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03/18/2005

GQ on Outing Gay Republicans

GayrepubsThe April issue of GQ features a major piece by Jake Tapper on Mike Rogers, the writer behind BlogActive, the blog responsible for outing gay Republican congressman Ed Schrock, then-RNC field director Dan Gurley, and others. Rogers has questioned the sexuality of Representative David Dreier as well as Ken Mehlman, Bush's choice for chair of the RNC.

The article provides a history of the political gay smear tactic, a play-by-play of Rogers' process, detailing phone calls, and a flat out denial by Steve Schmidt that Mehlman is gay.

"'Ken Mehlman is not gay,' insists Steve Schmidt, a senior official of the Bush campaign and a friend of Mehlman's, who refers to Rogers as a 'bottom dweller.'"

Some other quotes from the piece:

Barney Frank: "Remember, what these people are saying is we're bad people. What's being outed here is hypocrisy, not homosexuality."

Andrew Sullivan: "I don't think there's any doubt that some people have put themselves in a very troubling position. But the right thing is to feel extremely sad and angry that these people, whoever they are, have not stood up for what's right, and yet also feel sad and angry that other gay men are persecuting them. I mean, hypocrites have human rights, too."

Dan Gurley: "What [Rogers] does is fundamentally wrong. Who is he to know or understand the personal journey a gay person makes?....I tell the people I want to tell and I don't tell those I don't. If someone has the balls to ask me if I'm gay, I have the balls to tell them....I think what [Rogers has] done is make those of us who are gay Republicans—and used to fighting—more resilient to be who we are. And he's pushed a lot of other Republicans towards us, to support us."

Finally, Tapper reports that Rogers was preparing, in February, to out a high-profile member of the Bush Cabinet (Spellings, Chao, Rice, or Norton?) as a lesbian. Rogers says that while his lawyers are telling him to proceed cautiously, he's upbeat about the progress he's making on that story. "I've been amazed at how many people who previously opposed what I was doing have now come around."

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Comments

  1. go Andy Sullivan! -- "hypocrites are people, too!" and no matter what, let's make sure the hypocrites can enjoy more civil rights than queers.......

    Posted by: bj | Mar 18, 2005 1:57:17 AM


  2. Hypocrites are humans too. Sure, but what about the other humans that have been affected by their hypocrisy? They have rights that these people are helping to squash. Sometimes, Andrew Sullivan can be so disappointing.

    Posted by: Glenn | Mar 18, 2005 4:23:18 AM


  3. Kinda like Michael Musto outing Anderson Cooper in the latest issue of OUT Magazine. Here, Musto talks about the hate mail he got because of that, and I think pretty effectively argues against his critics:
    http://www.villagevoice.com/nyclife/0512,webmusto,62236,15.html

    Posted by: Stosine | Mar 18, 2005 7:10:39 AM


  4. I don't feel that public officials should have the same expectation of privacy as private citizens.

    Posted by: Toby | Mar 18, 2005 8:40:20 AM


  5. This is about gay rights - OUR rights - and not anyone elses. In our quest to be treated equally and with respect we will refuse to act with respect towards the people in our way. We will not hesitate to violate anyone's personal privacy. We will not hesitate to ruin people's careers. We will not be afraid to start false rumors. Sure, we will continue to complain like hell when our rights to privacy are violated but we'll continue outing people against their will. Maliciously. But don't worry. We still expect public sympathy for our causes and strong support for gay rights on all those upcoming voter initiatives. Rock on.

    Posted by: Ridiculous | Mar 18, 2005 9:57:52 AM


  6. I lose whatever small modicum of respect I'd had for Andrew Sullivan each time he opens his big, yapping, blabbing, nelly -- HYPOCRITICAL -- trap. Asshole.

    Posted by: David K | Mar 18, 2005 9:59:41 AM


  7. The Republicans started this culture war, and that is what it is a war. We should not be expected to sit back and play nice while there are turncoats within the ranks of the Republican Party. These closeted party members have put themselves in the line of fire in this war. If they have an expectation of privacy, they should bow out of public life.

    As for Anderson Cooper, totally different, the man was never closeted, he's always been on his community's side of the culture war. Michael Musto simply spoke publically on an issue that all New Yorkers knew to be fact already.

