Is it morally OK to betray the confidence of a support group if a gay member is publicly anti-gay?

Is it more morally bankrupt to willfully betray the confidence of a faith based support group for those struggling with homosexual urges, or to be a person advocating publicly against a gay lifestyle while struggling with gay urges.

Per this thread and this story.

Is it kosher to out people struggling with gay urges if they have adopted a public position that does not support gay lifestyles?

The only way to really answer this question is to substitute.

If Jerry Seinfeld started supporting anti-Semetic causes would you call him on it. Not that Seinfeld would ever involve himself in something anti-Jewish :slight_smile:

Seriously, what would you think of Tiger Woods if he said “He hates Asians,” Or if Mr Obama was anti-White. Considering Woods is just as much Asian as he is black and Mr Obama is just as much white as he is black.

Would anyone for a second say “Well Mr Woods should get away with it until he comes to terms with his Asian side.” No, they slam him in a minute.

Sames with gays. I am a gay male, I never bought that argument.

I mean black people have to learn how to deal with it. Women have to learn how to deal with it. Being a minority is something you need to learn to deal with.

Obviously I mean in a culture where white males hold economic significance.

So you’re saying you’d out everyone in the support group, regardless of how publicly they’ve expressed their views?

I would say two things:

  1. It’s wrong to join a group such as this with the intent of betraying the confidences shared within. Morally and ethically (if there’s a distinction) that’s wrong.

  2. Professionally, that reporter should never work again. Not only did he betray a series of confidential sources he did it with, as near as I can tell, malice aforethought with no regard to his professional ethics as a journalist. He should, quite simply, never be trusted to do more for a news source than rewrite obits and maybe sweep up after the ethical reporters have gone home for the night. What he did was utterly unconscionable.

Is it morally OK to betray the confidence of a support group … no.

At the risk of being the devil’s advocate, in my opinion it would be unethical and immoral for a journalist not to act on this information.

based on this story, no it wasn’t right.

If there were actually hypocrisy being report on it might be different. But I don’t see this as much different from infiltrating an AA group to report that a prominent neo-Prohibitionist is attending.

No, it is absolutely not OK.

No. Here’s the difference: in some peoples’ minds there is a significant difference between having gay feelings and acting on them. Many churches whose dogma is opposed to gay sex will accept and even honor those who acknowledge the feelings while refusing to act on them, i.e. either remaining celibate or engaging only in heterosexual sex (For the record, I do not share this view, as I do not think there is anything wrong with gay sex).

There is no analogous position for racial heritage. A person can, I suppose, act more or less like they think Asian or black people act, but there is not a wide body of belief that this distinction makes a difference to their moral character.

To answer the OP, as I said in the other thread, I think this writer was guilty of a severe breach of trust to the members of that group, including the pastor who was profiled in the article.

It is against the principles of journalism to violate information given off the record.

More importantly, it is very unethical to violate the confidentiality of any kind of support group. It just is not done. The reporter has done more harm than he can possibly imagine.

This kind of thing fosters distrust in all support groups.

Care to elaborate?

It is wrong to be against gay people or gay feelings. Anyone who is of the persuasion that such a thing is morally wrong is stupidly misguided. Anyone who harbors anti-homosexual feelings to the point of advocating that they have less rights than the rest of us is a hateful bigot. It is delicious irony if they are gay themselves. I would out that motherfucker so fast it’ll make his gay head spin

So you would support violating the privacy rights of support group members because it hurts *people who disagree with you? This view seems rather…limited. Also mean-spirited.

Unless someone’s life is in danger, it is never okay to betray the confidence of a support group.

Some people think the world is flat - you don’t help them by colluding in their beliefs.

So, what’s your stance on the question in the OP? Should the reporter have violated the confidence of a support group?

However disgusting I think Brock’s hypocrisy might be, no, I don’t think the reporter should have betrayed the confidence of the group. One thing he could have done, however, was to say an anti-gay activist priest was part of the group and was taking a hypocritical position without going into specifics that would have made Brock’s identity discernable.

I am, however, extremely torn on this issue. I nearly answered the opposite as Brock is in a position of power and influence over the lives and thoughts of others, and he could potentially be using that to make the lives of other gay people more difficult which is categorically wrong (I’m willing to bet he doesn’t say "as someone who struggles with such desires myself I still think homosexuality is wrong). As such I am not clear he deserves any mercy from the press or public, however the point of ethics and confidentiality stands and if the reporter was in the group after agreeing confidentiality it was wrong to break that.

It is most definitely not OK.

So, let’s say you’re a gay reporter and you’ve joined this group for a story on how gay men struggle to reconcile their gay urges with religious doctrine, not intending to violate anyone’s confidence, sort of “John (name changed to protect his privacy) was a devout Catholic who had always thought the other altar boys were way cute. Unable to find a pedophile priest to help him learn to ignore his moral qualms, he joined a support group …”

Then you find out this priest who’s been using his bully pulpit to bag on gays like there’s no tomorrow is a member of the group, and hence gay. How many vile, hateful expressions of bigotry against gays would you have to listen to before you said, ‘Fuck it, I’m outing the bastard!’ And for those of you who advocate not betraying the confidence of the support group, what do you think the reporter should do? I’m looking at you, Jonathan Chance.

I came into this thread with one position just based on the title but have modified it based on the OP and the links.

In this case I think completely wrong. The journalist joined the group with the intent of writing a story without revealing that fact to the members who believed they had an expectation of privacy.

Using just the thread title my instinctive reaction was that it’s still wrong but I’d have some sympathy for a group member who felt hurt and betrayed by another members actions and wanted to hurt them in return.