothing wrong is being done. It's saying that there is no valid moral objection to homosexuality itself; there's nothing inherently unhealthy or immoral about homosexual relationships. There's no reason that same-sex couples are inherently undeserving of "married" status.
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  #27  
Old 09-02-2004, 03:29 PM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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Originally Posted by Menocchio
But does that give people the right to use his sexuality as a weapon against him?
The fact that it can be used this way is entirely due to his active pursuit of a Neanderthal agenda, and is his own damn fault. If he wants to make it impossible for people to be kicked out of office "just because" they're gay, then he needs to stop supporting policies that marginalize homosexuals. As far as I'm concerned, he has trod upon a mine of his own laying.

Sorry. No sympathy.
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  #28  
Old 09-02-2004, 03:45 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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"Outing" per se is wrong. But calling someone who has made public (and used any power he may have to promote) an anti-gay stance is not so much being "outed" in the original sense as being called on his own hypocrisy.

Translate this into other terms. Imagine a small town 50 years ago, where the use of alcoholic beverages is "officially" frowned on, but where people do drink in private, and the custom is not to expose them as drinkers. But if someone starts up a "Demon Rum" crusade and attempts to get the town to "go dry" legally -- no alcohol permitted to be sold or consumed in town -- it's perfectly acceptable to point out that he is in fact a secret drinker.
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  #29  
Old 09-02-2004, 07:37 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Allow me to submit a third issue for debate: If there are more "gay homophobes" in Congress and/or the Bush Administration, who are they? (Speculations based on unsubstantiated rumors are perfectly acceptable here. )
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  #30  
Old 09-02-2004, 08:07 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Condi. Big time.
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  #31  
Old 09-02-2004, 08:24 PM
UDS UDS is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SolGrundy
That's not what you were saying earlier. His "right" to have sex with men has not been violated; he's still free to do that.
Itís certainly what I meant to say, and Iím not conscious of having altered my position. If I havenít expressed myself well, I apologise.

Sexuality is not just about what I do with my genitals, and a sexual relationship is a great deal wider than just having sex. My sexual autonomy includes the right to present my sexuality how I choose to whom I choose, and so does Schrockís. That includes a right to privacy, and it includes a right to reticence or even dissimulation about sexual orientation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolGrundy
You now claim that his right to keep his sexuality under wraps was violated. Your stance is that it was violated by the blogger that exposed him; my stance is that he violated it himself by showing a consistently anti-gay voting record.
Well, on this one Iíd have to say that logic is on my side. His privacy is violated by the person who publicly exposes that which he seeks to keep private.

Your own position assumes the conclusion for which you are arguing. Youíve yet to convice me that Schrockís right to sexual autonomy is conditional upon his not publicly expressing views with which you and I disagree. Until thatís established, you can hardly expect me to accept that, by expressing the views he did, Schrock waived his right to conduct his sexual relationships privately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolGrundy
Shrock's "sexual autonomy," as well as everyone else's, has not been compromised. Ignoring things like anachronistic laws against sodomy and such, and assuming it's between cosnenting adults and all that, Shrock is still free to do whatever sexual thing he cares to do.
Nope. Heís not free to conduct sexual relationships privately. Heís not free to present his own sexuality as he wishes to present it. Both important freedoms which, I think, most gay people (and most straight people) would claim for themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolGrundy
That does not, should not, cannot, and will not mean that his actions have no consequence. If you commit adultery, that action will have consequence. If you have sex with a stranger, that will too. If you vote on a piece of anti-gay legislation, that will have consequence.

"Gay activism" isn't saying "anything goes as long as it's kept private." It's saying that "what I want to do is healthy and not harmful, nothing to be ashamed of, and no one should have to keep it private." It's saying that there should be no consequences just for being in love or having sex with people of the same sex, because nothing wrong is being done. It's saying that there is no valid moral objection to homosexuality itself; there's nothing inherently unhealthy or immoral about homosexual relationships. There's no reason that same-sex couples are inherently undeserving of "married" status.
I agree that gay activism (or any other form of sexual activism) is not saying "anything goes as long as it's kept private." But, for me, the basic principle is not the one you suggest, that homosexual behavour is not immoral. Itís much more fundamental that that.

