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Satiated By Craig Scandal, Gay Outer Backs Off Staffers

Closeted gay congressional staffers can rest easier. Their worst living nightmare, vigilante gay outer and activist blogger Michael Rogers, has called a truce of sorts: he says he'll stop targeting Capitol Hill aides and will instead limit his campaign solely to publicly elected officials and candidates.

"Enough readers expressed concerns that I have decided to now focus on elected officials, those running for office and to high level political appointees in the administration," Rogers tells the Sleuth.

His tactical change comes in the wake of Sen. Larry Craig's (R-Idaho) arrest and guilty plea in connection with a men's room sex sting at the Minneapolis airport, a saga in which Rogers played a central role. Craig said he pleaded guilty to the charges because of a "witch hunt" carried out by the Idaho Statesman newspaper, which was following up on reports by Rogers that Craig cruised men for sex in public bathrooms, including the Union Station train depot in the District.

Until today, in addition to targeting politicians, Rogers had been aggressively either naming or threatening to out scores of gay staffers who he deemed to be hypocritical because they either pushed anti-gay rights agendas or worked for members of Congress with anti-gay rights voting records. His first threat was sent in the form of a mass email to congressional aides in 2004 warning them: if you are gay, secretly or openly, and you or your boss are pushing legislative agendas seen as unfair to gays and lesbians, then watch out.

(It was that year that Rogers caught his first big fish: former conservative Rep. Ed Schrock (R-Va.), who was forced to abandon his re-election bid during the 2004 GOP party convention after Rogers unearthed audiotapes of Schrock, a married man, soliciting men for sex on telephone sex lines.)

But now, from his throne at blogactive.com, the king of outing is giving aides on Capitol Hill a reprieve. "It has become obvious to me that my message on Capitol Hill has been received loud and clear," Rogers explains, adding, "and with so many tips coming from across the country, I will be able to focus on elected officials and those seeking office."

A spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Congressional Staff Association in the House didn't respond to requests for comment.

A gay and lesbian staffers alliance in the Senate -- the Gay, Lesbian, and Allies Senate Staff (GLASS) Caucus -- couldn't comment because no one on the newly formed steering committee has been authorized yet to speak to the media. An aide involved in the group, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the organization has "consistently been adamantly opposed to efforts to out congressional staffers" and even asked Rogers to cease his campaign targeting them.

"I don't know whether he took that into consideration," the aide said, "but we're incredibly glad he has stopped targeting our colleagues, and we continue to believe that coming out is an intensely personal decision and process."

Log Cabin Republicans, which also opposes gay outing, welcomed Rogers' change of heart. Patrick Sammon, the group's president, said, "It's about time. We are glad he made this decision. Log Cabin has consistently spoken out against his efforts to out congressional staffers. Unfortunately, his actions hurt the lives of a lot of good people. Outing is counterproductive and distracts us from the real goals in the fight for equality."


By Mary Ann Akers  |  September 10, 2007; 5:39 PM ET
 
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Comments

Of course outing a public official is different than outing staffers. Too bad we can't all just be who we are. "If you bring forth what is within,
what is within will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within[you], what is within[you] will kill you."
Hard words from Jesus, in "The Aquarian Gospel".
Repression is not healthy for men and other living things, but anonymous sex in public places is not a healthy expression of one's inner feelings.

Posted by: lindaclaire | September 10, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Out them all!! Longtime staffers have great influence over policy, despite what they might tell you. The oldtimers have institutional knowledge and often help their elected bosses navigate their way around Congress and make anti-Gay legislation the law of the land. They are NOT innocent bystanders and the gay staffers are just as hypocritical as their conservative, family values bloviating bosses when they help draft and research anti-gay legislation.

Posted by: C-dog | September 10, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Out them all -- let Miss God sort them out!

Posted by: David Ehrenstein | September 10, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Out them all! Out the hypocrit officials and the hypocrit staffers who support and work for the hypocrit officials!!!

Posted by: HM Dreher | September 10, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Out them all. Nothing worse than sell-outs who F-over all of their brother's and sisters just to keep their own snout in the trough.

OUT THEM ALL!!!!

NO MERCY!!!

Posted by: NO MERCY | September 10, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Out them all.

Posted by: Fair | September 10, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

OUT every single one of the hypocritical closet cases.

Too bad Mike Rogers is so busy -- who will pick up the cudgel to wield at staffers who cash their homophobic boss's paychecks while living a double life themselves?

OUT THEM ALL.

