Outing Gay Hypocrisy

"There exists a brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy to keep gay and lesbian politicians as closeted as possible."  So begins the recently released film "Outrage", that purports to constitute a documentary about the hypocrisy of gay politicians who have the affrontery to vote against "gay rights".  The filmmakers insist that they are not attempting to out politicians' sexuality, but only to complete the record and tell the truth in the name of good journalism.  They are leading the moral banner of media accountability on the issue of homosexuality.  There's just one problem:  the claim is a lie.  The filmmakers are guilty of all the sins they accuse the mainstream media of committing, and more.

First, the film focuses almost exclusively on outing Republicans.  While true that it is more difficult for Republicans to come out of the closet than Democrats, surely there must be some closeted Democrats who are in need of a good outing.  Second, for several of the allegedly gay Republicans that the film outs, scanty evidence was provided other than claims of uncorroborated hearsay. 

Next, the film promises to complete gaps in reporting and then conspicuously omits selective facts.  For example, Democrat Congressman Barney Frank who was in the closet for fifteen years, was held up as the poster boy of truth in homosexuality.  During his interview he asserted that "it is very important that the people who make the law be subject to the law." 

Two years before he came out in 1987, he paid a gay prostitute in order to keep his orientation concealed.  The prostitute subsequently became his "assistant" for $20,000 per year.  In 1989, law enforcement discovered that the assistant was running a prostitution ring in Barney's basement.  The Democrat-controlled Ethics Committee in the House of Representatives gave Barney a slap on the wrist.  None of this was mentioned in the film. Instead, the inference was that those who are gay and vote against gay marriage are hypocrites.

The film also makes the assumption that everyone who is gay agrees with the filmmakers about so-called "gay rights".  The term "gay-rights" in and of itself is meaningless.  It is euphemistic, intentionally provocative, and vague.  In order to arrive at a conclusion about gay rights, specific legislation must be addressed, with the pros and cons objectively analyzed.  The film rated the congressmen on five issues that combined were deemed to constitute gay rights.  These were:  money for AIDS research and support (without a definition of support), gay marriage, gay adoption, the hate crimes bill, and the employment non-discrimination act ("ENDA").  To assume that all gays agree with these bills is a mistake. 

There are reasons to oppose these bills that have nothing to do with sexual orientation.  With ominous music in the background, the film depicts footage of homosexual beatings while citing allegedly closeted Republicans who oppose the hate crimes bill.  The insinuation is that Republicans believe it's okay to batter gays.  In reality, assault and battery are already illegal.  A hate crimes bill will not make it more illegal.  What it will do is give special preference to certain groups, including but not limited to homosexuals, by providing additional punishment for the thoughts of the perpetrator.  If one is convicted of battery and his motivation was hatred of a protected group, be it homosexuals or blacks or Hispanics, then he will be meted out a harsher punishment than one who batters little Caucasian blonde girls or son-of-Sam targets like white women with long brown hair. 

The film was unclear whether votes against AIDS funding was due to "anti-gay" sentiment, requests for funding that were greater than that appropriated to other terminal illnesses, budget restraints, or the belief that funding research is not a federal function.  Trying to characterize the Republican party as anti-gay, the film ignored the fact that George W. Bush provided more funding than any prior President to help aids victims.  Even more than Bill Clinton.  And, while it was quick to criticize Ronald Reagan Republicans for not providing enough money for AIDS, it failed to mention that Reagan offered funding for AIDS, but the homosexual community did not want it from him, because he was conservative. 

The GLBT movement also pushed for ENDA.  Revealing just how extreme they are, they initially lobbied to include transsexuals and transvestites in the bill.  Republicans were labeled anti-gay if they didn't believe that men framed like football players should be entitled by federal law to keep their front-desk jobs at Wall Street firms if they insisted on wearing cute pink mini-skirts and blonde wigs to work.

One interviewee, prominent in the gay movement claimed that "gay people have no rights in this country."  NO RIGHTS!  In this view gays can be denied the vote, kicked out of public school, and denied their social security, and it would all be legal.  Hadn't you heard?

There is insufficient space in this article to review all that is wrong with the bills referenced in the film, and all the rational reasons that someone, gay or not, might vote against these bills.  But you get the point. 

