Not this again. Now that Tom DeLay has been sidelined and replaced with closeted homosexual Rep. David Dreier, the gleeful outing campaign has begun anew. As with the Gannon scandal, I’m of the opinion that using someone’s homosexualit y as a smear is a bit hypocritical when you’re trying to tarnish the reputations of bigots. Granted, it’s a much lesser hypocrisy than being a gay homophobe, but I’m still uncomfortable with liberals using homosexuality in a negative way to taunt conservatives. Nevertheless, in this instance, I agree with this L.A. Weekly story on Dreier’s outing from last year :
I have always taken the view that outing a gay person should be approached with caution, and that in doing so one should strictly adhere to the Barney Frank Rule. As articulated by the openly gay Massachusetts congressman during another anti-gay GOP witch-hunt over a decade ago, when Frank threatened to out a number of gay-baiting Republican fellow congressmen, the rule insists that outing is only acceptable when a person uses their power or notoriety to hurt gay people.
Dreier clearly meets that standard, for his voting record is strewn with anti-gay positions. To cite just a few: He opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have banned discrimination against gay people in hiring; voted for the gay-bashing Defense of Marriage Act; voted for banning adoption by gay and lesbian couples in the District of Columbia (3,000 miles away from Dreier’s district); voted to allow federally funded charities to discriminate against gays in employment, even where local laws prohibit such bias; and voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Asking Dreier to reconcile his anti-gay public record with his homosexuality is a legitimate avenue for criticism. Playing “gotcha!” just reinforces the notion that being gay is something to be ashamed of. So yeah, Dreier is a hypocrite whose private life is about to catch up to him. So be it. But can the liberal blogosphere try to point this out without being so childish about it?
I’ll close with something I said in the comments section at my site earlier this year :
What makes this situation so tragic is that the right’s homophobia forces some of their strongest supporters even deeper into the closet. Gay Republicans aren’t hiding from us, my conservative friends, they’re hiding from you.