When is it acceptable to out gay politicians especially when they have been voting against bills that would bolster equal rights for gays, asks freelance reporter Itay Hod, who is himself gay.
Hod posted a blind item on his Facebook page on Friday accusing a Republican Congressman in the United States of voting against equal rights for gay men and lesbians while getting caught by a reporter in the shower with his male roommate, or, on another occasion, strolling through a gay neighbourhood. His post has since gone viral and has been covered by HuffingtonPost, Gawker and others.
Although he did not directly name any politician, Hod ended his long note saying “not sure why… but had a sudden urge to share this” which is "The 7 gayest Aaron Schock Instagram posts of 2013."
Rumours that the hunky congressman, who once posed for the cover of Men’s Health, is gay are not new. He has however repeatedly stated that he is straight.
He is also known to be opposed to same-sex marriage, the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and DOMA, and has voted against adding sexual orientation to federal hate crimes statutes.
Schock, who represents Illinois’ 18th congressional district, has not responded to Hod’s post or made any statement about his sexual orientation but has locked down his Instagram account which used to be public. Business Insider’s Josh Barro pointed out yesterday, of the 71 people Schock follows on Instagram, one is bisexual diver Tom Daley.
In his long message, Hod also took the media to task for being complicit by not exposing the hypocrisy of closeted anti-gay politicians. "Doesn’t the media have an OBLIGATION to expose his hypocrisy? if he had done something so hypocritical and he wasn’t gay, wouldn’t we demand journalists do their job?" He asked.
Hod’s Facebook post in full:
people always say, no one has the right to out anyone. that coming out is a private matter. i disagree. as you can imagine, not a very popular opinion. but bear with me.
here’s a hypothetical: what if you know a certain GOP congressman, let’s just say from Illinois, is gay… and you know this because one of your friends, a journalist for a reputable network, told you in no uncertain terms that he caught that GOP congressman and his male roommate in the shower… together. now they could have been good friends just trying to conserve water. but there’s more. what if this congressman has also been caught by tmz cameras trolling gay bars. now what if you know that this very same guy, the darling of the gop, has also voted against repeal of don’t ask don’t tell, opposed the repeal of doma, is against gay marriage; and for the federal marriage amendment, which would add language to the us constitution banning gay marriage and would likely strike down every gay rights law and ordinance in the country?
Are we still not allowed to out him?
let me ask another question… doesn’t the media have an OBLIGATION to expose his hypocrisy? if he had done something so hypocritical and he wasn’t gay, wouldn’t we demand journalists do their job? but they can’t… because we won’t let them. you’re not allowed to out ANYONE, we tell them.
we’ve created a situation where even though news organizations know this guy is gay, they can’t report it because he hasn’t said so on twitter.
if we keep saying that being gay is genetic; ergo, it’s no different than having blue eyes or blonde hair… than why are not allowed to mention it? why do we need anyone’s consent to talk about their sexuality? are we not allowed to say someone has blue eyes until they post a fb message telling us they are in fact blue?
we’ve been so effective at convincing everyone that outing people is a crime against humanity, that we’ve made it impossible for any network or news organization to talk about this "hypothetical" gay republican congressman and his hypocritical vote against gay rights. they won’t touch it for fear of retribution from GLAAD or HRC. (in fact when my friend’s network interviewed said hypothetical republican, he talked about wanting to find a nice woman to marry… and the network aired it… knowing it was a lie…
so, forgive me if I don’t subscribe to the notion that you’re not allowed to out anyone… in fact in some cases, i’d celebrate it. but I’m crazy that way.
by the way… not sure why… but had a sudden urge to share this.