Posted by: TeddySanFran | September 10, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

TO -- David Ehrenstein...GET A LIFE, these staffers have no business being outed. Their personal business has nothing to do with the public. Take a look at your own pathetic life.

Posted by: Joseph | September 10, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

the latest definition of quisling: A congressional staffer who works for conservative GOP polticians that suppress the equal rights of gay people.

The antidote for this is being outed and years of therapy in order to create a positive self-image.

Posted by: Joe in SF | September 10, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

from Schmitz Blitz:

schmitzblitz.wordpress.com

I am somewhat conflicted about the tactics of Rogers. The process of accepting and disclosing one's gayness is very stressful and scary-you have to worry about rejection from the people you care about the most, and begin to deal with the changes that come with being identified as a gay American. When someone else outs you, you loose control over this very difficult process, and it adds to the emotional turmoil.

What's more, Rogers' tactics create a new sort of McCarthyism targeting gays. It makes me somewhat uncomfortable to see again this kind of a witch hunt going on within the walls of our government.

Those concerns noted, I ultimately support the outing of anti-gay politicians. These politicians take their own shame and self-hatred over being gay out on open gays who just want to live their lives with dignity (as opposed to finding sexual fulfillment through secret trysts in public restrooms and parks). To me, using your democratically elected office as a closet is an abuse of power, and we need people like Rogers to expose that.

Posted by: Elizabeth Schmitz | September 10, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

There are enough closeted Republicans in Congress to fill the newspapers until the next election.

Posted by: Thomas Mc | September 10, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

OUT THEM ALL: anyone who is gay and working against full social equality and equity should be outed.

Posted by: James, San Francisco | September 10, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I think that indiscriminate 'mass outings' does indeed smack of McCarthyism. It's one thing if the individual on the potential 'outing-list' is actively involved in anti-gay legislation while simultaneously seeking anonymous gay sex. If these two criterion are me, then these people ought to be warned by Rodgers that they're about to be exposed and given the opportunity to 'convert', so to speak. If they do not heed the admonition then they've allowed themselves to become fair game.

Posted by: DrBehavior | September 10, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Out anyone who is working against gay rights. What's the difference between being elected and being hired by the elected official? You're still spending your days working against gay and lesbian civil rights.

Posted by: Brendan | September 11, 2007 7:09 AM | Report abuse

The Log Cabin's Patrick Sammon has it wrong when he says that Mike's actions have hurt a lot of good people. Actually, those republican politicans, straight and closeted, who continue to demonize gay people (in speeches written by closeted gay staffers), in anti-gay legislation (in part, written by closeted gay staffers), etc...are the ones who are hurting, and continue to hurt, a lot of good people..specifically the millions of GLBT citizens in this country.

Posted by: denatlanta | September 11, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Rogers is off the mark. The staffers are the enablers. Heck some of these elected officials can't tell time. Staffers run the show. So why give them a pass? They build their careers off the issues the same way the elected officials do.

Posted by: Dickie Flatts | September 11, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

First, the last time I checked, Rogers' actions could be easily defined as blackmail, since he contends he warns the people first that they will be outed unless they change their voting habits. That is a criminal offense. Second, again, the last time I checked, we operate with a representative form of government. As I understand the concept, Senators and Congress persons are required to follow, as best as they are able, the will of their constituency. What their personal beliefs may be goes to their electibility, not their votes. I accept that many foist their own will in their voting, but that is then up to the people to elect someone who will implement the policies we (not the politicians) want enacted. Just a thought.

Posted by: Justareader | September 11, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Before researching Rogers, I was not sure of his purpose. Was it to out staffers and elected officials who worked on anti- gay legislation to embarrass them or to have them use their influence to change our policies regarding homosexual relationships and rights in America? Are these outed people to be ashamed of being gay or ashamed of being gay and pushing anti- gay legislation?

Rogers may run the risk of promoting a stigma that he, himself, is working very hard to combat at this point. If we point out homosexuality in public officials as a condemning flaw in character and forget to emphasize on the fact that anti- gay legislation is a violation of the "pursuit of happiness" we may all lose sight of a very important goal.

With that said, I commend Rogers for his dedication to a very specific mission and am not surprised by his findings. Compulsive heterosexuality must be questioned.

Posted by: Bobbie | September 11, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure someone will create a new blog that will start "reporting" on which staffers who work for anti-gay elected officials are gay.

These people have a ton of jobs to choose from freely. They chose to work against their own, therefore are fair game.