    Posted by: woneffe | Mar 18, 2005 10:16:49 AM


  8. I generally don't like the concept of "outing" anyone, but I think Toby may have it right. Aren't politicians different from actors and TV anchors? Since their decisions affect my life directly, shouldn't they be called on the carpet for talking out of both sides of their mouths? Seems reasonable to me. I don't give a shit who Tom Cruise or Anderson Cooper sleeps with, but if a closeted gay senator is supporting legislation that denies me equal rights....then maybe voters should have the full story.

    Posted by: kelly | Mar 18, 2005 10:22:45 AM


  9. I think Barney Frank is a smart guy.

    Posted by: HoyaBoy | Mar 18, 2005 11:43:43 AM


  10. The battle here is to win the hearts and minds of the GOP, which is now the ruling party in this nation and will be for the foreseeable future. Now how are we better served? By letting Ken Mehlman do his job and do it well for 5-6 years and then come out, thus subtly altering people's perception of gays? Or by turning on one of our own like ruthless cannibals, devouring another moderating voice in the party, thus confirming every homophobes perception of us as self loathing opportunists AND alienating the moderates already on board with us who can't believe we'd attack someone they support simply because he happens to believe in social security reform and a strong national defense! Look at it another way. Don't you want someone on the inside of the enemy? Again, if our goal is to moderate the hostile impulses of the religious right, what better way to do it than having someone like Mehlman in his role?

    The same goes for Anderson Cooper. His career is being damaged by all of this chatter. That's wrong, but it's the truth. Anderson should have been afforded the choice to decide whether his success in his chosen field was more important than being a role model for gay men who are obviously so desperate for them. He had a legitimate shot at a large role at CBS and that is now, probably gone. How would we be served better? By damaging his career now or by letting him anchor the CBS Evening News for 7-8 years and then coming out? The people that do this claim they have some higher purpose, but the reality is that they think that people that choose discretion are making the wrong choice and they attack them.

    Posted by: Mitch | Mar 18, 2005 12:43:44 PM


  11. Mitch, you're a moron. If someone is making your life miserable, either you end your life, or you get them out of your way. Some people want to be shrinking violets, standing against the wall for all eternity while things happen to them and around them. On Blogactive, Mike Rogers is standing up for gay people, and enabling all gays to do the same.

    Why should some gay guys be making tons of money off of the misery of other gay people. Why do some people make excuses for them? Both Andrew Sullivan and Dan Gurley were closeted conservatives who were looking for unprotected sex on gay.com. Once they both were outed, of course they would be upset. There goes the meal ticket, and the nighttime special, apparently. I believe they get their just desserts. We need to stand up against these hypocritical assholes. Maybe if we do, we can send a message to the Republicans that we are tired of their shit, and we are a united front, and we will not put up with it any longer.

    Posted by: MA | Mar 18, 2005 1:53:01 PM


  12. First, there's no reason to call anyone a moron here. Can we keep it civil?

    Mitch, you are right in some respects...it is a positive to have gay republicans who are seeking change from within (I would argue that the Log Cabin Rs are doing this). But don't you think there is huge distinction between out gay republicans working for change on the inside and closeted member of congress working against us?

    Posted by: kelly | Mar 18, 2005 2:04:34 PM


  13. "If someone is making your life miserable, either you end your life or you get them out of your way"
    That's exactly what the voters have been doing on every gay marriage referendum. Striking back against exactly this kind of in-your-face take-no-prisoners this-is-culture-war bullshit.
    Outing is counterproductive. It's not going to win hearts and minds of the straight, working class, middle American voter. Outing does not improve their image of gays, it makes gays look like Mitch said, like cannibals. Uncivilized, hypocrital, privacy-invading, cheap-shot, dirty-tactic cannibals.
    IF Ken is gay (and nobody has proved he is) then the fact that he is running the RNC is priceless and gays should recognize the tremendous long term advantages he can eventually offer instead of dragging his ass through their ugly militant personal politics, throwing him out of the job, and replacing him with someone much worse.

    Posted by: Right | Mar 18, 2005 2:16:50 PM


  14. MA, yeah that militarist strategy is really working isn't it? Every state where there has been a referendum on gay marriage has banned it. California voters will likely ban it in November.

    You seem to live in the dream world where you don't realize that the GOP controls the House, the Senate, the White House, the Supreme Court, the majority of the governorships and the majority of the state legislatures and has been increasing their majorities for a decade.

