Moe Lane has the background on GOProud outing Tony Fabrizio today. Fabrizio is the top pollster and chief strategist for the presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Moe and I have opposing points of view regarding the outing. But I spent enough time composing my comment at Moe’s that I am cross-posting it here:
Moe, I certainly appreciate your support for marriage equality and the repeal of DADT. But I have to say that sexual orientation is not private for anyone. It is one of the fundamental ways that people use to create rapport, find common ground and build their social network. I challenge you to try an experiment for a week: don’t reveal to anyone a single detail of your life that would let people know you are heterosexual. This includes not mentioning your wife and children — and actively hiding your connection to them. Having to do this deadens the heart and tears the mind and soul. And it turns out to be a pointless sacrifice because most people figure you out right away no matter what you do and one of the biggest giveaways is being secretive — although that also is why gays marry and then lead double lives.
It sounds to me like Jimmy and Chris were fielding calls from reporters who were well aware that Fabrizio is gay. I think they were right to answer those questions honestly and to call Fabrizio out. One of the biggest problems conservative gays have in talking to Leftist gays about fiscal conservatism and the need for a strong national defense is their belief that we are comparable to Jewish Nazi collaborators. Leftist diversity is about different identity groups all toeing the same line. They do not understand that diversity in the conservative movement is about ideas, and groups with ideas that are mutually exclusive may still congregate in the conservative big tent.
So when someone like Fabrizio really does demonize gays for money, I cannot for the life of me see why we have an obligation to keep their secret-that-is-never-really-secret and be complicit in our own destruction in a way that is not required of anyone else ever. The benefits of doing this are potentially huge — Leftists gays will have proof that listening to conservative gays about fiscal conservatism is NOT suicide and it will show them they have a place to go when they realize that the real suicide is sticking with socialism. We really cannot persuade Leftist gays of the glories of conservatism without outing the collaborators wherever we encounter them.
Just a reminder that outing Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski has had a salutary effect on her positions on gay equality. When we went along with her secret, she voted for DOMA. After she was outed, she voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment.
It occurs to me that “outing the collaborators wherever we encounter them” is a little broad, since this means that every gay or lesbian person in politics who is leading a double life for the career and social perks of heterosexuality — while preying on the gay community for sex — should expect to be outed even if they are minding their own business. No. Outing is for when they actively fight gay equality.
UPDATE, 12/10/11, Sat.:
The Daily Caller reports that Andrew Breitbart has resigned from GOProud’s advisory board to protest Fabrizio’s outing. However, the problem really seems to be that Jimmy and Chris have known Fabrizio for so many years and that during all that time he has been so open about his sexual orientation that they had no idea that Fabrizio or anyone else considered it a secret, especially when reporters were asking them questions about Fabrizio from the point of view of already knowing he is gay.
Jazz Shaw at Hot Air notes:
I tend to take the GOProud reps at their word on this one. When you have reporters calling you and asking what you think of “a gay man being involved in the creation of the advertisement” then it’s probably excusable for them to think the reporters were asking from a position of already knowing. Also, GOProud doesn’t have any history of forcibly outing other gay individuals in politics, so it would certainly be out of character for them to start now.
Bruce Carroll, aka Gay Patriot, who serves on the GOProud advisory board, and who allows his blog to be dominated by anti-gay trolls (who are out in force at the post linked), today re-affirmed GOProud’s policy against outing:
On behalf of the GOProud Board and its members and supporters, we want to make it very clear that “outing” a gay or lesbian individual is wrong and should never be used as a political weapon.
Private lives should remain just that — private. The right to disclose one’s sexual orientation belongs solely to each individual. We will continue to oppose “outing” as it has never advanced a political cause but only hurts individuals and their families.
We strongly regret the events of this week.
I repeat, if you think people aren’t automatically figuring out your sexual orientation from the moment they see you, you are living in a fool’s paradise. There’s no such thing as a “right to disclose one’s sexual orientation” as long as you are visible. People will figure you out and they do not need your permission.
However, I support GOProud in having a policy against outing, but only because they work with so many gays in politics, such as Congressional staffers, who lead double lives to advance their careers. You have to understand that the people who do this are severely impaired in the conscience department. Think of the amount of deception they practice on innocent people by marrying a spouse they don’t really love and are not attracted to and having children (for example, my former Congressman, Bob Bauman). Think of their callousness and shallowness in preying on the gay community only for sex and never to find a spouse in order build an honest life together with someone they truly love. Think of their depravity as revealed in their tendency to be unusually vehement in taking anti-gay positions as part of their cover. So the reason it’s good business to protect their non-existent privacy has nothing to do with privacy or innocent families, it’s because they are so viciously destructive when they feel threatened — regardless of how indiscrete they are — that it’s the only way to get anything done.
Another point I’d like to make is that straight people in politics who lead double lives get outed because it is legitimate news that they say one thing and do another. Dear Andrew Breitbart* had no qualms about, you’ll pardon the expression, exposing Anthony Weiner’s double life even though it destroyed Weiner’s career in Congress. One aspect of gay equality has to be that we have equal treatment when we lead double lives. It is a way of treating gayness as shameful to say it has be private and get special treatment when it is revealed or discovered. That’s wrong. It has to stop. It has to stop now. The issue is the double life.
*Note to new gentle readers: when I call someone “dear,” I am sincere, never sarcastic.
Update, 12/10/11, Saturday:
Stacy McCain is gleeful about this story, but analyzes it from his point of view as a supporter of Rick Santorum and the effect this controversy will have on Rick Perry’s campaign in Iowa. He also links Jimmy’s interview with The Huffington Post, which is worth reading.