Posted by: Chris | September 11, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Because of the demands on the time of staffers, really on call 24-7, family men and women are scarce to fill the jobs. Gay men don't have the family demands and therefore can more effectively fill the jobs.

Posted by: kelfield | September 11, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The Missing Story about Sen. Larry Craig

As I have watched the many stories about Sen. Craig unfold, I cannot help but feel that most of the News Media has ignored a major point. What research has shown is that the vast majority of men arrested in these circumstances are overwhelmingly married, have children, are often religious, and in public, conservative on many social issues. In addition, most identify their sexual preference as "straight". This also holds true in many gay chat rooms.
Amazingly, the percentages of "out" and "proud" gay men in these situations are minimal. The out gay community has long understood the health and legal risk of such behavior, and the majority, do not condone it. Likewise, if one is gay and out, he has many outlets for legal and more meaningful relationships.
So the question must be asked WHY? Why would any man be willing to put everything on the line, family, marriage, livelihood, dignity, reputation, just to partake in anonymous, meaningless, degrading sex?
What is it that drives that desire? Why can't they feel free to live their lives honestly, and openly? First, many have said they believe homosexuality is a choice.
This has long been debated. When one sees situations such as Sen. Craig's' you have to conclude that sexuality is not a choice. We do not choose to become gay. We do choose whether we are going to live an honest, open, loving, life or a life of shame and deceit. We do choose whether we are going to be productive to society or destructive to ourselves.
Obviously, their shame is caused by the environment in which they were raised.
Those environments were most often misguided through the social pressures created by religious and conservative groups. (Of course, the vast amount of hypocrisy in these groups is a whole other subject.) The oppression and repression of the gay community by religion has been damaging to the gay community as well as the rest of society as a whole. It is responsible for countless suicides. (The leading cause of death to gay teens). Often the reasons given by someone arrested for gay bashing is their religious beliefs. (Talk about hypocrisy) Often, "family values" parents will disown or reject a child who admits to being gay. There are thousands of homeless gay youth in this country. Many whose parents kicked them out just for being gay.
Fortunately, many informed people are realizing these facts. Fortunately, more are realizing that the Christian thing to do is to be Loving, Accepting, Tolerant, and Non- Judgmental. As many come to realization that the overwhelming majority of gay citizens in this country are honest, hard working, productive, people. Often contributing much more to their communities and charities than their "religious" counterparts. As more people realize someone they love and respect is gay. As more people recognize the many contributions, gay people have made to society throughout history. As the stigma of being gay is lessened through acceptance, you will see this subculture of "straight" men diminish.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The Missing Story about Sen. Larry Craig

As I have watched the many stories about Sen. Craig unfold, I cannot help but feel that most of the News Media has ignored a major point. What research has shown is that the vast majority of men arrested in these circumstances are overwhelmingly married, have children, are often religious, and in public, conservative on many social issues. In addition, most identify their sexual preference as "straight". This also holds true in many gay chat rooms.
Amazingly, the percentages of "out" and "proud" gay men in these situations are minimal. The out gay community has long understood the health and legal risk of such behavior, and the majority, do not condone it. Likewise, if one is gay and out, he has many outlets for legal and more meaningful relationships.
So the question must be asked WHY? Why would any man be willing to put everything on the line, family, marriage, livelihood, dignity, reputation, just to partake in anonymous, meaningless, degrading sex?
What is it that drives that desire? Why can't they feel free to live their lives honestly, and openly? First, many have said they believe homosexuality is a choice.
This has long been debated. When one sees situations such as Sen. Craig's' you have to conclude that sexuality is not a choice. We do not choose to become gay. We do choose whether we are going to live an honest, open, loving, life or a life of shame and deceit. We do choose whether we are going to be productive to society or destructive to ourselves.
Obviously, their shame is caused by the environment in which they were raised.
Those environments were most often misguided through the social pressures created by religious and conservative groups. (Of course, the vast amount of hypocrisy in these groups is a whole other subject.) The oppression and repression of the gay community by religion has been damaging to the gay community as well as the rest of society as a whole. It is responsible for countless suicides. (The leading cause of death to gay teens). Often the reasons given by someone arrested for gay bashing is their religious beliefs. (Talk about hypocrisy) Often, "family values" parents will disown or reject a child who admits to being gay. There are thousands of homeless gay youth in this country. Many whose parents kicked them out just for being gay.
Fortunately, many informed people are realizing these facts. Fortunately, more are realizing that the Christian thing to do is to be Loving, Accepting, Tolerant, and Non- Judgmental. As many come to realization that the overwhelming majority of gay citizens in this country are honest, hard working, productive, people. Often contributing much more to their communities and charities than their "religious" counterparts. As more people realize someone they love and respect is gay. As more people recognize the many contributions, gay people have made to society throughout history. As the stigma of being gay is lessened through acceptance, you will see this subculture of "straight" men diminish.

