Outing gay Republicans: Fair game or invasion of privacy?

Rick Moran erupts in outrage over, well, Outrage — a documentary which promises to “out” a number of prominent Republicans as gay.  These politicians have cast what the filmmakers consider “anti-gay” votes, and so believes that their personal lives have direct bearing on their political stands.  Rick cries foul:

Imagine being a homosexual who, for whatever reason – family, business, or personal – chooses not to publicly divulge their sexuality?

For some, it is a question of politics. And after 8 years of hearing the left say that a person’s sexual life is not the business of the public and what someone does when they are not doing the people’s business should be their own affair, it takes a lot of sand to suddenly become interested in such matters when they involve a member of the opposite party.

There exists a small homosexual clique that has taken it upon themselves to “out” gay Republicans. These vicious slime merchants inhabit “alternative” media including websites, newspapers, and now, Hollywood. Their stated goal; to expose “hypocrisy” by outing conservative politicians, and even more incredibly, those who work as aides for the lawmaker.

I’m more of a live-and-let-live conservative, myself, which gives me a bit of a libertarian bent.  If Republican officeholders are gay, that’s their own business.  I’m more concerned about policy stands than who sleeps with whom in Washington, and in the end, it’s the policy that matters.

However, sometimes policy gets affected by the personal.  Conservatives have no problem reminding people that Barney Frank hired a former male prostitute whom he had patronized at least once, and then lived with another man who was an exec at Fannie Mae.  Frank himself has argued that personal life should be fair game for political criticism, at least in relationship to Republicans like Sarah Palin.

Is outing gay Republicans sleazy?  Sure.  Is it outrageous?  I guess that depends on the nature of the “anti-gay” votes they’re going to discuss.  If they’re votes against gay marriage and hate crime legislation, I’d call that rather weak tea.  There are legitimate policy reasons to oppose both; I’m much more opposed to the latter and ambivalent at worst to the former, but I’d hardly call opposition to gay marriage “anti-gay”.  Unless they’re participating in rallies that demand the criminalization of homosexual sex or something along those lines, their sexual preference should remain their private business until they themselves choose to make it otherwise.

For a group of people who profess to also adhere to live-and-let-live policies, the filmmakers seem pretty intolerant of gays who wander off the political reservation — but that’s hardly surprising from the extremes on both sides of the political spectrum.