The film also operated on the premise that there's an obligation for gays to focus on gay rights above all else.  Those who have other interests in life were chastised.  Elizabeth Birch, former Executive Director of the Human Rights Campaign, explained that she's not at all impressed that Mary Cheney tried to persuade her father, Vice President Dick Cheney, to have a pro-gay marriage stance.  She implied that Mary had a duty to help in the election of a more gay-friendly candidate.  She castigated Mary for her employment as a private citizen doing marketing for Coors Beer, explaining that Mary's talents and efforts could have been put to "better use".  Though Mary insisted that she would have voted for Dick Cheney even if he had not been her father (likely based on other issues), this answer did not satisfy Ms. Birch.

The filmmakers even stooped so low as to out gay staffers who worked for Republican Congressmen or the Republican National Committee.  Despite the fact that staffers serve at the pleasure of their boss, are not elected, and do not have final say in their Congressmen's positions, the film severely criticized gay staffers that worked for Congressmen who opposed gay marriage.  It is unusual for a staffer to agree with his boss on every issue, and it is therefore possible and even likely that these staffers worked for Republicans based on other priorities.  This was of no consideration to the filmmakers, who insist that gay marriage issue is "the most important human-rights issue in this country...."  Then, they took it upon themselves to "end the tyranny" of the closet, by taking away the choice of some to remain in it.

The filmmakers insist that the media has integrity except on the issue of homosexuality, where it has been complicit in keeping the secrets of gay politicians.  In truth, until recently the media didn't report on most issues of personal sexuality.  For example, they did not report JFK's affairs during his presidency.  Further, back in the day when it actually attempted to report news instead of invading the private lives of politicians, it can be argued that the media had more journalistic integrity, not less.

Finally, the film's alleged concern about hypocrisy was matched only by the hypocrisy it perpetrated itself.  So long as a politician's policies were liberal, those "outing hypocrisy" remain mum.  There was no mention of Bill Clinton, who supported feminist policies but sexually harassed women on a regular basis.  There was no mention of feminists who keep silent on Islamist abuse of women, or gays who ignore Palestinian discrimination of homosexuals.

Sure, the film is outing "hypocrisy".  So long as we all pretend that conservatives are the only ones engaging in it, then integrity, truth and consistency are the name of the "Outrage" game. 
"There exists a brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy to keep gay and lesbian politicians as closeted as possible."  So begins the recently released film "Outrage", that purports to constitute a documentary about the hypocrisy of gay politicians who have the affrontery to vote against "gay rights".  The filmmakers insist that they are not attempting to out politicians' sexuality, but only to complete the record and tell the truth in the name of good journalism.  They are leading the moral banner of media accountability on the issue of homosexuality.  There's just one problem:  the claim is a lie.  The filmmakers are guilty of all the sins they accuse the mainstream media of committing, and more.

First, the film focuses almost exclusively on outing Republicans.  While true that it is more difficult for Republicans to come out of the closet than Democrats, surely there must be some closeted Democrats who are in need of a good outing.  Second, for several of the allegedly gay Republicans that the film outs, scanty evidence was provided other than claims of uncorroborated hearsay. 

Next, the film promises to complete gaps in reporting and then conspicuously omits selective facts.  For example, Democrat Congressman Barney Frank who was in the closet for fifteen years, was held up as the poster boy of truth in homosexuality.  During his interview he asserted that "it is very important that the people who make the law be subject to the law." 

Two years before he came out in 1987, he paid a gay prostitute in order to keep his orientation concealed.  The prostitute subsequently became his "assistant" for $20,000 per year.  In 1989, law enforcement discovered that the assistant was running a prostitution ring in Barney's basement.  The Democrat-controlled Ethics Committee in the House of Representatives gave Barney a slap on the wrist.  None of this was mentioned in the film. Instead, the inference was that those who are gay and vote against gay marriage are hypocrites.

The film also makes the assumption that everyone who is gay agrees with the filmmakers about so-called "gay rights".  The term "gay-rights" in and of itself is meaningless.  It is euphemistic, intentionally provocative, and vague.  In order to arrive at a conclusion about gay rights, specific legislation must be addressed, with the pros and cons objectively analyzed.  The film rated the congressmen on five issues that combined were deemed to constitute gay rights.  These were:  money for AIDS research and support (without a definition of support), gay marriage, gay adoption, the hate crimes bill, and the employment non-discrimination act ("ENDA").  To assume that all gays agree with these bills is a mistake. 