Posted by: Bill Miller | September 11, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I think he should keep at it. PERIOD.

Posted by: Yard[D]og | September 11, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Gee,

Guess the writer doesn't think much of "king of outing" Mike Rogers and his "throne." Well, no worries about faux objectivity on this blog, certainly.

Frankly, I find it amusing when lawmakers (and their henchpeople) whine about the sanctity of their "personal lives and decisions" while spending their days perfecting new ways to interfere in the "personal lives and decisions" of the very people they pursue in their off hours for sex and sometimes, love.

There seems to be a line of thinking in Washington that one should be able to spend one's days wreaking legislative havoc on the private lives of millions of gay Americans and one's evenings and weekends living the same life one decries during business hours with the same folks one demonizes. And everyone's supposed to be okay with that.

Sorry. Not working for me. Though it should be as simple as realizing you'd rather take a member of your own sex to the Prom in high school, Coming Out, sadly, is still an intense and daunting process for too many.

If that's your Coming Out process, take all the time you need. Just don't let us catch you wasting that time figuring out new ways to make your process and our lives more difficult than they are.

Peter McQuaid

Posted by: Peter McQuaid | September 11, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

He should keep "outing" Repulican staffers as well as elected individuals. The gays that work for these reich wing religious zealots seem to think it is fine to put down other "family members". When they are throwing rocks, they should be slammed for their hate of other gay people. We are tired of "do as I say, not as I do". GREAT job Mike and thank you.

Posted by: billmeek | September 11, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Any gay person who is working for conservative Republicans (who actively legislate against full human rights for gay people) is deceiving himself or herself like the Nazi homosexuals who believed that their party would take care of them. Eventually, their party did take care of them, with a bullet to the head. More recently, with the Republican party, that bullet was the introduction of a constitutional amendment against gay marriage and all the homophobia it stirred up.

Posted by: Joe in SF | September 11, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Human nature: those who bark the loudest are often the hypocrits among us. Just go away and snivel in your own tortured self. But if you have arrived at a position of power in your life and actively work to deny other people basic respect let alone rights, don't for a minute think doing so is ok...or that the more sane among us will not question or object to your behavior. Dissent is patriotic.
We don't have to take your garbage. Don't cry at being outed. Take it like a man. Get real.

Posted by: Aaron | September 11, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

damn--I have to defend David Ehrenstein. Out them all. It's one thing to have a non-descript job in the middle of noplace. But when you job is supporting homophobes and pushing their legislation, then you're up for grabs.

Posted by: jfbii | September 12, 2007 12:21 AM | Report abuse

wait a minute .... outing hurts them? Is that the issue? or is it the choice ...yes the choice they made to be gay? dumb. they hurt themselves. they promote the most stupid dances, poarades, clothes, flaunting their stupidity. how come the gays (both sexes) that i know who are sound, private and productive individuals don't poarade, dance, flaunt in-your-face choice? because ... (in ten words or less) ...

Posted by: jake | September 12, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

In the online Post, two of the three stories featured in 'The Sleuth' are about Larry Craig. Two of the three 'Capitol Briefing' stories are also about Craig. By instructive contrast, there is zilch about Sen. Kennedy's strenuous opposition to a wind farm near Cape Cod - 'That's where I sail!' This latter is far more instructive as a metaphor for a certain kind of public policy attitude among the Hollywood/Martha's Vineyard paymasters of the Democratic Party than Craig's behavior is on the other side; environmentalism and the question of who will pay for it is also an issue more important than gay rights. Nevertheless, the drearily orthodox functionaries of the MSM prefer to smirk over 'conservative' hypocrisy and make it a symbol, whereas Kennedy's behavior, even if deplored, is strictly his own. Anyone see a double standard here? Oh, I forgot. Beltway.

Posted by: Mark Richard | September 12, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

How about this year's National Coming Out Day focus on politicians and staffers coming out. If 20 members of Congress come out all at the same time, the fallout coud be less and the impact of gay visibility greater. They can have a shared press conference. These folks can be helped and supported by the Victory Fund, current out legislators and us in the general public.

So let's see what happens this October 11th.