    I want to win this battle and I offer opinions and thoughts on how we can do that, but apparently since my ideas vary from leftist gay groupthink you immediately label me a moron. Whose the intolerant one here?

    Posted by: Mitch | Mar 18, 2005 2:36:22 PM


  15. *But don't you think there is huge distinction between out gay republicans working for change on the inside and closeted member of congress working against us?*

    EXACTLY!

    *He had a legitimate shot at a large role at CBS and that is now, probably gone. How would we be served better? By damaging his career now or by letting him anchor the CBS Evening News for 7-8 years and then coming out?*

    I'd rather have an out gay man reach a powerful position in the media, than a mostly out gay man try to pretend he's something he's not, and then 'surprise' everyone in 7-8 years. Ellen's gone far being out, there's no reason Anderson can't follow suit. Maybe he won't be anchor at CBS, but unfortunately he wasn't born at a time when the culture allowed him to be. In the long run he personally will be better off for being honest and fully open and the gay community as a whole will be better off for his courage, if he chooses to continue to not deny the rumours that is.

    Posted by: woneffe | Mar 18, 2005 2:39:49 PM


  16. PS: Look where McGeevrey pretending to be something he wasn't got us.

    Posted by: woneffe | Mar 18, 2005 2:41:49 PM


  17. In the long run Anderson will be better off if he's allowed to live his life the way he wants to.

    McGreevey was married to a woman, having kids, cheating on her with a man in his employ and bribing him. Those transgressions did far more damage than his being gay.

    Posted by: Mitch | Mar 18, 2005 2:55:58 PM


  18. Thanks to so many voices today standing up for "speaking truth to power." But how I pray that Mitch were a moron. On the contrary, he appears quite intelligent. Also totally brainwashed, infected with terminal Stockholm Syndrome, and a smiling, shuck and jiving "Porch Faggot." He'd defend Ghengis Khan if the old boy would just pat him on the head.

    "The battle here is to win the hearts and minds of the GOP, .... let... Ken Mehlman do his job and do it well for 5-6 years and then come out, thus subtly altering people's perception of gays? Or by turning on one of our own like ruthless cannibals, devouring another moderating voice in the party"

    There are no hearts and minds left in the theocratic thugs now controlling the GOP. Maybe at the grassroots level, but if they hear of this controversy at all (GQ has a very narrow demographic) and HAVE minds they'll know Right Wing hypocrisy when they smell it. We might as well stick our head in a bucket of wet cement and try to yell "Please stop being mean to us." WHERE is the any evidence that Mehlman is a "moderating voice," anything more than a Kapo in this policed (note I did not say "police") state? He may not be leading the charge against us, but this closet queen's throne rests on the latest GOP platform which just stopped short of calling for wholesale firings of gays in government (there's a federal departmental henchman doing all he can in that direction), reinstituting institutionalizing us in mental hospitals, recriminalizing sodomy, and castration. Do his job well for 5-6 years and then come out? What--have you read the fine print on his pact with the Devil? His job is to perpetuate the power of people who only have it in large part because they demonize us, exploit us, are still calling for our disenfranchisement. If this were murder, he doesn't have to have his hand on the gun to be indicted as a coconspirator. Just like Terry Dolan came out after helping behead some of the most eloquent voices for human rights in Congress? Who went to his grave rotting of AIDS without coming out? Mitch seems to imagine himself some modern version of Neville Chamberlain. Thank you, Woneffe, for pointing out that duped diplomacy is too late. This cultural WAR has started (and not just recently: the characterization is not Woneffe's but that of Right Wing Poster Boy Pat Buchanan at the convention, as I recall, that nominated Pappy Bush). In any kind of war, there are fighters, there are pacifists, and there are collaborators (Mitch) and traitors (Mehlman et al.). And you don't need "CSI Fire Island" to uncover evidence linking the actions and inactions of Mehlman and his fellow Queer Quislings to the current state of the Land of the Free (unless you're gay). Maybe that family in San Diego who was denied a Catholic funeral and burial for their gay son should invite Mehlman to the services graciously taken over by the Episcopals. I'm sure they'd be interested in hearing his explanation of why he's feasting at the foot of Power while their son's soul searches for hallowed ground. Well, boys and girls, "It's not the Earth the meek inherit but the dirt."

