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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The person Maher "outed", that wasn't news. His sexuality has been an "open secret", with pundits often referring to him as a "closet heterosexual".

    Secondly, outing is, in my opinion, justified when the person is virulently anti-gay. For example, the recent bombshell of "Pastor Ted" Haggard in Colorado Springs. 100% justifiable. If you are building your mega-church empire largely on the demonization of gays and lesbians, and meanwhile you're getting "massages" from a male prostitute, then outing is a prett

    --

    --rjray

    • The person Maher "outed", that wasn't news. His sexuality has been an "open secret", with pundits often referring to him as a "closet heterosexual".

      Well, first, I know it has been rumored, but most people had never heard it before.

      Second, it is simply not a matter of fact that Mehlman is gay. There's no evidence of it. At all. Anywhere. It is merely speculation. (Caveat: it could be that some evidence has arisen recently that I've not heard; but I've known about this rumor for a couple of years, and have yet to see any presented.) And that is probably the biggest reason CNN yanked it: because they could be sued for defamation.

      Secondly, outing is, in my opinion, justified when the person is virulently anti-gay.

      I disagree, but can understand your position. I certainly didn't stick up for Haggard when that came out. But that is entirely beside the point when it comes to Mehlman, if he really is gay.

      And don't give me this (not that I am trying to put words in your mouth) "but he's a Republican" stuff like that idiot Maher does: there are only two "anti-gay" planks in the GOP platform, and neither one amounts to anything resembling hypocrisy.

      The first is that the GOP is against "special rights" for gays, which means simply that homosexuals should not have rights or legal protections that other people do not have. For example, in WA, the most protected minority group in the state is gays. They have more legal protection than racial or religious minority groups. More legal protection than women. The GOP opposes giving them any special protection (why give them special rights, but not fat/short/brunette/bow-legged people?), but to have more than other protected groups? Nonsense. And many gays agree.

      The second is a view the Democrats share: no gay marriage. Feel free to disagree with the view, but it is shared by both parties, broadly. (This also extends somewhat to gay adoption, though the GOP is not actually against it, as I'll show below.)

      That's it. There's no other GOP anti-gay issue. It simply is not hypocritical to be a gay Republican, and even if Mehlman is gay, there's no evidence he's personally or professionally ever been against gays. I've known a bunch of gay Republicans, and while they almost (but not quite) universally disagree with the GOP stance on gay marriage, they agree with the GOP on most other things.

      And if it is not hypocritical to be a gay Republican, it is not hypocritical to be a closeted gay Republican, either.

      No one (I hope!) agrees with everything in the GOP platform. I certainly don't, but that doesn't make me a hypocrite, even if I choose to not speak out against those things, depending on the reason.

      Here, I just found a quick example from my county party platform [snocogop.com]. It says "Adoption laws should make placement of children with legally married parents a priority." My sister was adopted, and I have friends who were adopted, and so this issue is pretty close to me, like homosexuality is with our hypothetical Gay Mehlman.

      I think the best reason to put a child with legally married parents is stability, but I think there are plenty of ways to show stability. So I think the emphasis is totally wrong here. This is really a way to try to discourage gay adoption (though thankfully the party does not actually oppose gay adoption), and I think it's wrong. Does not speaking out about it (except for here!) make me a hypocrite? I certainly don't think so. There are many more important issues I want to address, that I spend my time on, rather than fight what I know would be a losing battle.

      All that to say that even if Mehlman is gay, I see no evidence whatsoever that he is a hypocrite. Not that you say he is, but many people do.

      Back to Haggard: the problem as I see it is that we have elevated "hypocrisy" to be the worst crime you can commit in this country, except for maybe terrorism and child molestation. That's one crime here: hypocrisy. The other crime is trying to destroy someone's personal life for your political gain. Frankly, I think the latter is far worse than the former. You appear to disagree; such is life. :-)

      Again, I won't shed a tear for him. As you say, he deserved probably more than he got. But I won't condone what happened to him, either. It was dirty politics.