When closeted gays become government officials

Thisanjali Gangoda

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas on the grounds that it was “an invasion of privacy,” as opposed to declaring the laws as being blatantly discriminatory. In 1998, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was brutally tortured then murdered because of his sexuality, yet his death was not declared to be a hate crime. Two weeks ago, Congress failed to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for no apparent reason, despite the fact that an overwhelming 59 percent of Americans support lesbians and gays serving openly in the military.

Every day millions of Americans are denied the most basic of civil and human rights because of their sexuality. They are discriminated against nationwide (not to mention worldwide) without any accountability on the part of the government. Depending on what state members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community reside in, they are forcibly denied housing, safety and security, job opportunities, marriage licenses and adoption rights. There is no federal networking or effort to stand by the LGBT community, despite the fact that nearly every single American knows at least one person who identifies as being LGBT.

Why is it that even when the public is fully supportive of LGBT rights and issues, for example, the repealing of the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the government fails to see it through?

The only explanation I could think of was this: There are one too many angry, self-loathing, closet gays in government positions who need to get out of office with their queer-bashing, masochistic agendas.

When it comes to contemporary American politics, there have been a slew of government officials accused of being closeted homosexuals who promote anti-homosexual legislation. The very notion of this is very alarming, if not downright crazy. Larry Craig, a former member of Congress from Idaho, was a Republican and a staunch supporter of banning same-sex marriage. In 2007, Craig was caught trying to solicit sex from men in the restrooms of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

US Congressman David Dreier voted against “The Matthew Shepard Act,” the repealing of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, LGBT adoption rights and same-sex marriage. While voting against extended legislation for gay rights, Dreier also happened to be under national scrutiny for allegedly having romantic relations with his longtime chief of staff, Brad Smith.

Most recently is the case of Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell, who has essentially been stalking and obsessing over newly elected and openly gay student body president of the University of Michigan, Chris Armstrong. Shirvell, a public official of Michigan, had created a blog entitled “Chris Armstrong Watch.” The blog is devoted to following Armstrong’s actions and calling him a “radical homosexual, racist and elitist activist.” All this fussing because Armstrong is an openly gay man who happens to be in a position of leadership at his university.

I think it’s time that Americans take a good, hard look at who’s in office and what their political platforms truly are. Is it for the best interest of the country that you, Mr. Government Official, are trying to ban gay marriage and deny gay rights? Or are you doing this because you are gay and don’t have the guts to just come out of the damn closet?

Yes, it’s a great idea to distract people from the fact that you are gay by enacting anti-gay legislation, all while having secret-not-so-secret homosexual relationships with fellow not gay government officials. Most of us will never catch on.

Contact Thisanjali Gangoda at [email protected].