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Views & Voices

The ‘outing’ of Aaron Schock: It actually matters how he plays in Peoria

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.)

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.)

Former CBS reporter Itay Hod presented circumstantial evidence this week to “out” pretty boy Congressman Aaron Schock (R-Ill.). As Hod pointed out, the homophobic lawmaker from Peoria, with the stripper-esque body, seems to make more fashion statements than political statements from the House floor.

In a Facebook post, Hod said he knew the conservative Republican was gay and having sex with men:

“What if you know a certain GOP congressman, let’s just say from Illinois, is gay…and you know this because one of your friends, a journalist for a reputable network, told you in no uncertain terms that he caught that GOP congressman and his male roommate in the shower together. now they could have been good friends just trying to conserve water. But there’s more. What if this congressman has also been caught by TMZ cameras trolling gay bars. Doesn’t the media have an OBLIGATION to expose his hypocrisy?”

The answer to the question posed is emphatically YES – it is the media’s responsibility to accurately report on hypocrisy. For reporters to specifically exclude facts about gay hypocrites is itself, a hostile act proclaiming homosexuality is so shameful that it is exempted from the normal rules of good journalism.

Unfortunately, Hod jumped the gun and spoke out before he presented any indisputable evidence.

As far as I’m concerned, Schock is still a gay bashing heterosexual Republican who simply has a bit of fashion sense. On this matter, I’m inclined to agree with The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart:

So, those self-righteous folks who believe Schock is gay and is being hypocritical by voting against LGBT interests should come forward with actual, first-hand proof that he has a closet from which to emerge. If you have it, e-mail me at capehartj@washpost.com. Or reach out to another member of the press. Until then, it’s all gossip.

You can e-mail me too at wbesen@truthwinsout.org. But, it is my view that an outing should be kept “in” until there is incontrovertible proof.

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If Schock isn’t actually gay, reports that he is are damaging to his reputation. It is not because being gay is something that is inherently negative, but being misrepresented always harms the person who is the subject of rumors.

For what it’s worth, it would be detrimental for me to be portrayed as heterosexual, because it is an inaccurate depiction of my life.

When I outed former “ex-gay” activist John Paulk in 2000, I sprinted to a gay bar and took his photograph – which provided hard evidence.

When I, along with attorney Michael Hamar, outed “ex-gay” poster boy Michael Johnston in 2003, we had three witnesses who signed affidavits, as well as a videotape of Johnston engaged in coitus.

When my organization, Truth Wins Out, went undercover to prove Marcus Bachmann’s Minnesota clinic tried to “cure” gay people, we went in with undercover cameras so we could incontrovertibly prove our assertions. I respectfully suggest that Hod, who is a good journalist, visit a spy shop and invest in hidden cameras and miniature audio devices.

Unfortunately, this episode birthed a TIME magazine piece by Brandon Ambrosino, who wrote one of the shallowest columns ever written. According to the apologist:

Sexuality is fluid, and many of our sexual experiences confirm this. Even if Schock and a buddy were caught in the shower together doing something more than conserving water, does that necessarily mean both men are gay? Maybe they’re bisexual. Maybe they’re hypersexual. Maybe they’re experimental. Maybe they’re straight MSM (men who have sex with men)… With or without cute innuendo, journalists who accuse celebrities of being gay are probably better suited to write in Victorian England than 21st-century America.

How naïve can some people be? If the shower story is true, Schock was shamelessly exchanging body fluids with another man, not demonstrating sexual fluidity. He was privately engaging in gay behavior, even as he used the power of his office to punish less powerful gay individuals and their families for doing the exact same thing.

If the allegations are corroborated, Shock is a cynical hypocrite who lacks the moral fitness to hold elective office. He is building his career on the backs of more honest individuals and deliberately inflicting harm on an entire minority to further his personal ambitions.

How bad is Schock? He scored a zero percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign. He backed an amendment to the Constitution to ban marriage equality for same-sex couples. He opposed Barack Obama’s decision in 2011 to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. He voted in 2010 against overturning the noxious Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy. He even voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

If Hod’s bold assertions turn out to be correct, Schock should be metaphorically tarred and feathered. It is simply a remarkable feat of chutzpah to vote against gay service members getting shot at in the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq, while screwing men in the shower.

If Schock is gay and unconscionably voting to undermine LGBT people, particularly teens on the verge of suicide, it absolutely does matter how he “plays” in Peoria.


Wayne Besen is the Founding Executive Director of Truth Wins Out.
Truth Wins Out is an LGBT advocacy group that fights the "ex-gay" myth and anti-gay religious extremism.

Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.
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44 more reader comments:

  1. I am fine with “outing” our Representatives when they are not genuine or when they are destructive, but absolutely think there should be proof. Innuendo harms all of us.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:46pm
  2. Aaron Schock is no different than a black klan member or a jewish nazi. He deserves to have his ass handed to him.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:46pm
  3. Wow. That is incredibly offensive.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:06pm
  4. Oh good! I was worried it was too subtle.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:07pm
  5. Offensive how Benji? It's true.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:33pm
  6. Sometimes the truth is offensive.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 10:53pm
  7. It's not offensive it's simply the truth.