I shouldnít have to assert the morality of my sexual behaviour or the goodness of my sexual orientation in order to establish my right to engage in my behaviour or express my orientation. Whether you do or donít have a ďvalid moral objectionĒ to my homosexuality (or, for that matter, heterosexuality) is no concern of mine. Gay or straight, it is my sexuality which is in issue. I am a human being, entitled to human dignity and autonomy in my own self-expression, including my sexual self-expression. Society is entitled to protect third parties, so laws against rape, the exploitation of minors and the like are justified, but beyond that other peopleís views about the morality of my sexual behaviour are simply not a basis for interfering with my autonomy, and therefore I do not have to assert, much less persuade you, that my behaviour is moral in order to establish my right to engage in it. Conversely your assertion that my behaviour is immoral, however strongly argued and fervently believed, does not warrant your interfering to limit my autonomy.

And, I believe, the same goes for Schrock.
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  #32  
Old 09-02-2004, 08:31 PM
Miller Miller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDS
I shouldnít have to assert the morality of my sexual behaviour or the goodness of my sexual orientation in order to establish my right to engage in my behaviour or express my orientation. Whether you do or donít have a ďvalid moral objectionĒ to my homosexuality (or, for that matter, heterosexuality) is no concern of mine. Gay or straight, it is my sexuality which is in issue. I am a human being, entitled to human dignity and autonomy in my own self-expression, including my sexual self-expression. Society is entitled to protect third parties, so laws against rape, the exploitation of minors and the like are justified, but beyond that other peopleís views about the morality of my sexual behaviour are simply not a basis for interfering with my autonomy, and therefore I do not have to assert, much less persuade you, that my behaviour is moral in order to establish my right to engage in it. Conversely your assertion that my behaviour is immoral, however strongly argued and fervently believed, does not warrant your interfering to limit my autonomy.
I agree with what you're saying, up to a point. Where you and I diverge is that I feel, when someone uses a person's sexuality as a political weapon, they are giving de facto permission for their own sexuality to be used against them.

If I may use a rather facile analogy, it is always wrong to shoot another human being, unless that human being shoots at you first. If Schrock wanted his sexual privacy to be respected, he should have been a lot more careful about where he was pointing his gun.
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  #33  
Old 09-02-2004, 08:33 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller
If Schrock wanted his sexual privacy to be respected, he should have been a lot more careful about where he was pointing his gun.
So to speak.
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  #34  
Old 09-03-2004, 12:10 AM
Miller Miller is offline
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I should have known I'd never slip a penis reference past this group.
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  #35  
Old 09-03-2004, 02:14 AM
SolGrundy SolGrundy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDS
Nope. Heís not free to conduct sexual relationships privately. Heís not free to present his own sexuality as he wishes to present it. Both important freedoms which, I think, most gay people (and most straight people) would claim for themselves.
Well, I agree with 90% of the rest of your post, so the only thing I can add is just re-iterating what I've already said:

Yes, privacy is important. But I think Shrock gave up his right to privacy in this issue, by voting so consistently against gay issues. I don't think the blogger was unethical to "out" him. He has a right to be gay in private. He does not, as a public official, have a right to be a hypocrite -- about any topic.
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  #36  
Old 09-03-2004, 05:56 AM
Mockingbird Mockingbird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshore
My impression is that most gay activists believe that such "outing" should only be done in extreme circumstances such as this one where the person is using his or her political position to pursue viciously anti-gay policies.
I agree.
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  #37  
Old 09-03-2004, 08:05 AM
Happy Scrappy Hero Pup Happy Scrappy Hero Pup is offline
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[D]uring the 2000 campaign Schrock said he wanted to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so that potential enlistees could be questioned about past homosexual experiences in order to bar them from serving.
The way I look at this, Rogers is just holding Schrock to his own standard.

Schrock wants those who serve their nation to be barred from doing so because of homosexual orientation or encounters, regardless of their desire to keep such orientation or encounters private.

Well, looks like he got his wish.

Just because you're not in the armed services doesn't mean you aren't serving your country.
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  #38  
Old 09-03-2004, 09:11 AM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
Issues for debate:

1. Is it ethical to "out" a gay person without his/her consent?


I usually think that the private life of politicians is nobody's business. And fortunately, this is generally respected over here by the medias. The fact that the former president Mitterand, who served 14 years, was actually living with a woman other than his wife and their teenage daughter, well known by the medias, was only disclosed to the general public when he allowed/ asked them to do so, shortly before the end of his second mandate. Similarily, the fact that the current mayor of Paris was gay was only discussed during his campaign because he outed himself. That's how things should work according to me. I can't see what particular interest electors could claim to have in knowing what politicians do in their bedrooms and with whom, because this has no bearing on their ability (or lack thereof) to fill their duties.


