Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Foley Invokes Gay Panic Defense

Now that he's been busted for behaving like the child predators he once described as being "sickos", former Rep. Mark Foley (R) wants us to know that he's a gay man who was sexually abused by a clergyman as a teen-ager and suffers from alcoholism. Foley should neither expect nor get any sympathy from the gay community.

This is a public man who lived a double-life for decades. He publicly pushed the religous right's agenda, which included opposition to any gay civil rights issues, while living a private life as a gay man. When he was outed by Blogactive.com last year, he refused to acknowledge he was gay, but he apparently made some promises to the Human Rights Campaign to turn over a new leaf. It endorsed his re-election this year for the first time. HRC no longer feels the same way about Foley. The group's head, Joe Solmonese said of Foley today:

Gay or straight, Democrat or Republican, it is completely inexcusable for an adult to have this kind of communication with a minor. Congressman Foley brought shame on himself and this Congress by his horrible behavior and complete lack of judgment. We strongly condemn his behavior.

Of course Foley wants everyone to know that he is gay now. But it's really just a poor excuse to feel sorry for him. Worse yet, he uses the sexually-abused excuse to explain his gayness and apparent mental problems, playing on the worst bigoted views of why people are gay. In this respect he's in the bad company of former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who only admitted he was gay after he got caught sexually harassing a male staffer he had entrusted with the state's homeland security. Like Foley, McGreevey invoked his gay confession as a way of garnering sympathy for him and deflecting attention away from the real issue, which was the official misconduct he committed in office. His new tell-all book, "The Confession", provides an excuse for him to make money on the talk show circuit, including the requisite appearance on Oprah, to convince folks he isn't a bad guy at all. He's just gay.

When people commit crimes against people because they are gay, they often invoke what is called a "gay panic" defense to excuse their crimes. You know, I became temporarily insane when a gay guy propositioned me so I did what any normal, heterosexual man would do, I clubbed him with a baseball bat. Fortunately, that defense doesn't work as well as it once did. Likewise, it shouldn't work in reverse when hypocritical men like Foley and McGreevey try to use it to excuse their misdeeds only when they get caught doing something that is wrong for anyone to do, gay or straight.


Wilson46201 said...

Interestingly enough, before the Bloggers "thing", I told Eric Dickerson in advance that I was planning to ask him a newsworthy question and he should prepare an answer. "As the father of a 16yo son, if he were elected to Congress, could he still vote for Denny Hastert for Speaker?" He sidestepped answering by saying he might abstain on that vote. I reminded him he couldn't miss that all-important organizational vote - he then went off on a tangent about all the votes that Carson has allegedly missed...

The moderator never read my written question later so E.D. is still ducking: Could he still vote for Hastert for Speaker, should he be elected?

Wilson46201 said...

by the way, why haven't we heard from David Dreier or Ken Mehlman about this GOP Foley scandal? Everybody else has weighed in, it seems ... those two are lying very, very low ...

just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Good Lord Wilson it isn't ALL about Eric Dickerson's response to things....geeeeesh.

I'm torn on this one. I understand how "living a lie" influences every area of your life.

But for a person so public as Foley, the stakes became too high. I'm guessing that what we've heard about his "sexcapades" is the tip of the iceberg. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

I'm still angry that a few select House GOP leaders knew some or all of this scandal, and kept it to themselves. The "cover" they're trying to find is reprehensible...they're trying to shoot the messenger. Talk radio is trying to lay blame on the person(s) who "held" the IM/email info for 2-3 yrs. to "surprise" the GOP at the last minute.

I hope he can come to peace with his sexuality. And I hope that his victims can, too.

I don't believe the aloholic thing for a second.

Wilson46201 said...

Looks like the GOP just threw openly-gay Kirk Fordham to the wolves - Log Cabin Republicans are getting thinned out on the Hill.

Anonymous said...

Now the wingnuts are saying that "political correctness imposed by radical gays sowed the seeds of the Foley scandal." Read the House leadership was reluctant to do anything about the man's behavior because they were afraid of being labled anti-gay. Since when has the House leadership ever expressed anything but disdain for politcal correctness or been the least afraid of insulting the gay community? Never.