    Replied on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 4:15am
  8. Yes. Try to get him out of office so next time they’ll elect a 100% Hetero Male next time. Great plan.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:47pm
  9. and having a lying, self-hating, homophobic gay in there is better?

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:55pm
  10. I don't think his sex life is any of our business.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:00pm
  11. No one should out anyone. It’s the own person’s responsibility to choose or not to come out of the closet.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:49pm
  12. too bad. when you turn your own insecurities into an attack against my community, I don't give a damn about you anymore.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:56pm
  13. That attack is also against their own community; it's just a community they struggle to join.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:11pm
  14. Then Mr. Schock should have kept his mouth shut and remained NEUTRAL on all LGBT issues! The fact he bashed the LGBT community then gets caught doing the very thing he preaches against makes him fair game to be outed.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:44pm
  15. Straight my ***! This guy doesn’t exactly buy his underwear at Wal-mart!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:49pm
  16. First time I saw the man I knew it.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:51pm
  17. Gays who throw the LGBT community under the bus for their own benefit is fair game to outing.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:52pm
  18. He is as queer as they come. Sorry dude.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:54pm
  19. In this case, if they have proof, he should be outed. He is harming the gay community in worst ways than any heterosexual candidate will harm it. I am all against self loathing gays who hurt their “brethren”, hoping that it will someone help them in changing themselves or getting to heaven or anything like that crap.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 4:55pm
  20. I don’t care if he is or not – I care how he votes – and his votes are hateful!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:10pm
  21. What sort of irritates me, and I feel Wayne forgot to mention, is that peoples stereotypes of homosexuals are really the only reason people are accusing him. I mean so he dresses nice. So?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:11pm
  22. I also don’t like how this man goes out of his way to out people. Outing is a terrible thing, and no one should have to deal with it, even if you are a politician.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:13pm
  23. He who shouts loudest, usually has something to hide!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:16pm
  24. Totally

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:54pm
  25. He is scum!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:17pm
  26. This is reprehensible. If they are that far in the closet, then they are clearly very troubled souls, and the last thing that they need is to receive public bombardment.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:20pm
  27. they're hurting the rest of the community because of their self-loathing or as a smokescreen. I don't care how they feel.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:34pm
  28. Just because things are more relaxed and people more understanding today doesn’t give permission to out anyone. That is the golden rule. The only person you can out is yourself. No matter what. That os the way it has always been. This rule should not change just because I can go somewhere and get married.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:26pm
  29. Didn’t we already have this conversation 25 years ago?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:37pm
  30. It’s disheartening to see some gays in our community go in defense of a closeted gay who votes on legislation that negatively affects my family, your family and the lives and livelihood of millions of gays across this country. Why do you support the rights and privacy of those who do not support your rights Edgar Estrada?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:47pm
  31. Bet he’s not smirking now

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:54pm
  32. If Schock wanted to remain in the closet and NOT be outed, fine. But then don’t open your mouth, vote against and bash the LGBT community! Keep NEUTRAL on all LGBT issues and your opinions to yourself! The fact he bashed the LGBT community and got caught doing the very thing he preaches and votes against makes him fair game to be outed.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 5:56pm
  33. IT IS DONE !

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:02pm
  34. Outing is only negative if you considered being gay a negative. Who cares if he is gay, what people should care about is that he is a shameless hypocrite.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:09pm
  35. Outing this man doesn’t change anything for lawmaking – those who followed him will just follow someone else if they feel this discredits him – or worse, continue to follow him because a gay man against homosexuality clearly means something, right? So outing him sounds a lot to me like a fulfilling a vendetta against someone personally for all the bad things they’ve done. We don’t murder murderers, do we?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:31pm
  36. Wow. Outing someone is never right.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:55pm
  37. Let them come out by themselves.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:26pm
  38. D BAG!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:34pm
  39. Out this little hypocrite! How dare he hurt our community while hiding in the closet? What an effin hypocrite!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 8:12pm
  40. The national media has been protecting these corporatist puppets for years — the cases of Rick Perry, the Bachmanns, Charlie Crist, Lindsey Graham, Janet Napolitano, etc. do come to mind.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 11:47pm
  41. you contribute to hypocrisy, you should ABSOLUTELY be outed. all your friends at the bar deserve to know exactly who they’re buying a drink for. screw pricks like this……..NO SYMPATHY

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 12:13am
  42. Being accused of being gay or of trying to be outed for being gay is no way harmful, if you are indeed straight. Being gay carries no shame or guilt.

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 2:58am
  43. I think “outing” anyone for what they do in private is wrong no matter the person. We as a community are open but we still must respect others. If he was in a bathroom in a park tapping for attention then its one thing. If it is private life behind closed doors it is another. Also how does one accidentally find two guys the shower together…. I’d be a lot more accident prone then.

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 3:08am
  44. Awesome
    Out his hate filled heart
    Now
    Let him go through the pain then heal and be a better person from this.

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 4:03am