Now is the time for those running for public office in Illinois to come clean about the skeletons, or mistresses, or prostitutes, or congressional pages, or homosexual partners lurking in their closets. The past few years have been a veritable anti-treasure trove of political closet cleanings, and many Illinoisans are sick of them.
Rumors have been swirling for years that a sometime-married elected Illinois representative who now seeks higher office is homosexual. Rumors continue to swirl that his sexual peccadillo and deceit have been aided and abetted by those who bask in his, I hope, dimming light, just as Mark Foley‘s double life was aided and abetted by Denny Hastert. Those who aid and abet in the sexual immorality and deceit of public servants do neither the public nor political parties any favors.
Some in the formerly grand Republican Party exalt candidates they view as moderate, which translated means those who support the destruction of incipient life and those who affirm homosexual unions. The new “moderate,” however, is yesterday’s immoderate, perverse, radical, and subversive. Immoderateness, perversion, radicalness, and subversiveness are moderate only to relativists-to those who believe there are no fixed, immutable, eternal, objective truths. In Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver makes mincemeat out of the foolish notion implicit in the claims of devotees of moderateness:
“Whoever argues for a restoration of values is sooner or later met with the objection that one cannot return, or as the phrase is likely to be, “you can’t turn the clock back.” By thus assuming that we are prisoners of the moment, the objection well reveals the philosophic position of modernism. The believer in truth, on the other hand, is bound to maintain that the things of highest value are not affected by the passage of time; otherwise the very concept of truth becomes impossible. In declaring that we wish to recover lost ideas and values, we are looking forward toward an ontological realm that is timeless.”
Infidelity matters. Infidelity matters because it’s an indicator of personal integrity and commitment to oath-keeping. If a political figure will not honor the most profound commitments to spouse and children, if his personal desires take precedence over spouse and children, what confidence can the public have in his willingness to honor commitments to his constituency or in his willingness to subordinate personal desire to a larger, more noble cause?
Deceit matters. Deceit matters for all the reasons mentioned above and because the public is entitled to know the truth about those whom they’re entrusting to represent their interests. In addition, there is a more pragmatic reason that deceit matters. It matters because “at length the truth will out,” and distracting scandals will ensue. The sexual profligacy, perversion, and deceit of Barney Frank, Bill Clinton, Dan Crane, Gerry Studds, Mark Foley, Ted Stevens, Elliot Spitzer, John Ensign, Mark Sandford, and Sam Adams should have rendered the public weary of the dissolute and desirous of leaders of forthrightness, transparency, and integrity.
Homosexuality matters. The public is foolish if it buys the claim that the “sexual orientation” of public servants-whether school administrators, judges, or legislators-doesn’t matter. It matters for two reasons. First, volitional homosexual behavior is deviant, immoral behavior regardless of its etiology. That moral claim is not only a legitimate but also a necessary moral claim to make publicly. And we should be making it with at least the same frequency, fervor, clarity, and tenacity with which others are making the claim that volitional homosexual acts are moral and good.
I am not suggesting that men ought not love other men or that women ought not love other women. Men should love men, and women should love women. Rather, I’m making the moderate, historical, ordinary, common sense claim that the love between two (or more) men and the love between two (or more) women is corrupted when they engage in homosexual acts.
The second reason that the “sexual orientation” of a public servant matters is that the affirmation of a “homosexual orientation” tells us precisely what he holds to be true about the morality of homosexuality and tells us how such a person will vote on issues pertaining to homosexuality and cross-dressing. Someone who affirms their own homosexual orientation will support civil unions/domestic partnerships and likely affirm same-sex faux “marriage.” He will support intrusive, big-brotheresque “hate crimes” legislation, and he will support employment “non-discrimination” legislation that will ultimately be used to vitiate fundamental First Amendment speech and religious rights.
For those who harbor the delusion that conservative concerns about the impending loss of rights are slippery slope arguments from alarmist reactionaries, hear and heed the words of Georgetown University lesbian law professor, Chai Feldblum, who argues that legalized same-sex marriage “will likely put a burden on those religious people who believe acting on one’s same-sex sexual orientation is a sin” and that “we are in a zero-sum game: a gain for one side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side.”
Conservatives who have bought the lie that the homosexuality of a candidate is irrelevant have clearly also bought the lie that homosexuality is ontologically equivalent to race or biological sex, both claims of which are increasingly rejected both within and without the homosexual communities.
Rather, same-sex desire and volitional homosexual acts are analogous to polyamorous desire and volitional polyamorous acts, all of which are legitimate conditions for moral assessment and moral disapproval. Most voters would want to know if a candidate embraced polyamory; most voters would reject a candidate for his affirmation of polyamory and his engagement in polyamorous behavior; and those who rejected such a candidate would not be vilified for their political decision or called poly-haters and polyphobes.
While we’re waiting for candidates to share with us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, the Illinois GOP should politely suggest to Log Cabin Republicans that rather than remain in the Republican party, trying to change the Republican platform on deviant sexual issues, which will ultimately result in the demise of the family, they should move to the Big Tent Democrat Party and try to change their platform on fiscal and defense issues.
Laurie Higgins is the Director of the Division of School Advocacy for the Illinois Family Institute.