Mike Rogers

Should the rules be changed?

Filed By Mike Rogers | March 13, 2008 9:35 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: closet cases, congressional staffers, election 2008, homophobic people, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, outing, primary battles, Ron Paul

In September of 2006 I told the Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers that I had decided to no longer report on staffers and instead focus on elected officials and high-level political appointees.

Recently, a surprisingly large number of tips have come in about every corner of one of the Presidential campaigns. If even a handful of these flesh out as accurate, there are more than a few closet cases working for this campaign.

I wonder how the wingnuts would react if these haters are exposed.

Which campaign? Well, Ron Paul is still looking for delegates to play on the useless platform committee. Huckabee and Romney each have delegates and are positioning themselves for a run in 2012 or 2016. And McCain becomes more anti-gay every day. He's flip-flopped on the Federal Marriage Amendment and he knows better than to think a policy that discharges Arabic translators from the military when there is a shortage is just stupid (and during a time of war in the mid east no less).

So, readers, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Is it time to revisit the rule?


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are you suggesting "outing" staffers? if so, i woud say no. it would be immoral. closet cases are soooo sad and pathetic. to publicly expose their misery is IMHO unconscionable. for any price. in these times, there are enough of them who are on the brink of finding the courage to be honest with themselves. encourage those to come out, and join the struggle. think about it - exposing larry craig has just been an embarassment to us all. what if he had come out proudly and defended equality? that really would have been a gain.

I have no problem with you trying to annhialate the hypocrasy of either party and in particular the staff that support the candidate/official and their beliefs.

Letting people know that very vocal, sexual identity-phobic people are just hiding behind hate, as it often stems from their own insecurities and realities, is fine by me.

crescentdave crescentdave | March 13, 2008 1:09 PM

Good question. My immediate response is "no," because one's sexual orientation has nothing to do with one's ability to do a job. However, I really do believe there is a strain of virulent hatred which finds the infrastructure of the republican party, with it's "christian" and "family values" platform, quite conducive for the continued growth and transmission of that hatred.

So I'd amend my response. I wouldn't out anyone in this situation unless you can tie them to specifically anti LGBTQ legislation, campaigning or external organizations. Otherwise, I'd agree with jerindc ... that level of closeting is just sad.

People lose their right to sexual privacy as soon as they work on behalf of people who demonize us and would deny us basic freedoms. I say: go for it! I'm eager to hear your report.

Michael Bedwell | March 13, 2008 4:18 PM

If they work for a candidate, office holder, denomination, company, who/whatever that hurts LGBTs fry them all and I'll bring dessert.

Ken Mehlman flambe, anyone?

I would have two burdens of proof here; First, if it were more than just innuendo, you had concrete and tangible proof that they were.

Second, that they had actively acted to hurt the community by words or deeds.

The closet is a place for clothes, not people.

you kids are vicious. what is the golden rule? do unto others as others would do to you? or is it as you would have others do to you? in the end... you will have to follow your own conscience MR. you are going to have to live with it. "outing" people has a lot of negative impact that coming out does not. some people aren't ready but will be, some never will be. do you personally feel you have the right to make that choice for them? for what it is worth, i don't.

beergoggles | March 13, 2008 7:13 PM

These aren't people who can't get a job working for a non-homophobic politician. They could if they wanted to, and yet they side with the bigots and should be outed.

So yes, if the staffer is working for a bigot, out 'em. If they're working for one of the few non-bigoted Republicans, who cares.

"I wonder how the wingnuts would react if these haters are exposed."

Mass firing of all their gay employees?

Being on someone's staff does not mean you agree 100% with all of that person's policies. Being gay does not mean you have to hold particular political views (Mary Cheney?). I don't think it's worth it to disrupt a gay person's life and coming-out process in order to score a momentary scandal (and emotional satisfaction).

And you know that it won't be a "hypocrisy scandal" in the media. It's always a "gay scandal." The subtext: it's scandalous to be gay. Let's not feed that fire.

My point is that this is a type of attack that targets gays, marginalizes gays, and makes being openly gay a punishment.

The problem is, these kind of people will never come out, and they will continue to spew their self-hatred and bile on other gays.

Look at Ted Haggert, would he have ever come out of the closet? Of course not. Would he have ever stopped spewing his self-loathing and hatred? Again, of course not.

Though my faith says do what you will, as long as it harms none, you have to measure the amount of harm that can be done by that person as long as they have their soapbox, and the harm of his being forced out of the closet. In the one case, the harm is to just that person and possibly his family. That versus the harm someone like that can do year after year to the queer community makes it a simple calculation.

Many in the community have a choice in how out they can be with people, some of us have no choice at all. If outing one bigot stops them from creating an atmosphere where some idiot thinks it is okay to bash a queer, it is worth it.

I've worked for homophobes before, and I'm sure that most of us have at one point. I don't see how these people doing so is any worse.

NO... Don't do it. As a person that has worked directly for a conservative homophobic loser, errrr, political figure in Australia, I can guarantee you that you will do more harm than good. I took a job, I didn't take on the ideals. I did my job, collected my pay packet and went home to bitch and moan about what an arrogant useless piece of excrement this person was.

I wasn't out. I wasn't ready to be out. I wasn't the enemy of LGBT people just because I worked for this person.

These aren't people who can't get a job working for a non-homophobic politician. They could if they wanted to, and yet they side with the bigots and should be outed.

Amen.

And Alex I wish you'd stop calling me a homophobe.

*grins*

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | March 14, 2008 8:07 AM

I think that the difference is that the staffers are working to advance the agendas of the anti-gay elected official or candidate. It doesn't matter whether or not they agree with that agenda because at the end of the day the closeted staffer is helping to move forward and anti-gay agenda.

As for the whole argument that coming out is a personal matter, it ceases to be personal and only about that individual when the not out individual is engaging in activities that harm other GLBT people and our fight for equality. If you want to stay in the closet or for some reason feel that you have to, that is something that you have to deal with. But, don't think that you can side with political leaders who would force the rest of us back into the closet or limit our civil rights and think that we are not going to defend ourselves.

Expose them. Every one of them. While working for the enemies of our equality, they get to benefit from our activism. While hate speech and concepts that they write or formulate for their candidates get us killed at the rate of at least one LGBT every eight days, they are getting payed for inciting our violent deaths.

A Bush staffer helped to engineer the anti-gay marriage tactic and then went off to Massachusetts to get married.

These people are our Quislings, our Kapos, our Jonathan Pollards. Enough of us have died from their efforts while they take large cheques soaked in our blood to the bank.

Expose every single one.

Sorry about the triplicate. I have no idea how that happened. Can someone delete the extras please?

And expose closeted staffers and even not so closted staffers who work for people who work against us.

I am disappointed in most responses here. You all prefer to make powerful enemies rather than a potential powerful ally. If you think I did my job as efficiently and as effectively as I could when working for that bigot, you are sadly mistaken. Whilst I wasn't ready to come out at that time, I wasn't prepared to do all that was asked of me, but I did need to feed my children.

Some of you are espousing the same inexcusable tactics as the ones you hope ultimately to bring down. You are no better than those that you seek to destroy. Shame on each and everyone of you.

i agree with cathii. before i am anything, i am human. if you have no compassion or empathy, at least try not to hate...

crescentdave crescentdave | March 17, 2008 3:07 PM

No one absolutely needs to work for an individual or organization which GAINS power and economic support by espousing, by legislating and by condoning systemic discrimination and other forms of active repression against the LGBTQ community.

I say this as a queer who parented three beautiful children while living and working at an economic level defined as poverty by this government.