But precisely, I make exceptions for cases such as the one described in the OP, when said politician (or other public figure, it would apply equally to a famous singer, for instance) is actively fighting something he's himself practising in secret. That would apply to a predicator condemning the moral turpitudes of others while sleeping with prostitutes as well as to the OP's navy veteran trying to pass laws intended to keep homosexuals out of the army.


I can think of two examples of MPs being outed here. One because of its vote or position about some particular policy related to AIDS. I dissaproved it because it had no direct relationship with his sexual practices (it was more or less a retaliation by Act-Up for "dissent", hence unacceptable). Another because besides voting against the homosexual civil union law, he was proeminently present in an anti-gay protest organized at the time this law was passed. I approved this outing because he was publically comdemning what he was personnally engaged in and was pandering for anti-people-like-him votes. Live by the sword, die by the sword.


In the same way, I'm opposed to the medias disclosing that candidate X is cheating or used to cheat on his wife. Nobody's business. On the other hand, if politician Y is publically stating : "you shouldn't vote for X because he isn't an honest man, he cheated on his wife" , then the private life of Y becomes fair game, since he brought up himself the issue, and chose himself to use it as a political argument to gain votes.
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  #39  
Old 09-03-2004, 10:33 AM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ralston Saul
If an individual presents himself to the public for election as a happilly married father of three, then he has made his weekend with a secretary or his visit to a prostitute of either sex a matter of public interest. If he makes a point of drinking milk in public, then the public will want to know whenever he gets drunk. If he buys his suits at Wal-Mart for the cameras, then proceeds to holiday on rich men's yachts, he will be photographed with telephoto lenses.
Executive summary: since anti-gay marriage laws are a way of saying 'our marriages are so vastly superior to your own that ours are the only ones that should be permitted,' those who advocate for them are holding their marriages up as lifestyle models. That means that their adherence to the private morals they publicly promote is a matter of public interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Aravosis
We once laughed off the gay staffers who worked for Jesse Helms or Pat Buchanan. We loathed their self-loathing but figured that for the most part they were hurting themselves more than us. In post-FMA America, we no longer have that luxury. President Bush and anti-gay members of Congress have declared war on gay people. ...[Closeted anti-gay people in politics] are hired guns defending policies intended to destroy our relationships.

...They condemn the use of their sexual orientation as a weapon while brandishing our own against us. ...They ask us to ignore our own self-interest and defend them with our silence, while they refuse to consider anyone's well being but their own. These staffers are complicit in destroying the very people whose protection they now demand as a birthright.
Executive summary: those who are openly working to destroy the Queer community cannot expect it to shelter their hypocrisy.
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  #40  
Old 09-03-2004, 11:30 AM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_mcl
Executive summary: those who are openly working to destroy the Queer community cannot expect it to shelter their hypocrisy.
Unfortunately, I see no practical advancement of civil rights in Schrock's downfall. The next congressman to hold his seat will simply be more careful to avoid the appearance of hypocrisy. Given the obvious limitations of Schrock's constituency, there's little reason to expect that his relacement will be any different than himself. In fact, Schrock's replacement may be more stridently anti-gay than his or her predecessor.

In the end, Schrock's outing will amount to an act of revenge. And those who voted him into office will simply make more certain their next representative isn't queer. Outing him, beyond punishing him for sex, will serve no other practical purpose.
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  #41  
Old 09-03-2004, 12:45 PM
Homebrew Homebrew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopydude
In fact, Schrock's replacement may be more stridently anti-gay than his or her predecessor.
As quoted in the OP:

Schrock holds a 92% approval rating from the Christian Coalition and a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign

Is he going to score less than 0?
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  #42  
Old 09-03-2004, 12:54 PM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopydude
Unfortunately, I see no practical advancement of civil rights in Schrock's downfall.
I sure do. The lesson the GOP should take from this incident is pretty straightforward: "If we don't want our guy to be marginalized as a homosexual, then we should quit marginalizing homosexuals." Full stop.

Of course, they won't. But whose fault is that?
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  #43  
Old 09-03-2004, 02:13 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Interesting discussion.