There are reasons to oppose these bills that have nothing to do with sexual orientation.  With ominous music in the background, the film depicts footage of homosexual beatings while citing allegedly closeted Republicans who oppose the hate crimes bill.  The insinuation is that Republicans believe it's okay to batter gays.  In reality, assault and battery are already illegal.  A hate crimes bill will not make it more illegal.  What it will do is give special preference to certain groups, including but not limited to homosexuals, by providing additional punishment for the thoughts of the perpetrator.  If one is convicted of battery and his motivation was hatred of a protected group, be it homosexuals or blacks or Hispanics, then he will be meted out a harsher punishment than one who batters little Caucasian blonde girls or son-of-Sam targets like white women with long brown hair. 

The film was unclear whether votes against AIDS funding was due to "anti-gay" sentiment, requests for funding that were greater than that appropriated to other terminal illnesses, budget restraints, or the belief that funding research is not a federal function.  Trying to characterize the Republican party as anti-gay, the film ignored the fact that George W. Bush provided more funding than any prior President to help aids victims.  Even more than Bill Clinton.  And, while it was quick to criticize Ronald Reagan Republicans for not providing enough money for AIDS, it failed to mention that Reagan offered funding for AIDS, but the homosexual community did not want it from him, because he was conservative. 

The GLBT movement also pushed for ENDA.  Revealing just how extreme they are, they initially lobbied to include transsexuals and transvestites in the bill.  Republicans were labeled anti-gay if they didn't believe that men framed like football players should be entitled by federal law to keep their front-desk jobs at Wall Street firms if they insisted on wearing cute pink mini-skirts and blonde wigs to work.

One interviewee, prominent in the gay movement claimed that "gay people have no rights in this country."  NO RIGHTS!  In this view gays can be denied the vote, kicked out of public school, and denied their social security, and it would all be legal.  Hadn't you heard?

There is insufficient space in this article to review all that is wrong with the bills referenced in the film, and all the rational reasons that someone, gay or not, might vote against these bills.  But you get the point. 

The film also operated on the premise that there's an obligation for gays to focus on gay rights above all else.  Those who have other interests in life were chastised.  Elizabeth Birch, former Executive Director of the Human Rights Campaign, explained that she's not at all impressed that Mary Cheney tried to persuade her father, Vice President Dick Cheney, to have a pro-gay marriage stance.  She implied that Mary had a duty to help in the election of a more gay-friendly candidate.  She castigated Mary for her employment as a private citizen doing marketing for Coors Beer, explaining that Mary's talents and efforts could have been put to "better use".  Though Mary insisted that she would have voted for Dick Cheney even if he had not been her father (likely based on other issues), this answer did not satisfy Ms. Birch.

The filmmakers even stooped so low as to out gay staffers who worked for Republican Congressmen or the Republican National Committee.  Despite the fact that staffers serve at the pleasure of their boss, are not elected, and do not have final say in their Congressmen's positions, the film severely criticized gay staffers that worked for Congressmen who opposed gay marriage.  It is unusual for a staffer to agree with his boss on every issue, and it is therefore possible and even likely that these staffers worked for Republicans based on other priorities.  This was of no consideration to the filmmakers, who insist that gay marriage issue is "the most important human-rights issue in this country...."  Then, they took it upon themselves to "end the tyranny" of the closet, by taking away the choice of some to remain in it.

The filmmakers insist that the media has integrity except on the issue of homosexuality, where it has been complicit in keeping the secrets of gay politicians.  In truth, until recently the media didn't report on most issues of personal sexuality.  For example, they did not report JFK's affairs during his presidency.  Further, back in the day when it actually attempted to report news instead of invading the private lives of politicians, it can be argued that the media had more journalistic integrity, not less.

Finally, the film's alleged concern about hypocrisy was matched only by the hypocrisy it perpetrated itself.  So long as a politician's policies were liberal, those "outing hypocrisy" remain mum.  There was no mention of Bill Clinton, who supported feminist policies but sexually harassed women on a regular basis.  There was no mention of feminists who keep silent on Islamist abuse of women, or gays who ignore Palestinian discrimination of homosexuals.

Sure, the film is outing "hypocrisy".  So long as we all pretend that conservatives are the only ones engaging in it, then integrity, truth and consistency are the name of the "Outrage" game.