John Aravosis

A Sideshow, Squared

Representative Aaron Schock, a Republican from Illinois, pauses while speaking during an interview in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014.  Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee resisted parts of the early versions of Chairman Dave Campo's plan for the biggest tax-code changes since 1986, said Schock.  Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

“Of course, we don’t know for sure whether Schock is gay. All we know is that relatively few heterosexuals are forced from office by an interior decorating scandal.”

Matt Baume

Well, you know, there is that.

Then again, there is a bit more to it, as Matt Baume explains:

If Schock is in the closet, it’s a closet that he helped perpetuate during his years in Congress. Thanks to his opposition to open military service, marriage equality, and hate crime protection for LGBT people, he earned a perfect 0-percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign. Too bad HRC doesn’t award bonus points for best swimwear ....

.... When I talk about Schock’s “closet,” I mean the system of keeping LGBTs down by intimidating and disadvantaging them. Schock never met an anti-gay law he didn’t like, even though he was uncomfortable when asked why. Laws like those Schock supported are designed to oppress gays and lesbians, and they send a clear message: Sure, go ahead and be openly gay; just remember that you could lose your job, your home, your safety, or your life.

While it is true that Schock has long been subject to rumors and jokes about his sexualityα, it really doesn’t seem to be relevant here. Well, except for the point about the decorating.

That, at least, seems to be worth a chuckle.

And none of which should take away from Baume’s point; the LGBT community has reason to celebrate this falling from grace. Not that the one has much to do with the other except for a vague discussion about corruption of the soul or psyche, but still, you know, we take what we can get.

Ain’t that always the way?

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α There was the bit about the teal belt. And John Aravosis certainly entertained himself with the notion last year, and enough noise happened that Salon picked up on the murmur, and things have gone on the way they’ve gone on so that, well, now a scandal-plagued congressman infamous for his overdecorated office can’t possibly resign in shame without a queer question controversy.

Image note: Representative Aaron Schock, a Republican from Illinois, pauses while speaking during an interview in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee resisted parts of the early versions of Chairman Dave Campo’s plan for the biggest tax-code changes since 1986, said Schock. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Baume, Matt. “Aaron Schock and the Closets of Downton Abbey”. The Huffington Post. 19 March 2015.

See Also:

Savage, Dan. “Rep. Aaron Schock’s Belt Is…”. Slog. 15 June 2010.

Aravosis, John. “Anti-gay GOPer Aaron Schock locks down Instagram account as outing rumors swirl”. AmericaBlog. 4 January 2014.

D’Addario, Daniel. “The bizarre quasi-‘outing’ of Aaron Schock”. Salon. 6 January 2014.

Petrow, Steven. “Civilities: Please stop pink-baiting Aaron Schock”. The Washington Post. 20 March 2015.

The Danger of the Closet

Ah, Russia ....

A memorial to Apple Inc founder Steve Jobs has been dismantled in the Russian city of St Petersburg after the man who succeeded him at the helm of the company, Tim Cook, came out as gay.

Vladimir Putin, the most dangerous closeteer.The two-metre (more than six-feet) high monument, in the shape of an iPhone, was erected outside a St Petersburg college in January 2013 by a Russian group of companies called ZEFS.

Citing the need to abide by a law combating “gay propaganda”, ZEFS said in a statement on Monday that the memorial had been removed on Friday — the day after Apple CEO Cook had announced he was homosexual.

“In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law,” ZEFS said, noting that the memorial had been “in an area of direct access for young students and scholars”.

“After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values.”

(Golubkova)

Believe it or not, this nonsense actually makes sense if we acknowledge reality. That is to say, it is a real fact that the Russian government believes straight men will somehow become gay and leave their wives if homosexuality isn’t suppressed.

Putin reiterated his concern that Russia must get rid of the-gay, lest the country’s birthrate not rebound sufficiently. Which is to suggest that somehow gay people will steal otherwise heterosexual Russians away from their opposite-sex spouses. And the only people who think that straight men would gladly leave their wives for a gay guy are men who would gladly leave their wives for a gay guy. They’re called bisexuals (or closeted homosexuals).

Welcome to the club, Vlad!

(Aravosis)

And, well, right; this is why Putin’s government is acting like a self-loathing closet case.

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Golubkova, Katya. “Russian memorial to Apple founder dismantled after CEO comes out”. Reuters. 3 November 2014.

Aravosis, John. “Putin wants to ‘cleanse’ Russia of gays, may have just admitted he’s bi”. AmericaBlog. 20 January 2014.