    Posted by: Leland | Mar 18, 2005 2:56:51 PM


  19. Isn't the discussion about whether Cooper should be out entirely different than outing hypocritical closeted politicians?? Jeez...he's an anchor on CNN, not in the Senate potentially voting on an anti-gay constitutional amendment.

    Posted by: kelly | Mar 18, 2005 3:06:18 PM


  20. Leland, get a grip. During the election, even George W Bush spoke in favor of civil unions which offer most of the protections as marriage. Obviously that's not going to be good enough. BUT, even a few years ago, before Vermont, such a position would have been incomprehensible to the Republican base. The fact is, there is moderation. Moderation prevails in American politics every time. Talking about wholesale commiting gays to mental hospitals as if that is a real option here is the kind of counterproductive bullshit that shows how "totally brainwashed" guys like you are as opposed to Mitch. If you can look at it objectively - even for a second - you will see that gay rights have been slowly and steadily making progress. Some setbacks are to be expected but consider Vermont, Massachusetts, the Supreme Court ruling, public majorities in favor of civil unions, top military leaders now calling for an end to don't ask don't tell, the inability of the RNC to even bring the FMA to a vote this year, the recent decision in CA, etc. Your reaction is hysteria. Keep a clear mind and try to understand how politics actually works. If you insist on calling this a war, then understand that YOU are the one acting like Lyndie England. A disgrace.

    Posted by: Really | Mar 19, 2005 5:36:02 AM


  21. "Really": go fuck yourself, really. One would think your lips moving while you read would slow you down enough so that you could understand what is actually on the page, not what you imagine because you disagree with other points that are there. "...the latest GOP platform which just STOPPED SHORT OF calling for..." Did the caps help? Again, REPUBLICAN PAT BUCHANAN first called this a war. It's one thing to disagree but another to so wholesale assign beliefs to someone when nothing they wrote justifies it. Nothing I said could RATIONALLY lead anyone to think that I don't recognize how much progress there has been. In my own personal experience it has been a while since on separate occasions I was denied a promotion, fired, and clubbed to the ground by strangers just for being gay (all of which did happen to me) but there's plenty of similar shit still happening to others and George Bush is a major part of the cause of those effects. "how politics actually works"? Well, you have obviously have no idea, Judy, given that you believed George Bush when HIS lips moved about civil unions. "During the election" (perhaps unintentionally) leaves the impression to the less informed that at every political whistle stop where he appealed for votes by fag bashing over gay marriage he quickly added "but I support civil unions and I want all you good folks to help make it happen." His air kiss about civil unions was in an 11th hour interview after he'd tied up his homophobic base and wanted to pick up a few extra moderate votes by pretending once again to be "compassionate." He's repeated his WORDS since but has taken no ACTION ("Hello, Senator Dilwadd? Here's the bill your gonna submit tomorrow for me.") If you believe he genuinely gives a damn about civil unions (or anything else to make us first class citizens--which would totally contradict his record going back nearly 25 years) you would believe he wouldn't come in your mouth either.

    Posted by: Leland | Mar 19, 2005 2:47:47 PM


  22. Leland, you're right. You are right about everything. Feel better baby?

    Posted by: Really | Mar 19, 2005 3:30:34 PM


  23. Barney Frank nails it. It's not exposing homosexuality, but hypocrisy, and that's not only fair-game but politically imperative to call them to account for thier crass, craven hypocrisy. If they can get elected by campaigning against the sexu lives of others, they have opened the door on the subject and taken a public stand that contradicts their own personal lives that they should be called to account for. Soon this could blow-up in their faces as a demogogic and farcically hypocritical (not to mention cruel)political perversion provided the gay community doesn't lead with their chin. If they'll be patient and dignified, their enemies, eventually, will destroy themeslves. Hate, hypocrisy and a lust for power is a lethal combination. Nudge but don't bludgeon them for now.

    Posted by: jyboy | Mar 23, 2005 3:24:54 AM


  24. Why do I have to look at at the gay shit on this site in order to try and read the article?

    Posted by: fudgepacker | Nov 10, 2006 5:17:09 AM


  25. Regarding the Bush cabinet outing..per wiki interesting that Norton's first husband was outed as gay and she subsequently remarriedl. Also per wiki she attended the University of Denver at the same time Rice did..hmmmm. Maybe drove cross country in pick up trucks, too?

    Posted by: newyorkness | May 2, 2009 11:18:53 PM


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