Posted by: Tom Minette | September 12, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

They are public employees and wield considerable influence in matters affecting GLBT issues. That they may receive comfort, solace, comity, companionship, acceptance, and other community benefits from the very Americans against whom they support legislation makes their actions a legitimate subject for public discussion. They are public servants. My tax dollars fund their career networking for lucrative lobbying jobs that amplify their negative impact on the GLBT community. It's not the fact - in and of itself - of their sexual orientation that is the issue. It's the conflict of interest in their actions.

Posted by: Paul Wilson | September 12, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

it's a tough one, but i say out them all too. if you aren't actively trying to disenfranchise the GLBTQ community (and yes, being a staffer for someone who supports anti-gay legislation most definitely IS active support) then you can stay safe in your closet for as long as you want. but the rank, disgusting hypocrisy of these support staff for lawmakers who are trying (and succeeding) to deny people their basic human rights sickens me. if you are gay and you are warring against your own kind, you get whatever's coming to you.

Posted by: pdxatheist | September 12, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing wrong with being gay, so who cares if you're outed? If your world is one where your life is ruined for begin gay, then work for a better one.

Posted by: Charleston WV | September 12, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Christian, and I believe Atheists may not hold Christ's words of value. However, I do believe His words & wisdom. And as the Savior said: 'Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.' Luke 6:37 King James version-
Also, one of my rules of thumb; if you want someone to change, don't offend them, love them.

Posted by: cyclist11 | September 12, 2007 11:57 PM | Report abuse

because of the outcome, rogers have made gays unfit to serve in the senate or house.
barney survives because he likes the attention and doesn't care what people think about him.

Posted by: dwight | September 13, 2007 5:31 AM | Report abuse

If you are gay and you work agaist gays then you deserve to be outed, period! Its like being black and being racist against blacks. hypocrits like them deserve to be outed!

Also, in a public restroom come on and you think your not gonna get outed?

Posted by: GWPatriot | September 14, 2007 12:49 AM | Report abuse

These Government officials are crazy! What are they doing having sex in the middle of a public bathroom in the first place? Is this what we want as Americans representing our country? It is so annoying how we all want equal opprotunity, and yet when one in authority takes it and then is a con when it comes to talking and voting about it...... make up your minds people!

Step by step, the government is becomming more and more corrupt. There need to be some mayjor changes in the moral of this country!

Big 11

Posted by: Big 11 | September 14, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Not guilty by reason of insanity due to constipation. Besides, the policeperson (now we know where they are when you need & can't find one) MIGHT have used a Canadian quarter.

Posted by: Philip V. Riggio | September 14, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

rogers. bit of a moral bastard,eh? self-appointed master baiter.he is dangerous and demogogical. citizen rights should never be ignored or overridden. those citizens who take their right of privacy for granted but are only too willing to deny others the same right are, in deed, dangerous. it works both ways: rogers vs outting craig, craig vs legislating against gay rights.

to force one's personal imperatives on another-because he/she believes them to be moral-is terrorism. utilizing blackmail to further a moral objective is terrorism.

politically, i acquiesce to rogers tactricks.they are machiavellian. morally, politically and spiritually wrong. it's as if roger's has enacted his own version of the patriot's act! he is as guilty of political bias and baseness as the reigning administration.

in spite of the sinister aspects, rogers is,singularly and energetically,if not wholly ethically,attempting to level the playing field. from a hardliner's political perspective it makes sense. the ole fight-fire-with-fire frame o'mind.

the real problem here is egregiously transparent. if one's sexual preference were neither condemned nor considered illegal we would not have to fight this fight. to realistically level the playing field is through eguality. mutual respect should be simple. and natural. i believe this is roger's idiosyncratic way of getting that business done.

Posted by: boredwell | September 15, 2007 5:42 AM | Report abuse

As another poster noted, this was blackmail, and I hope that the D.A. files charges. The 1st Amendment does not protect blackmail. I can't wait to read the story about Roger's arrest and conviction. While in prison, he can meet all the companions that he wishes. Perhaps that is really what he wants after all.

Posted by: Delwyn X. Campbell | September 17, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

For those commentators that Rogers is blackmailing any one - you really need to learn what legal blackmail is. Also check the courts' decisions regarding the lives of public servants, whether elected or not, as also with celebrities. Either living in the limelight of celebrity whether through politics or the media or whether you work for a politician or a celebrity there is a very narrow part of your life that is actually private and for some one to inform you that they intend to counter your behaviour is hardly blackmail, it might even be a public service!

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