Gay Tory 'outing threat' exposes split over same-sex marriage | News | The Week UK
OK, so you’re thinking ‘not another gay thread’ and ‘couldn’t this go with another thread’. I’m posting a new thread because (a) I think this is a distinct issue and (b) the thread on gay marriage in the UK seems to be claiming the last page of the thread can’t be displayed and instead the most recent page I can open seems to be page 46.
A number of outlets have suggestions about secretly gay MPs planning to vote against gay marriage tomorrow, and threats by some Tories to out those who do. What are people’s thoughts on outing of secretly gay politicians.
My normal instinct is that someone’s political life is separate from their private life, and whether they are gay or not has little to do with the merits of the debate at hand. But is a degree of hypocrisy relevant in judging political representatives actions? This really was more of an issue back in the 70s and 80s when Peter Tatchell had a deliberate policy of outing gay MPs who votes against gay rights (section 28 was a particular case). Tatchell himself was the victim of massive homophobia when he ran in a by-election against the current Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems, Simon Hughes in 1983. Ironically, Hughes was (much) later found to be less than consistent in his attitude to homosexuality when outed when running for the leadership of the Lib Dems. So if a politician is being hypocritical in their actions, or in this example if their opposition to gay marriage is grounded in some moral objection to gay relationships, or lauding of the heterosexual marital ideal, does that hypocrisy need to be ‘outed’.
I’m genuinely not sure on this – I think my attitude is that if an MP is secretly gay, that’s one thing and they shouldn’t be outed, but if they are pontificating about the sanctity of straight marriage as the ultimate ideal while having a wife at home and a rent boy on the side, then that’s a level of hypocrisy that, I believe, should be exposed.