A Case for Outing on All Levels
BY Michelangelo Signorile
May 11 2010 4:00 AM ET
It’s true that, unlike state and federal elected officials, local politicians are often not recognizable, even in their own communities. Many people have no idea who their state legislators are, let alone what they look like. But this only underscores why grassroots activists need to pay attention and expose hypocritical elected officials, particularly if more powerful and self-interested gay people are covering for them and blunting media inquiries. West Sacramento’s Mayor Cabaldon notes that unnamed gay and lesbian lobbyists and other prominent LGBT people knew Ashburn was gay and protected him. He told me that several of these individuals angrily complained to him after his Facebook update and after he criticized Ashburn in the media following the state senator’s arrest. Those who protected Ashburn were selling out the community. In that sense, they’re just as guilty as Ashburn.
Every gay person who knows the truth about closeted antigay politicans has a responsibility to speak up, as Mike Rogers does so fearlessly. This is no longer an issue that is debatable. No one’s privacy deserves respect when that person is working against our rights, and none of us should be complicit in keeping the secrets of these detestable individuals. The message has to be sent loud and clear: You are either with us or you are against us.