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

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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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.

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