Ever since the Mark Foley "Pagegate" scandal started shaking the hallowed and hypocritical halls of Congress last month, gay activist blogger Mike Rogers has been madly outing closeted homosexual Republicans on his popular inside-the-beltway web site, Blogactive.com. His early victims have been staffers of notoriously anti-gay GOP congressmen, whose photos, resumes, and even Friendster profiles Rogers gleefully posts.
But from the start, he promised to raise the stakes as the midterm elections heated up, and that he did in spades with his outing last week of a GOP Idaho senator. But lost in the buzz was an even more significant target: Roland Foster. Never heard of the dude? Of course not—that's the very point of Foster's existence. Foster has for years been one of the most powerful and influential behind-the-scenes players on Capitol Hill to promote the viciously anti-gay agenda of the radical right. Here's a partial list of his services to the family-values and abstinence-only lobbies while on the federal payroll:
- He initiated a witch hunt to shut down sexually graphic HIV-prevention material for gay men.
- He organized a multi-pronged attack on condom use, spreading lies to discredit the mountains of science supporting it, censoring the government's own HIV prevention web site by removing all mention of condoms, and bullying the federal science institutes into defunding research involving gay men and sex workers.
- He brought the entire gay AIDS treatment and prevention establishment to its knees by threatening massive cuts and messy audits.
But does all this justify outing? Mike Rogers' stated aims are to end the destruction that these closeted Republicans do to their fellow homosexuals and to cause a Republican party meltdown prior to the elections.
Two weeks ago, he outed the communications director of Pennsylvania Republican senator Rick Santorum, who likes to equate homosexuality with bestiality. Last week, Rogers upped the ante on a radio interview by outing Idaho Republican senator Larry Craig. Bill Maher picked it up on Real Time, asking openly gay Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank "what his gaydar told him" working with Craig in Congress. Frank said, "Well, my sense tells me to shut up."
Shutting up about outing has historically been the mainstream media's default position, too. But with the explosion of the "wild, wild Web" and plugged-in political bloggers like Rogers who operate by different rules, breaking rumors and making news, the traditional press stonewall may be about to crumble. And the homophobic homosexual Roland Foster outing may serve as the test case.
Gay whispers have long dogged the Machiavellian Foster, including frequent sightings at Washington, DC gay bars and parties. But Rogers has yet to reveal his sources or his evidence, and when he called Foster for comment, Foster simply hung up on him. Even supporters of outing have posted comments on Blogactive warning Rogers that he has to do better than that.
To keep up with Roger's outing mission, check out www.blogactive.com. And while you're at it, tell us what you think about the outing of gay men whose careers depend their staying in the closet.