I could hardly believe it when I read about this unbelievable degree of audacity coming from conservative columnist Armstrong Williams:
People naturally chafe under rules and customs that limit their choices. We all want immediate gratification. But moral wisdom teaches us restraint. The essential choices we call virtues were distilled over centuries of trial and error – from the time when homo-sapiens were not even aware of the biological processes of reproduction, through the Roman times when polygamy was the norm.
Homosexuality was ultimately shunned because of its effects upon the social structure, when, in ancient Greece men’s passion for boys became a distraction that weakened the state from within. It is interesting to note that among meditations of the Roman ruler and philosopher Marcus Aurelius is a passage praising his father for overcoming his love of boys.
Williams was commenting on a favorite issue for so many conservatives, i.e. the so-called destruction of American morality. His column is a rambling piece of nonsense which manages to criticize Islam, Rupert Murdoch, Jesse Jackson, the media, Catholic priests, and of course homosexuality.
What strikes me as blatant audacity by Williams is the fact that he would actually have the nerve to criticize homosexuality seeing that he was sued in 1997 for sexual harassment by his male trainer, Stephen Gregory:
Gregory alleges in a suit filed a year ago that Williams repeatedly kissed him on the mouth, grabbed his buttocks and genitals, and climbed into bed with him on business trips. After rebuffing Williams, Gregory charges, the talk- show host retaliated by docking his pay and ultimately firing him.
Gregory went into more details as to the alleged incidents in a 1997 edition of Washington City Paper:
According to Gregory’s complaint, Williams became more and more affectionate during these hotel stays and at work. Though he can’t remember exactly when, Gregory alleges that Williams began to touch him more often—pats on the shoulder, gentle hugs, slaps on the butt—in the middle part of 1995. “It felt strange, but it was very subtle at first,” Gregory says. “I just tried to ignore it; like, ‘Oh, that’s just him.'”
But it got worse, according to Gregory. After their workouts at the Y, Gregory would drive Williams to work. He says Williams would often rest his hand on Gregory’s knee during these short drives.
Williams was allegedly even more aggressive when traveling. In the summer of 1995, according to the lawsuit, Williams tried to climb into bed with Gregory one night when they were staying at the Drake Hotel in New York. It was the first of “numerous occasions” in 1995 and early ’96 when Williams did so, Gregory says.
The article, by the way, is a serious barn burner which not only talks about Williams but other DC notables.
Of course Williams denied all charges, but later settled out of court. Why? According to political journalist Doug Ireland, Gregory allegedly produces affidavits from other men who supposedly Williams had, shall we say, shown interest in.
And it gets more interesting. David Brock, openly gay former conservative journalist and founder of Media Matters, made a claim about Williams in his book Blinded by the Right. Brock said that:
Williams once made a pass at him in Williams’ apartment, allegedly asking Brock if he was “dominant or submissive in bed.”
Please bear in mind that I am not outright calling Williams gay because I don’t know. These things I mentioned, however, are facts. And they are facts which Williams probably should have kept in mind before making the comments he did about homosexuality.
He should have known that someone reading his column would resurrect them.
Hat tip to Right-Wing Watch.