My Take on the Foley Scandel

As everyone in the U.S. is probably aware by now, former House Representative Mark Foley has been accused of sending sexuality explicit instant messages and emails to young, male Congressional pages.

Once the news broke and he was fired, instead of retreating quietly out of the public limelight, Foley comes out with a litany of excuses for his behavior. He's an alcoholic. He suffers from mental illness. And, oh yeah, he's also gay.

And herein lies my problem. The equating of pedophiles with gay men is an issue the gay community has been battling for years. So many people still equate homosexuality with deviant sexual behavior, and beyond that, with with sexual abuse of young boys that "gay" is practically synonomous with "child predator" in many parts of this country. Gay people are seen as "other" by the red staters. They lead "alternative lifestyles" and want such radical things as the right to marry their partners and equal protection under the law. And hell, one of the pivotal issues on the ballots across the U.S. in 2004 was whether or not to grant gay men and women the right to marry. It's a hotly charged political and social issue. And Mark Foley knew this.

So while his ship was sinking, and the door slamming shut on his political career, he takes the opportunity to yell "fire" in a crowded theatre. He essentially said, "I did what I did not only because I'm mentally ill and abuse alcohol, but because I'm gay as well." Nevermind that pedophilia is not about sex, but about power and control. Nevermind that pedophiles are overwhelmingly straight males who do not discriminate in choosing their victims between boys and girls. And nevermind that the timing of his coming out party coincided directly with an investigation into his email and IM interactions with Congressional pages. Purely coincidental, as I'm sure he was just about to come out anyway.

And now we have the braintrust of Pat Robertson, he of the beliefs that God wanted W elected in 2004, that the feminist agenda encourages women to leave their husbands, practice witchcraft, and become lesbians, and that God sent hurricanes to Florida as retribution for a gay pride parade, saying that Republicans should respond to the Foley scandal by saying, "Well, this man's gay, he does what gay people do, and so don't worry about it." Oh yes, my friends, he actually said this.

And so my question is this: What do gay Republicans (and especially gay Republican Representatives and Senators, most of whom are closeted) think of Foley equating who they are with predatory behavior toward teenage boys? And what about the Log Cabin Republicans, that group of gay men and women, who for reasons unknown to me, align themselves with the political party that hates them. I wonder what they think of what Foley did, and of what Robertson, who is also a member of their party, said about being gay.

The ongoing link between pedophilia and homosexuality needs to end. Now. Its ridiculous. It's hateful. And most of all, it is completely, 100% based on inaccuracy. You know. Much like the Bush presidency.

9 Responses to “My Take on the Foley Scandel”

  1. # Blogger Shannon

    I so much want to comment but it' hard for me to type with the intense amount of bile that comes up in my throat whenever I try to think of something lucid to say about this whole issue.

    Great post, Kristi, and I'd love to see if any gay Republicans comment on this (hopefully this will make it onto the screens of one of them). I used to have a colleague who was a Log Cabin Republican and he seemed to align himself purely for work reasons. He was pretty fed up with the Bush administration by 2004, I do know that much. But I never knew him well enough to broach him about his political leanings.  

  2. # Blogger MissMeliss

    The Log Cabin Republicans have always confused me. They still do.

    Great post - you've managed to be concise and reasonable about an issue that makes me spit nails.  

  3. # Blogger The Princess

    Excellent Post....couldn't have written it better myself!  

  4. # Blogger Schnozz

    I agree with Shannon about the bile. Oh, the bile. But great post! :)  

  5. # Blogger sher

    Fabulous post Kristi! I was listening to some hard core conservatives on TV spew that garbage about gays a few days ago. They're obviously trying any disgusting method to divert voters' attention from the real issues. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who believe that stuff. As for Long Cabin Republicans--I just don't get it.  

  6. # Blogger Christine

    Great job on this!

    The Foley thing is just bloody absurd. My god.  

  7. # Blogger Binulatti

    Echoing the above - great, succinct post, Shish. Where is Mary Cheney one might wonder? In some alternate universe I imagine daddy's little girl, in her unique position of identity and influence, would help King Bigot & Co put a close-to-home and unassailable face on "alternative lifestyles". Bring about truth and some real change in the party and it's assbackwards constituents. But then again, money is enough to shut some people up and deprioritize justice, which has long been my theory on Log Cabin Republicans...Sad and infuriating.  

  8. # Blogger HoosierGirl5

    Great post.
    J.  

  9. # Blogger l

    I noticed that right away - the "he was abused" crap to explain away his homosexuality. How sad that he lives out his sexual identity under the prefect that he's "damaged". Or is it just that he's so concerned with saving political face that he's sacrificing his own identity? I'm torn between disgust and pity.  

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