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 Topic: Outing by Bill Maher

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DVDLover  



Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 24


Posted: 14 Nov 2006, 9:16 pm    Post subject: Outing by Bill Maher Reply with quote

According to liberal blogs and Arianna Huffington, BIll Maher (HBO) outed Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman on CNN's Larry King show. This has conservative TV commentators such as MSNBC's Joe Scarborough apoplectic. I don't know if Mehlman is gay or not, but Scarborough, in particular, argues that outing him is a violation of his right to privacy.

Mehlman, however, has supported a party that is homophobic and demands that it's gay members stay in the closet. Outing people who aren't engaged in the oppression of the queer community isn't fair, but outing a public figure who acts as the frontman and spokesman for a party that opposes hate crimes legislation, same-sex marriage, and even civil unions is an act of political courage.

A right to privacy may exist, but when one enters public life, there is no right to hypocrisy. I wholeheartedly support Maher if he outed Mehlman with real, valid information. No one on the conservative side seems to deny that Mehlman is gay, and they certainly aren't rushing to improve the quality of family life for American queers.

Do you agree that Maher was right to out Mehlman? Does anyone know if Mehlman is really gay?
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JayJay  



Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 79
Interests: gay history

Posted: 15 Nov 2006, 1:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Outing by Bill Maher Reply with quote

I agree that public officials who work against glbtq rights and act as front men for the bigots of the Christian right are hypocrites who deserve to be outed. Mehlman is little better than the evangelical leader who was outed by a call boy or Representative Mark Foley whose unwelcome e-mails to male Congressional interns came back to bite him.

Under Mehlman's leadership (or as a stooge for Bush et al.) the Republican Party has cynically used same-sex marriage amendments and other anti-gay policies as wedge issues to whip their base into a frenzy so that they would support the corrupt policies of the Bush administration.

These people have no respect for our private relationships, so we owe them no respect for their private relationships.

What may be the most disturbing aspect of Bill Maher's outing of Ken Mehlman on the Larry King Live show, however, is that CNN apparently tried to censor the outing in rebroadcasts, by removing the outing from the show when it was shown on the west coast and in their archive. This rewriting of history is a lot like Orwell's "1984."
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gennee  



Joined: 15 Sep 2005
Posts: 414
Interests: reading, writing, poetry, transgender issues, gospel, veteran's issues,jazz,education,religion,literature,Native-American and African culture,lighthouses,trails,castles,tractor trailers, playwriting, biograhies, electronics, bass guitar
Physical Location: new york

Posted: 16 Nov 2006, 8:40 am    Post subject: Another Point of View Reply with quote

I ask 'How would you like it for someone to out you? There's a double sword to this. What I read here basically is not about rights for LGBT but hatred for President Bush and disagreement with those who oppose your position. Would anybody like for them to be outed and you don't wish to be? Something to think about.

Gennee
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JayJay  



Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 79
Interests: gay history

Posted: 16 Nov 2006, 5:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Another Point of View Reply with quote

Since I am completely out and have been so for many years, no one can out me. That is the biggest advantage of not being in the closet. I don't have a "dirty secret." I am proud to be gay.

Of course, people ought to be able to come out on their own timetable and not be outed by others. Sexuality is in most cases a private matter.

However, people who make careers out of demeaning gay people or depriving them of their rights cannot expect to also enjoy the sexual freedom that gay activists have made possible. Their hypocrisy needs to be exposed. As the saying goes, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. So I am delighted that Mehlman and Haggard and Foley and such people are exposed for the hypocrites they are.


gennee wrote:
I ask 'How would you like it for someone to out you? There's a double sword to this. What I read here basically is not about rights for LGBT but hatred for President Bush and disagreement with those who oppose your position. Would anybody like for them to be outed and you don't wish to be? Something to think about.

Gennee

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DVDLover  



Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 24


Posted: 17 Nov 2006, 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: Another Point of View Reply with quote

JayJay wrote:

However, people who make careers out of demeaning gay people or depriving them of their rights cannot expect to also enjoy the sexual freedom that gay activists have made possible. Their hypocrisy needs to be exposed.


JayJay,

I agree 100%. If Mehlman were a shopkeeper, dogcatcher, or Vice President of Marketing who did his job and didn't contribute to the oppression of gays, not only would he not have been outed, but if he were, no one would care. Instead, Mehlman serves as the face of a political party that demeans gay people in order to appeal to its homophobic base and seeks to continue the traditional practice of excluding us from full civil rights. It would be wrong not to out him.

I think you're right, Gennee, that outing is a drastic measure, but when it's used against a person who is part of a self-conciously anti-gay group, it's a necessary weapon.
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Rob Stahl  



Joined: 11 Nov 2006
Posts: 10
Interests: Literature,Music, Baseball and Football

Posted: 17 Nov 2006, 12:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Another Point of View Reply with quote

I agree. Think about Roy Cohen, Joe McCarthy's legal henchman, and what he did to the careers of homosexuals and progressives. Given the chance, in the 1950s, someone should have outed him as well. lf you work to deprive people of their civil rights the gloves come off.

Rob


DVDLover wrote:
JayJay wrote:


However, people who make careers out of demeaning gay people or depriving them of their rights cannot expect to also enjoy the sexual freedom that gay activists have made possible. Their hypocrisy needs to be exposed.


JayJay,

I agree 100%. If Mehlman were a shopkeeper, dogcatcher, or Vice President of Marketing who did his job and didn't contribute to the oppression of gays, not only would he not have been outed, but if he were, no one would care. Instead, Mehlman serves as the face of a political party that demeans gay people in order to appeal to its homophobic base and seeks to continue the traditional practice of excluding us from full civil rights. It would be wrong not to out him.

I think you're right, Gennee, that outing is a drastic measure, but when it's used against a person who is part of a self-conciously anti-gay group, it's a necessary weapon.
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JayJay  



Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 79
Interests: gay history

Posted: 17 Nov 2006, 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Another Point of View Reply with quote

Rob, Genee, and DVDLover,

As Rob and DVDLover have pointed out, context is everything. The discussion isn't about outing private citizens but about outing people who attack the gay community or work to deprive homosexuals of their rights or support bigots who use homosexuals as bogeymen.

I have lots of sympathy for people who are outed against their will if they are simply ordinary people wanting to cling to privacy or if they need to keep their homosexuality secret for some personal reason. But even those people often realize that being outed is the best thing that ever happened to them.

The closet is an awful place for most people. I would not be surprised if sometime in the future Mehlman will come out and thank Maher (and others) for having outed him. It must be awfully uncomfortable to live in the Republican closet, having to worry everyday if people like James Dobson or Pat Robertson or Rick Santorum or Sam Brownback know that you are gay.

In any case, the problem with people like Mehlman and Foley and Haggard and Cohen etc. is not their homosexuality but their hypocrisy.

As Dan Savage pointed out in a New York Times op ed about Haggard, nowadays hypocrisy is a bigger sin than either prostitution or homosexuality. Thank God for the progress the gay movement has made in this regard.

When we reach a point where homosexuality is so accepted that one doesn't have to worry about being fired or shunned by others if one's homosexuality is revealed, the whole question of outing will be moot. Unfortunately, we still have a way to go.
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