Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Policitical Closet Dead?

I don't know how prevalent this is around the country, but Detroit has a editorial columnist whose entire focus is gay issues. Deb Price never, ever, writes about anything else but issues relating to gays. How can that be? I mean, gays compromise, what, 3% of the population, right? Anyway, I read her column for the same reason I can't help looking at car accidents. I don't want to, I know I shouldn't, but I just can't stop myself.

So, today Price's column is entitled "Closeted anti-gay politicians can run but not hide." Yep, she is advocating the outing of public gay officials. Probably Republican (because, you see, they are hypocrites.) It's only a "weapon" to those that are viewed as being anti-gay, when, in reality, Rethuglian are mostly against gay-marriage, not against gays in general. Some of my best friends ... but, whatever.

The political closet is dead. Debating the ethics or value of "outing" is now a waste of breath. It's a weapon that's here to stay. And in the Internet era - with the pressures of 24/7 news coverage and bloggers often setting the pace - if politicians are gay, they're foolish not to come out before they get shoved out.

So, sexuality is not a private matter. Because so many gay people define themselves by their sexuality, it seems incomprehensible that some people who prefer to not have it public knowledge. I find it interesting and confusing that for years we were told to not "judge" people by who they chose to sleep with (but the content of their character, I suppose) but now it is their sexuality that is being shoved in our faces.

But, really this isn't the big reason I'm bringing up Deb Price's article. The impetus of the piece was, of course, the Larry Craig episode. What's her opinion of that?

Gay and bisexual men, many of whom are married, are swept up every day in outrageous police sex stings. Bumping shoes in a men's room stall signals interest; it's not actual public sex and shouldn't be treated as criminal. Countless men have had their lives ruined by overzealous cops.

So gay and bisexual men are swept up by (outrageous) sex stings, but the shoe bumping only signals interest and shouldn't be a crime. She's admitting that it's a signal. For what? Meeting in the nearest hotel? Uhm, no. It's a signal for bathroom sex. Which is illegal. Should the cops actual start engaging in sex with these men - so the actual crime occurs? I can't see a lot of cops lining up for that detail.

As a parent, I'm all for ensuring that gay/bisexual men aren't prowling bathrooms. It's disgusting, degenerate behavior that shouldn't be protected in the least. It isn't (so much) that these are gay men - it's that the behavior is so improper, so beyond the acceptable, I can't believe anyone would defend it. Yet, defend it Deb does.

These sex stings are set-up where the behavior is prevalent. I'm not a man, but I've used a public toilet and I've never come even mildly close to tapping a neighbor's foot. Wide stance or not.

Whether or not Larry Craig did or didn't - honestly I don't care. He's not my senator, and I'm sure his own voters will decide what should be done with the matter.