GOP Shifting Foley Scandal To Gay Bashing genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Stop promoting hate

That didn't take long! Call me a cynic and a skeptic but within hours of the announcement by Mark Foley's attorney that his client is gay, a number of GOP operatives were appearing all over the media attempting to portray this scandal as an incident that is predominantly about homosexuality...rather than a question of insidious behavior coupled with an intentional cover-up for the sake of political expediency. I find it amusing that up until Foley became a political liability, the Republican leadership was willing to sacrifice the welfare of a 16 year old male page...but the minute Foley's actions were exposed, his sexual orientation became the issue. That is nothing but blatant partisan hypocrisy at its worst.

Tony Perkins, appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews inferred that he was opposed to electing gays and while he conceded that homosexuals should be entitled to participate in the political process, he didn't feel they could be expected to exhibit the appropriate sexual restraint He said homosexual men are more likely to molest children than heterosexual men and suggested that may well mean that it isn't advisable to have gays serving in an atmosphere that might present an opportunity for sexual misconduct. He attempted to portray the alleged cover up by the Republican leadership as a hesitation to confront Congressman Foley because they may have feared their actions would be viewed as gay bashing...thereby absolving the GOP leadership of any misconduct.

In addition to Perkins, Pat Buchanan, also appearing on Hardball, was quoting the flawed research frequently offered by religious conservatives that has been documented to be the biased work conducted by Paul Cameron, a discredited researcher who has sought to portray homosexuals as pedophiles and sexual deviants. Buchanan twice repeated the assertion that homosexuals have a proclivity to pedophilia...making the statement that thirty percent of pedophile crimes are committed by gays...a group that he asserts is just three percent of the U.S. population.

Buchanan also cited the Pope and his opposition to homosexuality to reinforce his assertions...making the statement that the Catholic Church's U.S. sex scandal was basically a problem that resulted from allowing gays to serve within the Church despite their predisposition to pedophilia...apparently granting the Church absolution for their decades of denial and deceit. Apparently the premise of hate the sin but love the sinner only applies to those who aren't gay...after all the Catholic Church has always found themselves in need of scapegoats.

This attempt to shift the issue to homosexuality is some of the most vial and disingenuous spin that I have had the misfortune to witness. It demonstrates an absolute disregard for Christian principles and an unbridled propensity to scapegoat gays when the GOP once again finds itself in trouble with their conservative evangelical base.

As I interpret this calculated damage control strategy, it seems obvious that the goal is to make voters believe that the actions of the Republican Party, in embracing Foley as a Republican, were an attempt to display tolerance...but in doing so...they suddenly and unfortunately found themselves in a difficult position when Congressman Foley's improprieties surfaced. Essentially, they want their constituents to believe that they didn't try to cover up the scandal...they were simply exhibiting the politically correct behavior that has come to be expected in these times of increasing anti-religious sentiment and growing tolerance for alternative lifestyles.

Let me offer an equally ridiculous example for comparison in order to amplify my accusations. Take the recent resignation of Duke Cunningham, also a who was convicted of accepting huge amounts of money in exchange for providing political favors...and who also attended parties at which he was provided the services of prostitutes by those who paid him these bribes. If the GOP wanted to be consistent, why didn't they assert that middle aged married heterosexual white men are prone to adultery...offering the overwhelming statistics supporting that contention...and concluding that they may not be suited for political office in light of their preoccupation with extramarital sexual relationships and a disregard for the sanctity of their marriage vows.

If Mark Foley's homosexuality is responsible for his inappropriate behavior, then why isn't heterosexuality also responsible for the indiscretions of married white male politicians? Instead, Cunningham is just a man who failed to do the right thing while Foley is a failed man because he is a homosexual. Pardon my indignation but that is abject bullshit.

Let me be clear...I am not defending Foley...he is a reprehensible man because of his actions...just as Cunningham is a reprehensible man because of his actions...but the sexual orientation of either man is only relevant when determining whether they committed their transgressions with same or opposite sex is not a valid attribution. The attempt to make Congressman Foley's sexual orientation the issue is as outrageous as the behaviors exhibited by Foley and by Cunningham...and any voter that elects or succumbs to that ridiculous hypocrisy has no right to the moral indignation they may be attempting to assert.

Its time for decent, values oriented, law abiding Americans to tell those who employ the politics of division and derision that such behavior will not be tolerated and that they will no longer be afforded the power to put forth a platform that is poisoning our political system and preying upon prejudice for partisan advantage. Morality cannot be measured by sexual orientation any more than a black slave could be assigned a numeric value less than the equivalent of one man, one vote or than a woman could be deemed unfit to vote. In fact, as with the mistreatment of blacks and women, history will clearly note that the only immorality associated with homosexuality was that which was exhibited by those who sought to demonize it in order to maintain one last bastion of bigotry.

Daniel DiRito | October 3, 2006 | 6:05 PM
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