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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

"Outing season!" "Closet season!"

One gets the feeling that knickers are twisting all 'round Washington, D.C. at the moment:
The proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage has revived a debate over the ethics of outing those closeted gay men and lesbians in a position to affect public policy.

On the day after Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) reportedly told Christian leaders that the Senate will vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment in July, well-known D.C. activist John Aravosis issued a call for the names of gay congressional members, staffers and their associates to publicly out them.

“If you’re gay and you support making sexual orientation a political weapon, then your sexual orientation is fair game, and you will be outed to the rafters,” Aravosis said.
I'm totally with Aravosis on this one. I just do not understand the ethic-less mentality that allows a gay person to actively support people (employers and politicians, mostly) and political parties that are so committed to relegating gays (including yours truly) to being second-class citizens. I have personally known gay people who do support this sort of right-wing crap and, to be blunt about it, their justifications for supporting the right-wing-nuts come down to the protection of the contents of their wallets and/or advancing (or hiding, in the case of the closeted) their personal standing (especially if there's a "boss" involved).

The most reprehensible of the lot are those who work for or (worse yet) run for the right-wing parties (or their politicos). There are those of them who are naïf enough to believe that they can somehow work from within to change things; most of them (the Log Cabin Republicans are a prime example) bust their asses for the party and, when push comes to shove, find out that all their hard work and party loyalty is met with "Don't let the doorknob hit you on the ass on your way out." The smart ones leave. The stupid ones stay, usually elevating prestige and position (and paychecque) above any humane ideology...and they deserve every bit of the abuse that they get (from both sides).

The stupid ones (both out and closeted) remind me of the special commandos of Auschwitz; Jews who were "hired" by the Nazis, usually with promises of better food or the sparing of their lives, to meet the incoming trains of Jewish victims:
The doomed Jews were ordered to undress for a shower. At the more commodious camps, such as Auschwitz, they hung their clothes on numbered hooks, and the special commandos instructed them to remember their numbers in order to reclaim their clothes after their "bath." was taken not to alarm the Jews so they would offer no resistance.

Next, the special commandos urged their charges - up to 2,000 Jews at a time - toward the gas chambers. The special commandos tried to be helpful and good-humored, chatting about camp life and assuring the victims that they would be able to reclaim luggage at a later time. At Auschwitz, the SS organized a small camp orchestra. Groups of musicians accompanied the victims and played popular tunes or light operatic music, often from the Tales of Hoffmann or The Merry Widow.
Every three or four months the special commandos, who had by now seen too much, were themselves sent into the gas chambers.
- The Nazis (Time-Life Books' World War II series), page 146.(emphasis is mine - EG)
Lest you think I'm being extreme in my comparison, it was not long ago in the province where I now live that a member of the then right-wing government (the SoCreds) stood in the legislature and loudly opined that we (gays, but gays with AIDS in particular) should be quarantined behind a stockade on one of the outer Queen Charlotte islands. He was not severely disciplined by his own party, and there were more than a few gays, at least where I was living at the time (Alberta), who said nothing against the idea.

Nope, the gays who walk (or skulk) the political halls of power supporting the right-wing and their discriminatory agenda are, like it as not, public figures and liable to scrutiny; the skulkers don't deserve the protection of the closet, and those who are out should be asked how often they have to replace their ChapStick® and knee pads.
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" - The Gospel of St. Mark 8:36-37