Outrage debuts wide scale on HBO this week, asking us to consider whether gay politicians who work against gay rights should be outed.
They fight against same-sex marriage. They fight against funding for AIDS research. They fight against adoption by gay parents. Are they fighting against themselves? Award-winning filmmaker Kirby Dick (HBO's Oscar®-nominated "Twist of Faith") takes a look at the hypocrisy of closeted politicians who continually vote against gay rights and actively campaign against the LGBT community they covertly belong to. (HBO, 10/6/2009)
I'm uncertain as to how I feel about the premise of the film.
Although this Frog is the first to publicly skewer a politician living the life of do as I say, not as I do, it's more about the Mark Foley-ization of those elected officials who go after the easy vote from their seat high upon their moral laurels, only to jump off after hours in drop of the facade.
With Foley--as the former co-Chair on the Committee for Missing and Exploited Children--his influence and impact to develop and pass child protection legislation eventually applied to everyone but Mr. Foley, once the congressman found himself highlighted in very public disgrace.
Additionally, everyone knew Foley was gay. And out.
But for those who are not and work the rope line of a double life, should they be outed when working against gay rights?
Or outed--much like their straight brethren, aka Ensign, Edwards, Sanford--for the straight-up character flaw of not coming clean with their constituency?
In my situation--after what has been inflicted upon my family--I'd use anything I had to underscore the hypocrisy of this country's sex offender laws.
Meaning, I guess I do know how I feel. You just can't have it both ways. Yet, I remain uncomfortable with my insight as I am not a member of the gay community.
Newsweek, The Case about Outing Politicians (October 5, 2009)
"...the film’s core argument—that closeted gay politicians should be outed—is still at issue. The job of a public official, after all, is to represent his constituency, not to vote in the way that would most benefit him. We live in a democracy, and everyone gets a vote, including bigots and homophobes, and they get to be represented as well. Now, it’s fair to suggest that the voting public has the right to know everything about their elected officials, including their personal lives. But if we knew the details of what everyone was doing and voted accordingly, who would we have to vote for? Political scandals over the years, ones that have nothing to do with homosexuality, have proven that most politicians have skeletons they keep. If a gay man wants to run for governor of a socially conservative state, because he has terrific ideas on how to reduce crime, balance the budget, or bring new jobs to his state, should he put his sexuality front and center and risk going down to defeat? There’s a valid argument for both sides of that question, but Outrage pretends there isn’t. If you’re gay, the film suggests, then fighting for gay rights must always be job one, and anything less is an unforgivable betrayal.
Outrageous? Or right on the Mark? :)