I assume this cuts both ways - that the anti-gay marriage folks also have the right to dig up embarassing revelations about those with whom they disagree and use that to drive their opponents out of public life.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #44  
Old 09-03-2004, 02:21 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
Interesting discussion.

I assume this cuts both ways - that the anti-gay marriage folks also have the right to dig up embarassing revelations about those with whom they disagree and use that to drive their opponents out of public life.

Regards,
Shodan
Yes, of course, they have that "right" in the legal sense. But what sorts of "embarassing revelations" would they be looking for? Most gay-marriage activists are openly gay.
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  #45  
Old 09-03-2004, 02:21 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
Interesting discussion.

I assume this cuts both ways - that the anti-gay marriage folks also have the right to dig up embarassing revelations about those with whom they disagree and use that to drive their opponents out of public life.

Regards,
Shodan
This is precisely my position. I've no doubt that Bill Clinton's political adversaries found his shenanigans hypocritical in one way or another, and hence worthy of exposure. They also knew they could use sexual scandal to smear him.

In the wake of the Zippergate imbroglio, I've become far less sanguine about anyone using sexual transgressions for political gain under any circumstances. Embarassing and scandalizing hypocrite, however deserving, is not nearly as valuable an act as changing the minds of those who support hateful legislation.

All the Monica Lewinsky scandal did was drive a wedge of acrimony between the Left and the Right. I can see no reason to believe anything more will come of this.
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  #46  
Old 09-03-2004, 02:22 PM
Revtim Revtim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
I assume this cuts both ways - that the anti-gay marriage folks also have the right to dig up embarassing revelations about those with whom they disagree and use that to drive their opponents out of public life.
If someone's being hypocritical, I have no problem with them being 'outed' for it, pro or anti gay.
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  #47  
Old 09-03-2004, 02:29 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revtim
If someone's being hypocritical, I have no problem with them being 'outed' for it, pro or anti gay.
Depends. If someone is preaching that gays will burn in hell and that homosexual acts are ruining our civilization, perhaps. If someone campaigns against gay marriage, but otherwise does not condemn gays, I say it's a meanspirited, unethical act to "out" him. Better to err on the side of caution, when in doubt, rather than just pissing all over your fellow citizens.
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  #48  
Old 09-03-2004, 02:42 PM
Revtim Revtim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
Depends. If someone is preaching that gays will burn in hell and that homosexual acts are ruining our civilization, perhaps. If someone campaigns against gay marriage, but otherwise does not condemn gays, I say it's a meanspirited, unethical act to "out" him. Better to err on the side of caution, when in doubt, rather than just pissing all over your fellow citizens.
Many would consider campaigning against gay marriage "pissing all over your fellow citizens".
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  #49  
Old 09-03-2004, 02:58 PM
Sean Factotum Sean Factotum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopydude
I think the scorn probably is to be expected from the constituents, which is precisely why the whole business of exposing ones sexual foibles makes me uneasy. I didn't like it when it happened to Clinton, and I don't like it now. I have no realy sympathy for this Schrock guy. But I do think Rogers' Purpose is not to provide a public service announcement as it is to, as I said, use Schrock's sexuality against him as retaliation for his voting record. Sure, his voting record sucks, but it's the retaliation angle that makes me uneasy.
Well, only half of the aisle thought it sucked. He pretty much voted the party line his whole time in the House: http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=BS026712

Speaking as one of his constituents, most of us are unhappy about this, Dems and Republicans alike. There is a lot of ink devoted to this story in the papers the last couple of days, but few and far between are calling for the man's head. Congressman Schrock did a lot to keep this area's military support industry busy, which is probably the biggest reason he was elected, and why it was thought he would pretty much cruise (half-intended pun) to another re-election. He was sent to Washington to be a voice for a community that depends greatly on the military from an economic aspect because he had the experience.

And I don't like this whole business of outing. UDS has got it right, by my thinking. In the Congressman's case, he wasn't making hypocritical statements about homosexuality when voting against marriage, he was speaking for the institution of marriage as traditionally defined. Roger's didn't need to go medieval on his ass for that.
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  #50  
Old 09-03-2004, 03:01 PM
Sean Factotum Sean Factotum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revtim
Many would consider campaigning against gay marriage "pissing all over your fellow citizens".
And many minorities consider anything negative said to them as a sign of prejudice, but they're wrong too. Sensible people can differentiate when they are being personally attacked as oppossed to being disagreed with.
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